CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Taizé brother from Hong Kong glad to hold gathering at home

HONG KONG (SE): Brother Lucas Ho Kam-tong of the Taizé Community who left Hong Kong 40 years ago to go to Taizé, France, said he is happy to see that Hong Kong will be hosting the International Meeting Of Young Adults 2018 from August 8 to 12. 
Brother Ho, who has returned to Hong Kong for six months to prepare for the Taizé International Meeting, told the Kung Kao Po that he is looking forward to sharing different ways of praying with Hong Kong people. This is the longest time he has stayed in Hong Kong since he left in late 1977.
During an interview with the Fountain of Grace in 2014, Brother Ho said he quit his job in 1977 when he was 30-years-old and went on a pilgrimage in Europe without a detailed plan, letting God guide his life. When he reached Taizé after two months, he was touched by its prayer meetings and the hospitality of its founder, Brother Roger Schütz. 
At the invitation of Brother Roger, he remained and eventually became one of the Taizé Community.
Brother Ho said that in the past 10 years, many young people from Hong Kong have joined the community’s three-month programme. He is happy to see that many of them, after returning, have continued to promote Taizé prayer meetings.
Five Taizé brothers and six young volunteers are in Hong Kong to take care of the preparations for the August gathering. The period of preparation for the event is important as it allows the brothers to meet different people who may not be familiar with Taizé and invite them join the gatherings and promote ecumenical Christian fraternity. 
Brother Ho emphasised that the International Meeting is not only an evangelisation event, but also a chance for people to share and pray together. 
He said while young people from Hong Kong visiting are well-received in Taizé, it is time for Hong Kong to return the favour by receiving participants from around the world. He hopes that more families will sign up to offer accommodations for overseas participants.
According to Jibin Kurain Thomas, a volunteer from India, over 2,000 people are expected to join the International Meeting, with half of them coming from overseas.
He said Hong Kong families who wish to offer accommodations do not need to worry about limited space at home, as a place to put a sleeping bag will be sufficient.
During the International Meeting, participants will have prayer services in the churches of different Christian denominations in the morning and take part in sharing sessions. Afternoon and evening prayer sessions will be held at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception and St. John’s Cathedral, Central. Workshops under different themes will also be organised.

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