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Thousands of children and youth all over Austria joined the traditional carol singing campaign of the Katholische Jungschar (Catholic Children’s Movement) which began a week after Christmas and lasted until the Feast of the Three Kings.
In memory of the biblical Three Wise Men who worshipped the Infant Jesus by bringing him gold, frankincense and myrrh, and according to an old tradition, children dress up as the Three Wise Men and move from house to house after Christmas, announcing The Gospel message.
Some Pinoy children and youths all over the country have been taking part in this charitable action for quite some time already.
Lucas Bongaling, a 17 year old Austrian born Filipino has been joing the carol singing campaign since he was 8 years. Now, he accompanies the children.
“After my first communion I joined the Catholic Children’s Movement. Now I am one of the leaders of the movement in our parish. My objective of joining this campaign is to commit myself to a fairer world. The donations collected by the Carol Singers are used to support people committing themselves in Christ’s succession to a fairer world for all human beings.,” Bongaling said
The 12 years old Miguel, a third generation Pinoy in Vienna always takes the role of Gaspar, the black King since his skin color is brown.
“Austria is one of the richest countries in the world. It is but fitting to ask people here for donations as a sign of solidarity. And I very much aware that these donations we collect are used to support people who are really in need, one of these are the projects of the Catholic Children’s Movement in the Philippines,” Miguel told ABS-CBN News.
One of the organizers of the nationwide campaign commented that the Carol Singers’ Campaign was launched for the first time in 1955 the and thus enabled the movement to support projects and programmes in Africa, Latin America, Asia and Oceania.
“With a constant focus on the preferential option for the poor we support projects with the aim to improve effectively the living conditions and educational chances of children irrespective of their religion, origin or color. We help the local churches to ensure the religious education of the children,” the organizer added.
The Catholic Children’s Movement is the largest children’s organisation in Austria, having 11, 600 members, most of them volunteers taking care of 100,000 children. The “Catholic Children’s Movement” is active in all nine Austrian dioceses, each employing full-time and volunteer personnel.
Hector Pascua, ABS-CBN News, Austria