08/02/2013, 00.00
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Catholics celebrate the release of the Youth Catechism in Chinese

by Xin Yage
The 'Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church', youcat for short, was first released during World Youth Days in Madrid in 2011. Now it is available in traditional Chinese, becoming a best seller. With a foreword by Benedict XVI, it provides a tool to lay people and clergy "who are looking for answers to problems" as well as "paths for personal and group reflection".

Taipei (AsiaNews) - With "Finally in Chinese with the classic yellow binding," many young Taiwanese Catholics welcomed the online announcement that the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church (天主教 青年 教 理), youcat for short, was now available in Chinese after being published in many other languages. "What we were waiting for, for many months, has finally arrived," said a post on a Facebook account set up by young Hong Kong Catholics for youcat.

For the past year, Catholic youth groups in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan have been reading the glossy yellow book (pictured). Since it was released in 2011 during World Youth Days in Spain, it has become a reference book for many young Catholics.

Until recently, Chinese-speaking Catholics had to rely on the English version. Now the Kuangchi Cultural Group (光启 文化 事业) in Taipei translated and published it in traditional Chinese.

The Chinese version has 304 pages. With a foreword by Pope Benedict XVI and a presentation of topics and concerns, the book lends itself to easy reference.

Youcat attracts many readers who are looking for answers to problems, paths for personal and group reflection and even a bit inspiration for prayer. Since the text was announced online on 23 July, sales have been brisk in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

"At the beginning of summer we did not know about its release," said a Catholic teacher at a secondary school in Taipei. "Then, on 23 July, came the announcement and the rush to buy the book was on."

Yinyi Zhang (张 姻 意), a student in the third year of secondary school, said "several of her classmates want to get closer to the Christian faith and understand its basic truths in a simple and accessible way. This is a great present that I will give them. I no longer have to look for other translations in other languages. Youcat is well presented with texts, cartoons and even photos of Taiwan's Christian community that make it more accessible to our reality."

What is more, she goes on to say, she has begun to push the book on blogs and in online chats, encouraging young students to join the discussion groups.

"Now we have it in Chinese. That's great! Two of my friends had talked to me about it the World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011, when the book was available in six languages ​​and was a great hit with participants. "

"I am very glad the book is now in our hands. We can use it in summer camps in August, especially in our journey of faith in next catechistic year," said Sister Zhuang (庄 修女), who has been working with youth in two Hsinchu parishes.

Zhiyin Chen (陈 芝 音), who translated the catechism, said she was very happy to see such a "cool" book help Chinese youth deepen their relationship with Jesus and the Church.

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