CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Getting ready for World Youth Day at home

 

HONG KONG (SE): With World Youth Day scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from July 23 to 28 this year, orientation programmes for the 30 young people who will represent the diocese of Hong Kong at the event have already begun.

The figure is way down on the numbers who headed off for Sydney, Australia, in 2008; and Madrid, Spain, in 2011; as the cost of the long journey across the oceans to the Latin American continent is proving to be prohibitive for many people.

However, in addition to those who will make the trip, 210 people have already signed up to take part in a parallel event being organised in Hong Kong.

Spanning the same time frame, they will join a programme run locally in tandem with the worldwide gathering in Brazil, which will follow roughly the same themes and also have sufficient flexibility to accommodate people of different ages, ethnic and faith backgrounds.

Wong Ho-kiu, from the Youth Commission, said that they know from experience that participants from Catholic schools in the territory will have a wide variety of faith experience and background.

In addition, since the diocese formally recognised the existence of young people who live, study, pray and worship in English, there will be sufficient flexibility in the programme for them to take part in the whole week to be run in Hong Kong in July.

“Offering variety in the way activities are run helps us to cater for the different needs of different people,” Wong noted. 

Father Paul Kam Po-wai, the chairperson of the Youth Commission, explained to the group that the theme of World Youth Day this year is, We are all Missionaries.

“The theme encourages young people to look at their relationship with Jesus,” he explained. “Then to reflect on their individual mission, pay more attention to the needs of Church and society, be willing to respond to the call of vocation and give witness to gospel values in their lives.”

The 30 people who will make the trip to Rio de Janeiro had their first orientation at the Caritas Ming Fai Camp in Cheung Chau, on the weekend of January 26 and 27, but travelled to St. Francis of Assisi parish in Shek Kip Mei, where those who will participate from home were conducting an orientation afternoon.

The two groups joined together for an inauguration Mass in the parish church on January 27.

The orientation afternoon gave participants an opportunity to get to know each other and feel relaxed and comfortable with people in each group, as well as learn more about what to expect at the six-day experience

 

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