CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 11 August 2018

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A pilgrimage of trust and reconciliation

AT THIS TIME in its history, Hong Kong couldn’t have asked for anything better! The Catholic Diocese, the Anglican Church and the Hong Kong Christian Council are jointly welcoming the Pilgrimage of Trust organised by the Taizé community, paving a way for building bridges between countries, traditions and cultures. The international meeting of young adults is scheduled to take place in Hong Kong from August 8 to 12.
 
Hong Kong is undoubtedly one of the richest territories in Asia. People enjoy a high level of freedom of speech, religion and movement. Society, in general, is peaceful and often not affected by the conflicts and turmoil that plague the rest of the world.  But the city also has one of the worst wealth gaps in the world. This special administrative region has a political system, which can be termed as a controlled democracy. 
 
There is a growing sense of discontentment among young people today and particularly so in Hong Kong. The magnitude of the Umbrella Movement were explicit demonstrations of their growing frustrations. The movement was met with force and the wounds are yet to heal while issues remain unsolved. It is into this socio-political reality of the city of Hong Kong that Taizé descends with its Pilgrimage of Trust
 
That is why this initiative of faith, hope and love is so necessary today for Hong Kong, particularly in promoting justice, reconciliation and peace. It should serve as a means for Christians, together with all people of good will, to open up new paths of harmonious living. This gathering will be a great opportunity for the different Churches—and especially for young people and families in Hong Kong—to work together to welcome young people from different parts of the world. 
 
Over 2,000 delegates from around the world will gather for an encounter with the dynamic, young Churches of Asia and seek the wellsprings of faith through prayer, silence and biblical reflection. Five brothers from Taizé, together with numerous volunteers from Hong Kong and around the world, have been camped in the city for months overseeing the arrangements and preparations for the mega event. 
 
According to Brother Ghislain, the period of preparation is as important as the event itself. He and his companions have travelled across Hong Kong in the past months and conducted Taizé prayer gatherings in various churches and prayer groups, introducing and initiating the Taizé style of prayer, singing and meditation. 
 
The Taizé community, founded in 1940 in France, is an ecumenical monastic order with a strong devotion to peace and justice through prayer and meditation. The community of Roman Catholic and Protestant monks comes from 30 countries across the world. Brother Ghislain describes Taizé as “a form of prayer based upon the Scriptures that seeks to promote reconciliation, healing and peace and is open to all. Youth in particular value its simplicity and stillness. This is an ecumenical activity where together, Christians can pray and intercede for the needs of the world.”