CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 10 November 2018

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Live in joy Focolare leader tells young people

HONG KONG (SE): Maria Voce, president of Focolare Movement, together with co-president Father Jesús Morán and other members, stopped over in Hong Kong for a week during their Asia tour in March. Voce, who visited Hong Kong for the first time, encouraged young people to live in joy in the Year of Youth.
 
From its headquarters in Rome, Focolare members arrived Hong Kong on March 26 then paid a visit to Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung and John Cardinal Tong Hon at the Diocese Centre the next day. 
 
They later met some members as well as the coordinators of the Focolare Movement in Asia on April 1.
 
Voce encouraged young people of the Hong Kong, in the Year of Youth, to live in joy and to thank God for the beautiful things in their lives.
 
Voce succeeded Chiara Lubich, the late Focolare founder, as its president 10 years ago. She visited members around the world, and worked to strengthen interreligious dialogue and promote ecumenism.
 
Voce also encouraged young people to join the movement’s Genfest to be held in Manila, the Philippines, in July. She told the Kung Kao Po on March 27 that after the event was held in Budapest, Hungary, in 2012, some participants suggested holding the next one in a country outside Europe. After some consultation, Manila was chosen as the venue.
 
Voce believes an open mind is needed to promote dialogue and unity. She believes young people are good at dialogue. But she reminded them that while communicating with different people, they should remember that God loves each one as they are all God’s children. 
 
Voce also shared her happiness at seeing members of the Focolare Movement actively taking part in the recent, mid-March pre-synod in Rome by helping to prepare the daily readings and the contemplative prayers.
 
Father Jesús Morán told the Kung Kao Po that he hopes the Asia tour will help them to understand the habits, culture and history of the people. He believes more knowledge about Asian people will help them discover the beauty of ecumenism. 
 
Father Morán said he is happy about the development of the group in Asia and is particularly impressed by the active participation of members from the Philippines and Korea. 
 
As for the situation in India, a multi-religious country where the Focalare Movement started in 1980, Father Morán said the group also attracts some Hindus as they understand that, although they have different religious beliefs, they have the same spirit in life.

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