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2019.03.08 06:07

5030(I)_Learn to accompany

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SYDHK 2019

By Ms Phyllis Tang
Senior Youth Ministry Coordinator

Hong Kong, 2 March 2019 -- The Salesian Youth Day (SYD), in fact, is no longer a strange term in the Salesian Family. It is held most of the time at provincial level, occasionally also at regional and international level. For us, the China province, it is an annual event organized by the Salesian Youth ministry office based in Hong Kong. Young people from all groups of the Salesian Family are called to meet to celebrate their common identity as Salesian youth and to reflect in depth the pastoral theme of the year. This year, the SYD was successfully held on 2 March, from 9,30am to 6,30pm, in Kowloon Tang King Po School. The participation – the youth, Salesian priests, brothers, sisters and cooperators – is again record-breaking, amounting to 600 people.

The key word of the day is “accompaniment”, or to be more precise, “to accompany”. The invitation of the Rector Major to accompany the young is not aimed toward only the adults but the young themselves as well. Deriving from the pastoral theme “Accompanying the young to encounter the Lord and to discern their vocation”, the SYD was designed to offer new experiences to participants through groups, games, drama and prayer. From there they may be inspired and discover new talents in them that would enable them to be the guide of others.

For these new experiences, it is interesting to highlight, for example, the cookery workshop for making dumplings with meat and cabbage, the magic and tricks workshop, and the musical workshop on playing a Peruvian percussion instrument called Cajon. And, a drama was staged. The young actors wanted to communicate a wish that all young people can be the guide of their peers once they have acquired certain good qualities. Guides, or educators, are those who inspire and help others to discover their talents.

SYD was concluded with a solemn prayer in which the Lucan story of the two disciples of Emmaus was proclaimed. The two disciples, disappointed and on their way leaving Jerusalem, were accompanied by Jesus. The participants were asked to recall the moment in their life in which they were accompanied by: Jesus in the Eucharist, a teacher or a friend. These experiences of being accompanied are precious because they give us confidence and, what’s more, serve as reference to our “mission” of accompanying others.

Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, Salesian Cardinal Zen Joseph, joined the youth in prayer as well. He reminded them of the importance of accompaniment – “Living in loneliness is difficult!” He shared his personal experience of being accompanied back to his seminary time. And looking always at Don Bosco, our teacher and guide, he was committed to accompany his boys, and through the sodalities, he extended this idea even among the boys.

While presenting the souvenirs – a glass ink pen - to the honorable guests, Fr Antonio Leung, provincial delegate for youth ministry, explained the meaning. The young people are like an ink pen. In order to write their story, they need someone to support them, to accompany them. As a final remark, he invited again all participants to commit themselves to a guide who encourages others to take up challenges and who influences others with good deeds. “Taking this up would not be easy,” he said, “but we shall keep trying. We know that we are doing something good for the others. If you found yourself in a difficult situation with someone you want to accompany, support him with your prayer! Pray for him every evening one Hail Mary!”









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