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Interview with Fr Antonio Leung, Youth Ministry Delegate CIN

By Our Own Correspondent

Hong Kong,  17 October 2018 -- Fr Antonio Leung is the Youth Ministry Delegate of China Province, based in Hong Kong. He replies as the second EAO YM delegate before the annual meeting in Thailand, November 2018:

How long have you been appointed as YM delegate?

I have been YM Delegate for 9 years. In our Province, we have two Youth Ministry Offices, one in Hong Kong and one in Macau. The former focuses more on the overall animation of YM of the whole province, including China, HK, Macau, Taiwan, while the latter concerns only the territorial level, another one in Taiwan is going to be set up.

How many members are there in your commission or team?

Our Youth Ministry commission members, led by the YM Delegate, include Fr Provincial, Fr Vice-provincial, the Delegate for Formation, the Delegate for Social Communication, the Delegate for the Salesian Family, the Confrere in charge of Vocation Animation, the Delegate for Missionary Animation, the Confrere in charge of Marginalized youth (=Neediest 10%), the FMA Provincial Delegate for YM and a Youth representative who is also a member of our YM Office staff.

Following the PIME model, as a whole commission we have meetings four times every school year, starting from September, while every sub-commission for each sector holds meetings throughout the whole year. Every school year, following the Strenna of the Rector Major, we set up the pastoral theme which will become the theme of the main activities of the year. The annual pastoral theme also guides the direction of animation for the formation of the SDB and Lay Mission Partners in our meetings.

The ‘Salesian Youth Ministry Framework’ (3rd ed, 2014) is a fundamental document for each Salesian. How do you foster more effective formation of the SDB and lay mission partners for Youth Ministry?

In our Province, even though the translation of the Chinese version is still in process, we have already started the study of FoR, firstly among our members of the YM Commission. Secondly, in the past year, every month, the staff of our YM Office have been sharing among themselves regarding the eight topics of FoR. In Taiwan, we hold courses not only for our LMP but also for the Diocesan YM members.

Thanks to Fr. Fabio, who held a three day seminar in Hong Kong last April 2018, helping us (SDB, FMA, Salesian Cooperators and Lay Mission Partners - 120 participants in total) to understand more on Salesian YM we continue the study in our sub-commission meetings to deepen understanding of the respective topics.

The 2018 Synod is about the Young people. How do you maximize this opportunity in your province?

These two years (2018-2019) have been declared the “Year of Youth” in the dioceses in our Province. In response to the theme of the Synod and the Strenna of the Rector Major, we enhance the accompaniment of youth, teenagers firstly through the formation of Lay Mission Partners as good listeners, spiritual directors. We foster an atmosphere of accompaniment among the educators and the youth.

In preparation for Provicial Chapter 2019 and GC28, we ask some youth to express their concerns, expectations as well as their fears and challenges. We will invite some youth to join our Provincial Chapter. We shall focus more on young adults in their preparation for marriage and beyond.

Moreover, we also empower the youth leaders to accompany youth, teenagers in their local communities. We believe that SDBs are not only working for youth but more important, we are working with the youth, or better, the YOUTH are working and living with us."

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