Dalat City, Vietnam, 15 March 2023 -- On Sunday, March 12, 2023 at Dalat Community, the Provincial Youth Ministry Commission organized the 2023 Congress of Altar Servers for Lam Dong area.
More than 420 altar boys attended the Congress from 18 parishes in the Diocese of Da Lat under the care of the Salesians; the Organizers also invited a large number of altar boys from some parishes in and outside the diocese.
Be Yeast, Salt and Light
At 7 o'clock, the Community welcomed everyone. By 7:30 a.m. the basketball court was filled with blue shirts with the words: "As Yeast, Salt and Light". After the warm-up moment with the dance of the Congress' theme song: "As Like Yeast, Salt and Light", they were given a talk by Fr Peter Nguyen Viet Quang Minh - the Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry.
He shared the topic "Servers as Yeast, Salt and Light". Fr Peter asked many questions to understand about the use of Yeast, Salt, Light and the things the young Servers have to do. He emphasized that “Servers” is a vocation, "you are called, chosen and sent to serve". Therefore, one must live worthy of a server, each server must be conscious and live like yeast, salt and light illuminating the world. Every server should always Speak - Think - and Do Well.
Before concluding the talk, Father Peter sent the gifts of the Provincial, which are bracelets with 10 types of Yeast. Those are the YEAST of: Love, Honesty, Generosity. Responsibility, Purity, Courage, Service, Zeal, Forgive, and Joy.
Next at the soccer field, the servers entered the competition to learn about liturgy, acolyte and other insights in a lively and team-based manner.
Server be close to God
At 10:30 a.m., Fr Thomas Vu Kim Long, Rector of the community, presided over the Mass for the 3rd Sunday of Lent for the servers. Fr Peter - and other Salesian priests also concelebrated.
In the homily by Fr Thomas, the young people were attracted to answer a number of questions related to the "living water" which was mentioned in the Gospel. People need water to live, he or she may live without food for 40 days, but without water for 4 days they will die. Therefore, water is very important. Servers must always be close to God. It is necessary to go to Mass every day to receive the "living water" of Jesus. Fr Thomas also reminded each server to become Yeast- Salt and Light for the earth. He continued with the thought that from the parishes, vocations to the priesthood and religious might arise. If any of them here intend to become a Salesian, please come to the Don Bosco Communities or speak to the parish priests for guidance. “Let us diligently go to Mass, serve the Mass, receive the Lord into our hearts. If you are called by God, respond quickly,” said the celebrant.
Lunch connected to an exciting competition
After the Mass, the servers shared a lunch at the basketball court, prepared and served by the Co-operators of Dalat Center. During the meal, the servers and the parishioners in turn to perform musical items to express solidarity and love.
From 1 p.m. the teams moved to the football field to join the games prepared by the Salesians to enhance the team work, creativity and ingenuity. Although the competition was exciting, but at 2:30 p.m., the servers gathered to conclude the congress. Fr Dominic Savio Nguyen Huy Khiem- gave evaluations about the spirit of all servers. He also commended the groups from far away such as Thien An, the largest participants was Lang Biang Parish, 65, St. Joseph Parish (Duc Trong district) 54 … Next, the different prizes were delivered to the groups. There First Prize went to Tan Ha Team, Second Prize was Lang Biang, Third Prize was K' Ren group.
One representative from Lac Son parish, thanked Father Rector, and all the Salesians, teachers, collaborators, aspirants, and benefactors who have worked hard to prepare for the Congress. The servers promised to be more aware of diligently attending Mass, committing themselves to serve and to become Yeast, Salt and Light in their own parish.
Fr Joseph Pham Dai Quang reminded them: - not to be addicted to anything (games, phones, drugs, cigarettes...) ; - study well to acquire knowledge ; - practice good habits; - serve the parish, serve people, etc. He looked forward to seeing them at the next Congress, with more participants.