Accompaniment among the young
By Miss Phyllis Tang
Salesian Youth Ministry Coordinator
Hong Kong, 30 September 2018 -- In Hong Kong, the schools begin a new academic year in September. The Salesian Youth Ministry Office took this opportunity to gather young people from 10 schools of the Salesian Family for the celebration of a Holy Mass. It is important, as the traditional Salesian prayer of studies said, that may everything begin with God, and may He bring everything into completion. This year, 180 young people participated in the Eucharist.
In response to the pastoral theme of the new school year: Accompany the young in their journey of meeting the Lord and vocational discernment, mini-games were set for young participants to test their capacity in sports, arts, music, dance and religious openness. These could be a kick-off experience for them to discover their talents. During the group sharing session, participants were asked to reflect how their talents could be used in promoting religious activities in local community and to discover their companions, both friends and educators, in this journey.
Providentially, it was the feast day of Archangels Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Rafael, which fitted as well with the pastoral theme of becoming a companion for the others. The Eucharist was presided by Fr. Domingos Leong, the Vice Provincial and co-celebrated by Fr. Antonio Leung, the Provincial Delegate for youth ministry. In his homily, the former introduced briefly the meaning of the names of these three archangels: Michael – who is similar to God; Gabriel – who announces the Good News; Rafael – the protector of man. He also proposed 3 Salesian saintly figures:
- Michael Magone, who was accompanied by many “angels” in the oratory. Witnessing the joy of these young companions in prayers and in receiving the sacraments, Magone was converted into a pious person;
- St. Dominic Savio, who tirelessly spread the new news and real joy among his peers;
- Blessed Laura Vicuña, who offered her life for the conversion of her mother.
Young people were invited to discern what kind of angels they were called to be among their peers. They were also given a mission to accompany each other in the journey of faith and vocational discernment.
Let us remember to pray for the young that they may feel being accompanied by God, friends and educators, and then they may become good companions of the others.