CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Empowering the younger generation

He always had a peaceful ambiance surrounding him. Once he stepped into the room, there was always an empowering presence. Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung looked up to the young people in Hong Kong and had strong motivation in trusting the inborn fire that the younger generation has for the future. 
Bishop Yeung encountered them personally, asking about their studies and dreams. Even with a busy schedule, he dedicated time to accompany the young people in their activities. 
Bishop Yeung attended Diocesan English Youth’s annual Holympics sports event last September. He presided and lit the athletic torch with almost 70 English-speaking young Catholics from different youth groups. During the opening Mass, he emphasised the importance of empowering the youth, not only for our future, but for the here-and-now. 
Older generations are in charge of providing a platform for young people to build themselves up instead of having to coordinate them. He trusted that the youth have the greatest potential to ignite their own fire and he encouraged everyone to also believe in this. 
This message is empowering for youngsters to hear because it’s the missing piece of the puzzle when most young people hesitate to act with their faith. The Catholic community is also encouraged to believe in the young people as much as the bishop believed in them. 
He also proudly announced an extension of the Year of Youth, pushing forward the initiative to support the youth in carrying out Catholic social doctrine as the hands of God, within our comfort zones, but also outside of them. 
With his status, he was not able to always be physically present during youth events, especially due to the fact that they always lasted so long, but he always made his presence special during youth encounters. 
Bishop Yeung spoke with young people on as personal level to foster a closer friendship with them instead of imposing a hierarchal authority. 
He stressed the importance of sharing experience and faith within the youth community as well. By exiting our comfort zones, we enter experiences that challenge our faith and also strengthen it. 
In September 2018, South Korea officially announced its Road of Martyrs pilgrimage routes. 
Bishop Yeung was present as a representative of the Diocese of Hong Kong. It was an encounter for bishops from other countries and also for young people from mainly Asian countries. 
The bishop highlighted that this was an opportunity for young people to exchange ideas and to develop lasting friendships beyond our local borders. It’s crucial for local youth participate in exposures to witness how the Catholic faith reaches further than our own cities. 
Bishop Yeung has brought great wisdom to the Catholic Church in Hong Kong, he demonstrated the support and guidance the youth need, but most importantly, he believed in them. 
Ashley Ho

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