10,000 children gather in schools
for Children's Congress
An estimated 10,000 children, aged 10 to 12 years, gathered in seven different schools in the Archdiocese of Manila last October 2 and 3 for a Children's Congress,
one of the major events held in this year in preparation for the Fourth World Meeting of Families scheduled in January 2003.
The assemblies were held in a designated school in each of the seven
ecclesiastical districts of the Archdiocese, namely St. Mary's Academy, Caloocan City; Don Bosco Technical Institute, Makati City; Paco Catholic School, Manila; Good Shepherd Parish Academy, Novaliches,
Quezon City; Siena College, Quezon City; St. Paul College, Parañaque City; and Pasig Catholic College, Pasig City. Participants consisted of students, out-of-school youths and street children.
day-long Congress, sponsored by the Archdio-cesan Catechetical Ministry (ACM), the Manila Archdio-cesan and Parochial Schools Association (MAPSA), and the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines
(CEAP), featured catechesis, dialogue and celebration. At the end of the day, the delegates were expected to "legislate laws" that will benefit them and other children. The output of the "laws"
will be collated and will be discussed in schools, churches, and hopefully, the government, so that everyone will be made aware of the children's rights and concerns.
The Congress theme was taken from the Gospel of Matthew, "Let the children come to me." It is a call for every Filipino to listen to the voices of the children, especially those who are badly
affected by difficult situations and circumstances.
The Congress aimed to give the strongest message that Jesus has already conquered sin because he has a special place for the children and invites them to
come to him.