As written in the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis called Misericordia et misera (1) (Mercy with
misery), it is time to look to the future and to understand how best to continue, with joy,
fidelity and enthusiasm, experiencing the richness of divine mercy. Our country may have been
divided, our church may have seen changes, and our youth ministry may have been
challenged, but this year invites us to return to our true mission as Christians, to be gentle,
compassionate and loving disciples of Christ.
In the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Church, together with Chiro Pilipinas received the grace of
mercy in abundance. We have experienced the Merciful King in our lives and local groups while
being a Merciful King to others too.
In 2017, Chiro will celebrate its 65th year anniversary; sixty five years of bringing the children
and youth closer to Christ. Inspired by the call of Pope Francis to allow the fire of Holy Spirit in
our lives, Chiro Pilipinas will bear the 2017 Year Theme “The Blue Slippers“.
The Church does not need “cold or lukewarm Christians” who are held back by fear. It needs
Christians who are on fire with the Holy Spirit and committed to proclaiming the Gospel, even if
it costs them their lives (2). It is also the time to reflect on Pope Francis’ reminder to the Christians
that the children today are the young adults of tomorrow. How are we preparing them to live
with dignity and responsibility? With what hope can they face their present or their future?
Our Year Theme is based on the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians 5:25, “If we live in
the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit”. Paul is instructing us that we must not only live in the
Spirit but we should also have the courage to walk in the Spirit. Living and walking in the spirit
denotes understanding and believing in the Spirit and manifesting the Spirit in our daily lives as
the main source of all our thoughts, words and deeds. “Just so, every good tree bears good
fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree
bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the
fire. So by their fruits you will know them (Matthew 7:17-20).”
“Blue” signifies our 65th year as an organization defined as heightened hope and faith. Blue
Sapphire is a symbol of power and strength, but also of kindness and wise judgment. The
“Slippers” in our Year Theme story represents God’s gift – the Spirit who guides and
accompanies us. The entire year revolves around the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit (3) which are
planted in us. These are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity,
gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity. More so, we bring our slippers
everywhere we go. It serves as our companion as we journey in this world, our guide along the
beaten or not so beaten path we take, and our protection from any harm that might hinder us
from continuing our journey.
“The Blue Slippers” encourages us to perform acts of faith greater than our own capabilities for
the Holy Spirit lives inside us. Wearing the blue slippers will help us during times of change to
maintain clear vision of where we want to go and how to get there. As His Eminence Luis
Antonio Cardinal Tagle said “Wherever we go, let’s put a hat of an apostle. We are lambs in
the midst of wolves. Being a lamb means being vulnerable to the point of being helpless so that
we can cling on to God. We are all called to be evangelists and missionaries. We hope that our
communities will be a living gospel.” In the same way, let us then put on our Blue Slippers and
follow the path of Jesus.
We encourage all of the local groups to live and walk their Christian life based on the examples
of Christ and guided by the Spirit. After all, we are not only a member or a leader of Chiro but a
living disciple of Christ.
1 Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis at the Conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy called Misericordia et misera, November 2016
2 Weekly Angelus of Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square, August 2016
3 Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part III, Section 1, Chapter 1