CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Hong Kong Church leaders welcome Taizé event participants

HONG KONG (SE): The heads of the Catholic and the Anglican Churches in Hong Kong welcomed the over 2,500 people from over 40 regions and countries including Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, India and Indonesia, who joined the International Meeting of Young Adults organised by the Taizé Community and held in Hong Kong for first time from August 8 to 12. 
Since February, 10 Taizé brothers have been in Hong Kong preparing for the international gathering titled, Pilgrimage of Trust and Reconciliation. Brother Alois, the prior of the community, arrived in the city on the afternoon of August 7, while around 1,400 pilgrims from overseas began arriving on August 2.
Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, in a video message posted on the website for the event, said, “I welcome young people from all corners of the world to come to Hong Kong. We are not coming for a very luxurious vacation. We come together in the way of Christ to experience the love of the Father, that we are brothers and sisters, keeping in company with one another in prayers. And we will experience joy and peace.” 
The bishop added his appreciation for the vitality of the young participants, which is important for living out faith.
Archbishop Paul Kwong of the Anglican Church, also greeted the participants with a message also posted on the event’s website.
“I am very happy and delighted. I fully support this gathering, because a gathering of prayer, a gathering of worship and singing is very important to the people of Hong Kong, particular to this community,” the archbishop said, explaining that political issues have divided society so trust and reconciliation built up through prayers, sharings and singing is what is most needed by the city.
Ecumenical prayer services were scheduled to be held three times a day. Morning prayers were held at different churches, while afternoon and evening prayers took place only at two churches simultaneously: St. John’s Cathedral, Garden Road, and the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Caine Road. 
Workshops, meetings and tours were planned from August 9 to 11 following afternoon prayers. These included sessions on silence and listening; talks on ways to prepare and animate a prayer meeting with Taizé songs; a film showing about the life of Brother Roger, the founder of the community; Bible reflections led by Taizé brothers; a meeting with migrant workers and refugees in Hong Kong; a visit to Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre, Shatin, as well as the Buddhist Tze Shan Monastery, Taipo; and a tour around Central. 
On the evening of August 11, participants to shared their culture and faith through a presentation of songs and dances at 4.30pm at the Caritas Community Hall, Caine Road.
Participants were scheduled to attend Sunday morning celebrations with their host families on August 12 at a parish church, followed by a lunch at the church or with their hosts. 
Around 700 overseas pilgrims were hosted by over 300 families, while others were received by schools, seminaries and churches of different dominations.

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