Hanoi (Agenzia Fides) - The celebration of Easter is a special moment for young Catholics in Vietnam: in the various dioceses, starting from Palm Sunday, gatherings and meetings of young people will take place in the different dioceses. This year, the focus will be on themes such as unity, communion and the announcement of hope in society.
In the diocese of Da Nang, in central Vietnam, more than 600 young people from 45 parishes gathered on Palm Sunday to experience a day of "Hosanna" and start Holy Week in the right spirit. Father Augustin Tran Nhu Huynh met the young people and shared with them a reflection on the theme "Get up, do not be afraid", recalling the example of the Apostle John who encountered the Lord Jesus Christ when he was a young man. He then traced John's journey to discover his vocation, his will and his desire to "seek a teacher to learn the way of life", which he found in Christ.
The Bishop of Da Nang, Msgr. Joseph Dang Duc Ngan, spoke to the young people about the spirit of the Synod, inviting everyone to "open the curtain of their heart to receive God and to welcome with love their neighbor who asks to enter", in citing the recent document of the Synod of Bishops for Asia.
The culmination of the meeting was the Eucharistic concelebration presided over by the bishop, during which the faithful were invited to "follow the Lord on the way to the Cross, in love, praise, trust in God", learning to "turn to God in all situations", to be "living witnesses to the proclamation of the Gospel".
Also in the diocese of Thai Binh, in northern Vietnam, more than 500 young people gathered on April 2 in the parish of Cao Xa to live a day of fraternity and praise on the theme "To be community, to be in communion". Father Francis Huyen, a Redemptorist priest, addressing the assembly, underlined the communion between man and God, between each man and his neighbour, but also the relationship between the person and the truth about himself. The religious stressed the call to live a life of faith, in relationship with God and neighbour, especially in the special time of the synodal journey, promoted at the universal level and which each particular Church is called to put into practice.
The gathering in Thai Binh was marked by a time of adoration, a time dedicated to approaching the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the celebration of the Stations of the Cross and the closing Eucharist. The young people left with the desire to give a living and joyful testimony of faith to their peers and with the promise of meeting many other young people from all over the world on the occasion of World Youth Day in the summer of 2023.
In the diocese of Xuan Loc, in southern Vietnam, on Palm Sunday, some 3,000 young people spent a day in the parish of Thanh Tam, dedicated to fraternity, prayer, joy and sharing. Father Joseph Vu The Toan involved the participants by helping them to look at the experience of the disciples of Jesus (before the Passion of the Lord and after the Resurrection) and to "put themselves in their shoes", inviting them to "live with courage the vocation and the mission that God gives, to give meaning to their lives and to transmit the Good News of Jesus to all those they meet on their way".
Retracing the Passion of the Lord, the young people shared their desire to "live for love" like Jesus, who loved his own "until the end". During the closing Mass, Bishop John Do Van Ngan, diocesan bishop, meditated on the seven last words of Jesus crucified, which show his heart "turned entirely towards the Father", which is the right attitude of a Christian to experience Holy Week.
In all the Vietnamese dioceses, young people are organizing and preparing to participate in the World Youth Days, which will be held this year in Lisbon, Portugal, from August 1 to 6, 2023. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 5/4/2023)