CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 12 August 2017

Print Version    Email to Friend
Diocese gears up for the 
second Year of the Laity

HONG KONG (SE): After a year devoted to the formation of a spirituality for lay involvement in both Church and society, Bishop John Tong Hon announced on September 3 (Sunday Examiner, September 18) that the Year of the Laity, which was launched at the Hong Kong Stadium on October 17 last year, would be extended for a further 12 months into 2012.

Vicar general, Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, explained that the focus of the second year will be on living the spirituality of a lay person and organised activities will be built around the prophetic imperative of the sacrament of baptism, to share in Christ’s ministry as priest, prophet and king.

He added that the Diocesan Synod of 2000 put great emphasis on the role the laity plays in proclaiming the good news of Christ in wider society and on developing a suitable spirituality to enable them to do this effectively.

He said that in the coming year more encouragement will be given to morning and night prayer and promoting the importance of the responsibilities people take on as a godparent at baptism. 

In addition, it will utilise mobile interactivity through YouTube and Facebook to encourage more discussion and spread the message about the Year of the Laity.

Father Chan said that the year will culminate in a sharing of experience with Catholic people from China, Macau and Taiwan next September or October, where they will have an opportunity to share on their experiences of small communities and ministries.

He added that this will have an exchange dimension as well, as Hong Kong people will also be invited by their guests to attend similar programmes which they will host at a later date.

He said that the small faith communities will continue to be at the centre of activities and leadership training will be organised at a deanery level throughout the year.

The grand finale will come on December 16 next year, with the activities and initiatives developed during the two years being put on display at the AsiaWorld Expo site at Chek Lap Kok.

Father Chan is strongly encouraging people to pay attention to an eight-point plan for self-sanctification by reciting the daily prayer for the Year of the Laity and forming the habit of morning and night prayer in their families and communities.

He added that following the biblical readings from the liturgy each day, as well as reflecting on other passages related to people’s lives, is another simple way of keeping our lives focussed on our role as Catholic lay people.

Father Chan is strongly encouraging people to join the one of the many small Christian communities in the diocese and also to involve themselves as much as possible in local parish activities; while at the same time prioritising family life and developing a greater awareness of the needs of people around them, especially family and friends.

As a concrete guide, he suggests that people set a goal for themselves to take part in at least six organised charitable works or pastoral outreaches each year, without forgetting the wider issues of human rights that affect the life and wellbeing of the whole city.

Although he believes it is too early to judge the effect the first year has had on diocesan and parish life, he said that he believes that Catholic people in Hong Kong have become more aware of the responsibilities of their faith in terms of sharing their belief and extending help to newly arrived people in the territory.

He added that one encouraging sign is the number of small communities that have emerged during the year. The theme for their meetings this year has been, “Responding to the call of God and fulfilling the ministry of the laity.”

More from this section