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The encounter of Youth of the FMA


By Sr. Anh Thi, FMA


Tam Ha, Vietnam, 8 April 2018 -- "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (Lk 1:30) – the greeting of the angel Gabriel to Mary in the Annunciation of the Lord, which was chosen by Pope Francis as the theme of the message of World Youth Day 2019 was the main theme for the ecounter of young people hosted by the Province of Mary Help of Christians (VTN) on Easter Sunday of Mercy, April 8th 2018 in Tam Ha, Vietnam.


From the previous day, everyone was able to feel festive atmosphere when the young leaders, FMA past pupils, collaborators, benefactors, etc… and the sisters prepared the encounter.


At 8 am, April 8, more than one thousand young people throughout the South of Vietnam excitingly greeted Sr. Inoue Sumiko Maria Assunta - the Councillor delegated to visit the Institute, Sr. Rosa Vu Thi Kim Lien - the Provincial Superior, the Superiors, Sr Maria Thien Hang – the Councillor of VTN Youth Ministry and the sisters from different communities present among the young people in this meeting.


Sr Maria Assunta was very happy to meet young people in Vietnam. She wished them to discover and to be happy in their chosen vocation. She told the youth: “Be courageous, generous to respond to the call of God in your life, do not be afraid of the difficulties and challenges; the Church believes and hopes in all of you; the church also looks forward to your collaboration ...”


After Sr. Assunta's encouraging sharing, the youth stared part 1 of the encounter: RECOGNIZE - DISCOVER THE CAUSES OF FEAR. Mr. Nguyen Tri Hieu - Ph.D. of Chemistry as the former catechist of Tam Ha Oratory animated the workshop to help the young identify their fears; then Father Joseph Tran Anh Thu – Ph.D. of Psychology helped them discover the causes, origins and ways of overcoming fears in accordance with psychological view.


At the climax of the encounter, once again, Fr. Joseph led the young to the spiritual source of strength to overcome the fear and this source is Jesus. Jesus had conquered and won all fears when He faced with death. He has resurrected. May He sanctify and turn their fears into opportunities so that they are more couragous, strong and able to move forward.


After the lunch and dancing performances, young people entered the part II: OVERCOME FEARS AND RESPOND TO GOD’S CALL which was animated by Mr. Thang - Vides FMA.


With the modern play of "Giona", the participants experienced the Message of God: God has a plan for each one. If that person does not take responsibility, he/ she will leave a hole. The quiet moments helped them look back on themselves to humbly apologisze to God for fleeing from sacrifices, sharings…and sometimes even the plan of the Lord on their lives.


Then together they made a living experience with Mother Mary, contemplated and discovered her face with belief and trust in the Lord, and the spirit of serving, with sacrifices and forgiveness... and like St. John welcomed Mary to their home.


The moment of silence in honor of Mary was celebrated to devoutly entrust their entire journey of life to Mary. Hopefully we all run to her to ask for guide us on right ways.


Closing the encounter, the young people expressed their gratitude to Sr Assunta, Sr Rosa, the Superiors, the Sister, the Organizing Committee, the FMA past pupils and cooperators, etc... and to those who collaborated with the sisters to organize this meaningful meeting. May God grant upon on them His abundant blessings.


Sr. Maria Assunta aslo reminded them: "Do not be afraid! But move forward with joy and love."


Sr. Rosa also wished them: in God, with God nothing can scare us.


May all of young people who took part in the encounter be brave to carry out God’s plan and proclaim the Good News for the world today.




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