The Diocese of Chalan Kanoa will launch its youth ministry on Oct. 21 to celebrate the canonization of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, the second Filipino to become a saint.
Rev. Fr. Ryan P. Jimenez, apostolic administrator for the diocese, said in an interview that they decided to focus the celebration on Blessed Pedro Calungsod being a young missionary instead of his ethnic background to share an important message to the young Catholic faithful in the CNMI.
“He is not just a saint for Filipinos because any saint is truly a model for all of us regardless of ethnic backgrounds. We focus more on him being a youth who had zeal and was martyred. Hopefully, his simple life story will inspire our young people,” said Jimenez.
A native of the Visayas region in the Philippines, Blessed Pedro Calungsod was a young Roman Catholic sacristan and catechist who suffered religious persecution and martyrdom with Jesuit priest Diego Luis San Vitores during their missionary work in Guam.
Almost 18 years since the process for his canonization was initiated in Nov. 15, 1994, Blessed Pedro Calungsod, along with six other blessed individuals, will be canonized this Sunday by Pope Benedict XVI at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Jimenez said the youth committee of the diocese plans to have a motorcade from three various points on island-Kristo Rai, San Jose, and San Antonio-before coming together at the Cathedral for the 6pm youth Mass to culminate the celebration.
The canonization also coincides with World Mission Sunday, a day celebrated by Catholics throughout the world every next-to-last Sunday in October to recommit themselves to the Church's missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice.