Xuan Hiep, Vietnam, 11 March 2018 -- Towards the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in the coming October 2018, a conference with the theme: “Youth, faith and vocational discernment” was held at the Blessed Rinaldi theological institute at Xuan Hiep – Thu Duc last Saturday morning, March 10th 2018. It was also the theme of the coming Synod.
The conference was held at Xuan Hiep parish hall with the attendance of Fr. Joseph Nguyen Van Am, vice provincial and also the dean of Rinaldi institute, of more than 800 youngsters at the age from 20 to 25, including the aspirants and postulants of the Salesians and of many other congregations, the students of Rinaldi theological institute, catechists of many parishes, Salesian priests and sisters, and several members of Salesian Family.
The keynote lecturers of the conference were 2 salesian priests: Fr. Joseph Nguyen Thinh Phuoc, Fr. Joseph Doan Hai Dang and one sister Mary Nga, CND.
The aim of the conference was to accompany the young on their existential journey to maturity so that, through a process of discernment, they discover their plan for life and realise it with joy, opening up to the encounter with God and with human beings, and actively participating in the edification of the Church and of the society. As we knew, the theme of the 15th Synod of Bishops was an expression of the pastoral care of the Church for the young, consistent with the results of the recent Synod assemblies on the family and with the content of the post-Synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. So, it was also what the board of directors of the Salesian Philip Rinaldi theological institute desired to do this time.
After some warming up activites, the conference started at 7:30 with the first presentation of Fr. Joseph Nguyen Thịnh Phuoc on the topic: “Church – Faith and the Young”. This topic aimed to help the young to identify their faith in the Church and in their lives. No matter how many challenges and difficulties the young had to face nowadays, the young still strived to make their faith grown with the strength of God’s graces and love.
The second topic was “Faith in the Bible”, presented by Sr. Le Thi Thanh Nga, CND. Faith was from God and His grace, given to all of His children. She insisted that the daily growth of their faith relied on the spiritual encounter with God. The third topic was “How to make the vocational discernment”, presented by Fr. Joseph Doan Hai Dang. Fr. Joseph called everyone to open their hearts and minds to identify God’s will in their daily lives. Identifying and realising God’s will was very import in their lives.
Following the presentations was the exchange of ideas with the lecturers. A lot of questions of the youngsters were raised to the lecturers concerning the faith, the Church, the vocational discernment and the problems of life in general. The youngster found the satisfying anwsers to all of their questions.
The conference ended with the expression of gratitude of all participants and the meal at 12:30.