Taiwan Youth Day centred on "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God"
by Xin Yage
More than 300 young people from all of the island’s dioceses took part in the event. The latter has been organised each summer for the past eight years. For one participant, “The Gospel message is very beautiful and attractive. We feel like we are part of a greater mission and we want to touch our peers”. next year’s edition is set to take place in Taichung.

Tainan (AsiaNews) – More than 300 young Catholics met on 15-20 July in Tainan for this year’s Taiwan Youth Day (台灣 青年 日, tjd) centre on "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God” (潔淨 的 心).

Like every summer, young Taiwanese Catholics come together to meet new people, share their experiences, make new friends and work with people from other parishes, elders as well as a number of Catholic associations.

This year’s is the eighth Youth Day. The island’s bishops pushed for it after the greatest World Youth Day (WYD) ever.

Although Taiwan has a small Catholic community, its members make up in enthusiasm and activism what they lack in number (300,000).

"The most important thing is to see the enthusiasm of young people and harness their energy to build something together," said Mgr Lin Chi-nan (林吉 男 主教), bishop of Tainan.

“We started this summer experience nine years ago,” he explained, “right here in Tainan! And now we're back to where it all began, because we have been to every diocese on the island; each year, a different one."

“After the great WJD, I realised that participants from Taiwan came back home all excited and invigorated. So we decided to get organised among ourselves to give our young people an opportunity to know each other and feel encouraged by the sense of being part of a larger community."

This is the case for Fangyi, a TJD participant who spoke to a local television station. "The Gospel message is very beautiful and attractive,” she said. it makes us “feel like we are part of a greater mission and we want to touch our peers. Please join us!" she shouted at viewers at the end of her interview.

Mgr Thomas An-zu Chung (鍾 安 住 主教), the energetic bishop of Jiayi, smiled at everyone who approached him. For him, “Working with young people and kids means sowing for the future!"

“The younger generation will take charge of Taiwan’s future but they should not forget to take care of the weak and the elderly.”

This is why volunteers visited the city’s hospitals and retirement homes during the week, to offer patients and residents some company, which is something especially important for senior citizens who often cannot see their relatives who work on weekdays.

In previous years, Taiwan Youth Days centred on:

Next year’s topic will be made public in a few months, but the event is already set to be held in Taichung.