09/22/2009, 00.00
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Vocation among the confused youth in the Philippines

by Santosh Digal
A French priest speaks of his experience as a spiritual guide to the youth and accuses the globalised and technological society of confusing, and leading the new generation away from the church.

Manila (AsiaNews) - “Today the youth are confused, broken and wounded in their lives. They need a spiritual guide in order to discern their vocation, be it religious or secular “says Fr. Erwin J. Sayson, a French priest responsible of the vocational centre of the congregation of the Sacred He art. He helps boys and girls to find their own paths and  live their vocation be it religious or matrimonial.

Fr. Erwin entered the congregation in 1997 and has been working since four years in Manila with street children. This year he follows the university group too. Every day he visits their houses and involves parents and children in religious and social activities promoted by the congregation, like summer camps for the children, schools for the indigenous, social service and cultural initiatives.

“My experience- says the priest- shows me that the youth are have scarce concentration and have lost the sense of the value of hard work and commitment”. According to him this attitude “is a result of a  globalised society that is full of distractions. Meeting the youth, I am learning to be compassionate, and to guide them with brotherly love and in particular along with them I am discovering the importance of the Holy communion and the sacraments”.

The religious congregation of the Sacred Heart was founded in  France in 1821 by Fr. Andre Coindre. The first Pilipino mission started in 1959 when 3 Canadian religious settled down in Digos on the island of Mindanao. Today they have 4 centers in Mindanao and one in Manila. In all there are 18 priests (15 are Pilipino and 3 are foreigners), besides 5 novices and seven postulants.

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