IMUS, Cavite, Nov. 24, 2009—A Catholic bishop said Asian youth should follow CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida’s example of charity. [I am no fan of CNN but what the heck! A Filipino Catholic was honored.]
Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle said the greatest challenge facing the world today is building a world of peace and justice and ensuring the dignity of all people.
He said this can be achieved by following the example of Peñaflorida, “who has a great compassion for the poor.”
Like many people, according to Bishop Tagle, the new CNN hero suffered poverty and the harsh reality of life.
“But then he decided from his youth to do something for the young and so he started something which was quiet innovated—schools on cart for school children,” Bishop Tagle said.
“We resolve to follow his example by sharing what we have with those less fortunate than ourselves,” he added.
The prelate made the statement in a homily during yesterday’s Mass at the Imus Cathedral, formally opening the 5th Asian Youth Day before an estimated 2,000 people.
The mass was concelebrated by around over 200 bishops and priests from all over Asia, including Archbishops Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales of Manila and Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
The opening Liturgical celebration began with a parade of national flags of 22 countries through the crowd of pilgrims around Imus town to the cathedral.
“Asian young people, be proud of your fellow Asian (Penaflorida). It is good to be Asian. To be Asian is heroic,” said Bishop Tagle.
“Give yourself to the service of others, the service of the church, the service of humanity and all of the creation the way Jesus did,” he added.
The Asian youth gathering is currently being held in Cavite until Nov. 27 in Cavite, Penaflorida's home province, just southwest of Manila.
Peñaflorida, who started a “pushcart classroom” in the Philippines to bring education to the poor children as an alternative to gang membership, has been name 2009 CNN Hero of the Year. [I wonder how we earns his living.]
In 12 years, he and a group of young volunteers have taught more than 1,500 children aged two to 14 reading, writing, math and English.
CNN's Anderson Cooper presented the award to Peñaflorida's in a ceremony held in Los Angeles Saturday night.
Peñaflorida, who will receive $100,000 to continue his work with the Dynamic Teen Company, was selected after seven weeks of online voting at CNN.com. More than 2.75 million votes were cast. (Roy Lagarde)
I learned in a newscast that Peñaflorida plans to give 90% of his prize money will go to his foundation's work and 10% to his parish church.
God bless Peñaflorida!
PROUDLY PINOY! PROUDLY CATHOLIC!