Hundreds of young Filipinos on April 22 gathered in Manila, for a night of music, dancing and testimonials in what its Jesuit organizers dubbed as "One Praise," an annual youth worship that brings together Christian youth bands.
"We come from different communities, different parishes, but we come here united," said Father Roseller Atilano, director of the Jesuit Music Ministry, who spearheaded the event at the Ateneo de Manila University.
The priest said the annual gathering is in only on its second year but "hopefully, every year it gets bigger and bigger."
Father Atilano said this year's event attracted hundreds of young people, the so-called millennials, from various youth groups in the Philippine capital, including priests, seminarians, and even religious sisters.
"Apart from bringing more and more Catholic communities together, we have observed that Filipino composers are beginning to explore the modern sound of praise. This initiative is our contribution to the emerging Filipino charismatic music," said Fr. Atilano.
"With music, hopefully we can be with young people, engage them, and interact with them," said Jesuit Father Emmanuel Alfonso, executive director of Jesuit Communications in Manila. He said the idea for "One Praise" was inspired by the "perceived need to engage the youth more through music."
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila sent a video message to the event to express his regrets not to be able to sing and dance with the young people. "With your gathering now, I can see the beautiful and clear future of the church," Cardinal Tagle said.
"One Praise" featured performances by local worship artists whose songs were included in an album produced by Jesuit Communications. It uses the arts to promote worship among youths. (UCAN)