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    » 07/24/2006, 00.00

    THAILAND – Asian Youth Day

    Young Thais, including a Buddhist, to leave for Asian Youth Day

    Weena Kowitwanij

    Some 23 young Thais will attend Asian Youth Day. In view of the event, the Thai Church organised seminars to prepare them. Sessions were held on life, drugs and dialogue. But the greatest challenge seems to be society's unbridled competitiveness.

    Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Young Thai Catholics have taken part in seminars organised by the Catholic Commission for the Youth during which they discussed their country's problems, ways they can contribute to building a better society and how to prepare for the Fourth Asian Youth Day that is scheduled to take place between July 28 and August 5 in Hong Kong. Altogether 23 young Thais from 2 archdioceses and 8 dioceses will be part of the group. A young Buddhist man will also attend.

    In speaking to them, Commission Chairman Mgr Joseph Sangval Surasarang reminded them that they had a "very good opportunity . . . to have an experience to share with others, to meet new friends."

    He hoped he said, that "today's young people would be witnesses to the faith, helping one another, lending a hand in particular to those in need," because "in our society we are used to seeing young people worry only about themselves, competing in school without helping their friends." Instead, they should always remember "that to improve society itself, we must first learn to help one another."

    "We organised two seminars to prepare the kids going to Hong Kong, one of them Buddhist," said Fr John Bosco Suksan Chaopaknam, secretary of the Catholic Commission for Youth. "They will be accompanied by five priests from various dioceses."

    During the preparatory sessions participants listed the country's problems. On top of the list of most worrisome issues they put society's unbridled competitiveness, which leaves little room for families to be together, as well as drug addiction and violence.

    What is more, Thailand's Catholic community has not been spared such problems. Young Catholics "do not attend mass regularly and values such as forgiveness and life have lost their lustre."

    Patchara Chonlawat, one of the trip's organisers, explained that this year's Asian Youth Day has for theme 'Youth: hope for Asian families'.

    "In our meetings with the young people, we stressed the meaning of 'hope' understood as trust in God's closeness even in one's most difficult times," she said.

    For this reason, Ms Patchara tried to explain to them that as "young Asians we must lead a life of hope and have trust in one's neighbours. As members of a family we must take part in building a community based on peace and love. As members of society we must bring hope and God's love to everyone, especially to those who are most marginalised. As young Catholics we must make a commitment to dialogue with our friends in other religions."

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    See also

    28/07/2006 HONG KONG – ASIAN YOUTH DAY
    Card. Zen marks AYD opening with warm welcome

    The bishop of Hong Kong was speaking to 200 families who will host around 1000 Asian youth in the territory for the fourth Asian Youth Day. He called the families to mutual understanding and tolerance in the name of the Church, "a large universal family".



    31/07/2006 HONG KONG – CHINA – ASIAN YOUTH DAY
    Card.Zen: "Beijing banned Catholic youth from joining us"

    The cardinal yesterday accused four Chinese provinces of not giving Catholic youth permission attend Asian Youth Day, considered by Beijing to be "an anti-China event".



    09/07/2008 THAILAND – BANGLADESH
    WYD: Catholics from Asia as witnesses of faith in Jesus Christ
    Meetings and moments of prayer have characterised the preparation young people underwent in anticipation of World Youth Day. Special heed was paid to Benedict XVI’s message which calls on all to announce the message of salvation.

    08/07/2006 PHILIPPINES - ASIAN YOUTH DAY
    70 Filipino youth headed for Hong Kong to join Asian Youth Day

    The Bishops' Conference of the Philippines has announced the imminent departure of 70 youth to Hong Kong for the fourth Asian Youth Day. This year, the event is expected to draw more than 1000 youth and its focus is: "Youth, Hope of Asian Families."



    27/07/2006 THAILAND
    Asian Youth Day: Catholic, Buddhist youth from Thailand share experiences

    Catholic and Buddhist youths share their hopes and experiences. Traditional respect for the family and Christian innovation remind youth of their importance and their responsibilities.





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