The weather forecast told us to expect thunderstorms the next day. A small cloud of anxiety hovered over our heads as we thought of the possibilities. Some muddy trail, wet shoes, wet clothes, a shivering night in a tent with strong winds and heavy rain outside. Should we still continue? Is this forecast true or false? Our imagination can go so far. But the truth can keep us on the right track. A wind of 10 km/hour is not that bad. For sure we can survive.
And so, last August 24-25, 2019, despite the unfavorable forecast, we decided to go on a nature trip to Foressa Trails in Balamban, Cebu. Contrary to our expectations, the weather was more than wonderful. It was a very bright weekend, with sunshine and blue skies on our faces!
Hiking…camping…games…swimming…stargazing…dancing…sharing God’s word …praying…being together…living…loving…
These are the things we did during the overnight Kaire outing. Kaire is the young professionals group of the St. John Community, formed and started by Fr. Jean Gabriel, csj on June 15, 2012. The name “Kaire” is the Greek word for “Rejoice” – the first word spoken by the Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary, during the Annunciation. Indeed, Kaire is a communion of young adults radiating the joy of the Gospel and the true friendship rooted in Christ.
In the middle of our close communion with nature, Sr. Paul Marie gave a talk about taking care of our environment. She spoke about the encyclical of Pope Francis entitled “Laudato Si”. Indeed it was a reminder and a challenge for us, to take concrete and intentional steps in saving our mother earth. The important key is to start with ourselves. In the afternoon, we had Holy Mass outside the camp. Towards the end of the Mass, the sun started to set beautifully in the background. Nice view! When evening came, Fr. Steban led the boys in building a campfire. The flames reminded us of the fire of the Holy Spirit – bright, warm, all-consuming. We had a simple sharing around the fire on the things we can improve on Kaire. When the flames died down, many of us laid outside to gaze upon the stars. The vast Milky Way above, reveal the Majesty of the Creator. In the morning, we had a wake up dance before packing up to leave for the city.
It was a short but memorable experience. Nature filled and spirit filled. True to the vision of Kaire, we radiate the joy of the Gospel by our simple presence, and genuine friendship with each other.
Kaire gathers every First Thursday of the month in the Ayala Mall Chapel for Holy Mass at 6:30 pm, followed by Holy Hour and fellowship. Everyone is welcome to join us. Kaire also engages in different missions and apostolates with the Community of St. John.
The new apostolic priory in Taboan will also be a place for these young adults to gather for prayer, formation, planning for missions, and for simple fellowship. Their thirst for the truth will surely be quenched through the formation classes that will be conducted in the new apostolic priory.