10/12/2018, 14.56
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Hải Phòng diocesan youth on cross journey

by Paul Nguyen Hung

The “Cross is the guide (Kim Chỉ Nam) that leads in the right direction,” says Catholic student. “The Holy Cross is not only a sacred force that brings young people together, it also supports us in our work with the poor,” says a Caritas volunteer. Mgr Joseph Vũ Văn Thiên calls on young people to be prophets and witnesses of the mission.

Hà Nội (AsiaNews) – Joy and a strong sense of belonging characterise the participation of youth from Hải Phòng engaged in the Holy Cross Journey (Chương Trình Hành Trình Thánh Giá), which the diocese has organised in the pastoral year dedicated to them. Participants come from all northern parishes.

The programme highlights the bond that unites Vietnamese Catholics to the sacred symbol, welcomed by young people with passion and reverence even in the rural areas around the country’s third largest city, in north-eastern Vietnam.

The initiative by the Diocese of Hải Phòng has been a great success, and is bringing the new generations closer to faith. Through the cross, young people honour God, pray, meditate, help each other and make the life of the Church more dynamic.

During a procession through the streets of Hải Phòng (picture 1), a young man spoke to AsiaNews. "We are students and we are Catholic. We need to have an ideal and a specific purpose: to live a holy life every day. We believe that Jesus always accompanies us. His Cross is the guide (Kim Chỉ Nam) that leads in the right direction."

For another young man, who volunteers for Caritas Hải Phòng, "The Holy Cross is not only a sacred force that brings young people together, it also supports us in our work with the poor and children who live in very difficult circumstances. We want to contribute to the missionary work of the Church.”

On 6 October, Catholic students in Hải Phòng celebrated the feast day of Saint Luke in the parish of Nam Pháp. This offered an opportunity to learn how to live according to the good example of the saint. Students expressed their desire to participate in charitable and social activities, to help the most disadvantaged communities and contribute to parish initiatives.

This month, Fr JB. Vũ Văn Kiện, director of Caritas Hải Phòng, and several groups of volunteers shared their social and charitable experiences in the parishes.

During a thanksgiving Mass, Mgr Joseph Vũ Văn Thiên (picture 3), bishop of Hải Phòng and in charge of the youth ministry of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Vietnam, spoke to young people.

"Have you ever thought of being a prophet? God has sent you into life to announce His word! In fact, each of us has the mission of a prophet. Let us try to be aware of this mission through a life of witness."

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