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Give your lives to the young people says Salesian rector major

HONG KONG (SE): Father Ángel Fernández Artime, rector major of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), officiated at a ceremony marking the birth anniversary of St. John Bosco as well as the anniversaries of religious professions on August 16 in Hong Kong, during his trip to the China province from August 11 to 17. 
 
Father Artime arrived on August 15 to a warm welcome by members of the Salesian Youth Movement at the Salesian Missionary House in Shau Kei Wan. 
 
The ceremony on August 16 felicitated over 10 Salesian priests and sisters who celebrated the 80th, 70th, 60th as well as 50th anniversaries of their religious professions. 
 
Joseph Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who celebrated his platinum jubilee, concelebrated the Mass, together with Father Artime and other Salesian priests. The Mass began with a veneration of the relics of St. Don Bosco by members of the Salesian Youth Movement. 
 
In his homily, Father Artime said that the Salesian family serves young people and it needs young people too. He said that while St. Don Bosco is in heaven, people can still journey with young people with the spirit of their heavenly patron and share the message of Jesus Christ with them. 
 
The rector major said that to serve young people or children means serving Jesus Christ. He stressed that the Salesians should give young people not only their time, but also their lives. He also encouraged young people not to complain about tiredness in their lives but always strive for the best. 
 
He said the most valuable experience for young people is not celebrations, singing, dancing or keeping themselves updated about modern technology, but is bringing Jesus Christ to the lives of others. Salesians should bear witness to God with their life testimonies and seek the truth of life with young people sincerely, he added.
 
Father Joseph Ng Chi-yuen, provincial superior of the China Province, asked those present to remember those Salesians who could not attend the ceremony.
 
Father Paul Fong Ting-chung, who celebrated the 80th anniversary of religious profession, passed away at St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, at 5.44pm that afternoon. His funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Anthony Church, Pokfulam, on August 24.
 
Later that day, Father Artime attended a gathering of 250 young people at the Tang King Po School, Kowloon. He told them that St. Don Bosco loved the young people around the world and it was his wish that all of them live in joy and happiness.
 
In the question and answer session, Father Artime said he had paid attention to the situation in Hong Kong, particularly to the rallies joined by over a million people. He said people should try to listen to one another, noting that their real power comes from their thoughts and not from violence. 
 
He urged young people to learn from Jesus who pursued justice, respected all people and cared for the needy.
 
For the participants, the gathering was a cocktail of interaction, fun and a meal with the rector major, who was making his first visit to the China Province. He played the guitar and led young in song before having lunch with them. 
 
The 59-year-old Father Artime hails from Spain. He was elected rector major of the Salesian Congregation and 10th successor of St. Don Bosco on 25 March 2014, the feast of Annunciation.   
 
He left Hong Kong for Rome on August 17.

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