Taipei (AsiaNews) - Today in Taiwan
the school year began for all students. Young Catholics will greet classmates
and share with them the experience that they have just had during the seventh national
Youth Day, held in Chayi August 23 to 27.
This year's theme was "Rejoice in the Lord always!" (你们 在 主 内 应当 常常 喜乐), a phrase taken from the letter to the Philippians, chapter four. In the five-day meeting, more than 300 young people from parishes, schools and Catholic movements throughout Taiwan were able to enrich their faith through sharing. The bishops of the island were present along with many priests and religious. The vigil of reconciliation during the late evening and the rich and emotional final Eucharistic celebration were the high points of the meeting, giving all present a strong sense of hope and the desire to continue to build a community of joyful faith around the message of Jesus
The Church of Taiwan is also preparing to celebrate this weekend, on 1 September in Kaohsiung, the funeral of Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi, and the young faithful of the island have decided to pick up the baton from where he left off.
The first national Youth Day in Taiwan was organized in 2004 by a group of young Catholics who had participated in the previous World Youth Days and asked the bishops for something similar for Taiwan. Since then, the national Youth Day is organized in turn by one of the seven dioceses of the island.
Since 2004 seven days have been held, with different themes: "Walk toward God, walking towards love" (向 主 走, 向 爱 走 - 2004, Nantou), "Love one another as I have loved you" (就 如 我 爱 了 你们, 你们 应当 彼此 相爱 - 2007, Tainan), "Receive the power of the Spirit to be my witnesses" (领受 圣神 的 德 能, 为主 作证 - 2008, Taipei), "Youth, stand up! Be the hope of Taiwan: My thoughts, my words, my walk with Christ "(年轻人 ‧ 站 出来 ‧ 让 台湾 ‧ 有 希望 - 我 思, 我 言, 我 行 跟 耶稣 - 2009, Taichung ), "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (善 师, 为 承受 永生, 我 该做什么? - 2010, Hsinchu), "Love and communion renew all things in Christ" (爱 ‧ 融合 - 在 耶稣基督 内 重建 一切 - 2011, Kaohsiung).
Since Hsinchu 2010, the organization has also provided hospitality to participants in among local families, allowing a more personal and engaging experience in the annual event.
During the opening Mass of 2010, the Vatican Nuncio to Taiwain, Msgr. Paul Russell, proclaimed: "Some say that the church in Taiwan is old, but I tell you, seeing so many of you, that the church of Taiwan is really young. " His words were met with a standing ovation. And since then, the Facebook page entitled "台湾 青年 日 Taiwan Youth Day" has overflowed with comments and shares, with references to other blogs of young Catholics in Taiwan in a network that helps them to keep in touch and be informed of new initiatives and enrich their mutual friendship.