HONG KONG (SE): A programme was organised by Christ Youth Action to look at how young working people use Catholic social teaching in continuing to underpin their faith in the face the challenges put before them in the workplace.
Christ Youth Action is a community of young people. It is currently running an experience called Work Shine, which began on February 9 and will continue until July 13 at Rosary parish in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Work Shine targets young people from the age of 18 to 35. It includes 12 gatherings and covers Church social ethics, temptation in workplaces, moral decisions, capability and investment, courtship and marriage, as well as how to live out Catholic values in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships by accepting, forgiving and loving others.
Conrad Wong Tin-cheung, the initiator of Christ Youth Action in Hong Kong and one of the speakers, said the sessions will include group sharing, so that a faith community can be built up in which people can encourage one another.
Wong, who is the vice-chairperson of the Diocesan Youth Commission, said many young people face challenges in their workplace and some cannot take part in parish activities due to work schedules, which affects their commitment to faith.
Wong explained that the programme deals with some practical problems such as how to deal with temptation when asked to improve your luck in money through a Feng Shui array, or invited by a potential customer to have a meal in a suspicious type of place.
Around 10 guests have been invited to share their experiences during the various sessions and talk about ways to address these and other problems.
Lam Kin-chung, who has worked in journalism for around 18 months, said long working hours and the need to do shifts makes it hard for him to be involved in parish activities.
He also finds that his Catholic values are being challenged in the workplace as his colleagues tell him to do less so as to avoid making mistakes.
In addition, his supervisor continually asks him to choose biased or pornographic content for his articles to attract readers.
He said he is in a dilemma, as reports he regards as claptrap with low news value do manage to get a high click rate on the Internet, which demonstrates the wide discrepancy between secular and religious values.
He said that young working people find belonging to a faith community difficult and homily tend to focus on family life, which right now is not what he really needs to hear.
Lam commented that he hopes that young people can learn from one another during the Work Shine programme.