CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Hong Kong gears up for Taizé event

HONG KONG (SE): For five days from August 8 to 12, young adults from all over the world will descend on Hong Kong, where the aspiration for peace and the need for reconciliation is ever-growing, for the Taizé Community’s  Pilgrimage of Trust and Reconciliation
Taizé Brother Hanyol Shin, who hails from South Korea, expressed his hopes to the Kung Kao Po that the gathering would attract over 2,000 young people.
Brothers of the Taizé Community who have been in Hong Kong since February preparing for the gathering, have been visiting and attending Mass at different parishes, visiting various Christian denominations and attending the prayer meetings of different groups to promote the event. They believe that together, we seek paths of hope and seek to renew the commitment toward making our world a better place for all people.
Five young people from Poland, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, who already joined the Taizé movement, are also in Hong Kong to help with the preparation and promotion work.
The organisers are seeking the generous support of host families, schools and Churches to accommodate overseas participants. 
Brother Lucas Ho Kam-tong said they are looking to tap the hospitality of hundreds of host families and hopes that more parishes will offer accommodations. 
Brother Shin said that, as the international gathering will bring in participants from around the world, representatives from Hong Kong are welcome to stay with them overnight so that they can have more time to share experiences.
For the Catholic diocese of Hong Kong, which is observing the Year of Youth, this is a great opportunity to bring young people together for week long prayer and spiritual formation. 
Around 10 Taizé brothers, including Brother Alois, the prior of the community, will be in Hong Kong for the event. 
Ecumenical prayer services are slated to be held three times a day and there will also be group sharing among participants. Workshops on faith, social responsibilities, culture and arts will also be on offer. 
Brother Lucas described the gathering, saying, “People from different countries gather under the same faith and develop friendship. Together they build unity and share the message of peace.”
The Taizé Community held its international gatherings in a number of Asian countries, such as the Philippines and India. Brother Shin said that three years ago, the community has began looking into Hong Kong’s suitability as a venue. 
Two gatherings for young people from South East Asian countries, including mainland China, Taiwan, Macau, Korea and Japan, were held to test the possibility of organising an international event in Hong Kong, and they turned out to be good experiences in exhibiting the unity of the universal Church.
For over 10 years, the Taizé community has invited young people from around the world to join its three-month programme in Taizé, France. Dozens of young people from Hong Kong have taken part. 
According to Brother Shin, they keep in touch with the brothers and are invited to be volunteers whenever the Taizé brothers come to Hong Kong.

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