07/11/2018, 17.08
VIETNAM
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In Vinh diocese, young people play a leading role in the mission of the Church

by Paul N. Hung

Many initiatives and conferences have taken place throughout the area, attracting thousands of Catholics. The local Church can count on more than a thousand catechists, to whom every year priests and pastors offer training courses together with the pastoral committees of the various communities.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Young Catholics and families are called "to express their faith in daily life and in the workplace", this according to Mgr Paul Nguyên Thái Hop, bishop of Vinh.

The latter, which is located in central Vietnam, is one of the poorest dioceses in the country; yet, it "has always shown strong faith, despite the country’s historical development.”

Its work promoting the role of young people in evangelisation and in the missionary work of the Church has contributed to this.

The diocese has more than 1,000 catechists to whom priests and pastors offer training courses every year together with the pastoral committees of the various communities.

In recent days, various initiatives and conferences have taken place throughout the area, drawing thousands of young Catholics.

On 29-30 June, more than 500 people from six parishes took part in the Second Quy Hậu District Youth Congress on the theme of “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit" (Mt 28:19).

The priests who attended the event told the kids that "every catechist is a missionary, who brings the Good News to others" and that "God has called us to work together in the field of the Church's mission.”

Priests from Bình Chính, a diocese that opened a training course for more than 300 catechists at the start of the year, also took part in the initiative.

Fr Joseph Trương Văn Khẩn, vicar of the parish of Đạo Đồng, reminded participants that "the mission is the responsibility of all young people", urging them to "use the internet and social media to serve them."

Fr Anton Nguyễn Văn Định, parish priest in Làng Rào, asked them instead to make "Efforts and sacrifices" to bring the Gospel to the remote villages of the district.

On 3 July, hundreds of kids from 11 parishes in the Xã Đoài district gathered for a Youth Conference on the theme "Be vigilant at all times and pray" (Lk 21:36).

They exchanged views about the problems modern life brings to believers, and welcomed the priests’ call for greater participation in the diocese’s initiatives.

Ha Tran, a member of the Vinh Communication Office, said that "the Conference revived the spirit of the young and directed them towards the joys of being Catholic. In particular, it was also an opportunity for them to meet and share, to improve relationships and unity in love."

About 600 kids came to Hòa Ninh Parish to attend the Third Congress of young people in the district, which was centred on “Arise! Shine, for your light has come” (Is 60:1) on 4 -5 July.

Fr Peter Nguyễn Xuân Đình stressed the importance of the gathering, noting that young people "are called to take a stand and defend truth and justice, as the prophet called."

The participants read and discussed the Bible as well as the teaching of the catechism. Fr Paul Nguyễn Chí Thiện invited them to "show their pride, their courage to be Catholics and to keep their faith strong in the face of the challenges of this era."

Fr John Nguyễn Văn Hữu guided the youth to analyse the role of the Catholic family, understood as "a warm refuge, a school of prayer and the cradle of life and the proclamation of the Gospel."

The youth coordinator in Hòa Ninh, Fr Peter Thân Văn Chính, reminded those present "not to forget to testify to God, fulfilling the duties as citizens and Catholics.”

He also invited them "make their faith shine in the environment in which God sent us" and to "live the vocation of marriage in love and fidelity.”

"Let us keep our faith against the adversities of today's society," he added.

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