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By Fr. Martin Yip

Hong Kong (Salesian Bulletin no. 279 CIN), 22 September 2020 -- In the light of Strenna 2020, how can the Salesian Family help young people to be a Good Christians and Upright citizens in the unique situation of Hong Kong? We report the first of five reflections that are being published in Chinese (First essay on September 22).

Walking together

The youngsters in Hong Kong, after a series of social struggles, including the Anti-Extradition Bill Movement and the imposed National Security law, as well as the attack of Covid 19, are in extreme suffering right now. Under this struggle and suffering situation we, the Salesian Family in HK need a voice to encourage and enlighten us to help and walk together with the young.

This year's Strenna (2020) from the Rector Major is the voice we need; because of the profound significance of this voice for Hong Kong, I would like to write some reflections on the Strenna and make it more practical and more easily applied to the situation in Hong Kong. This is the first of 5 articles published in the Salesian Bulletin under the topic of “In the light of Strenna 2020, how can the Salesian Family help the young people to be Good Christians and Upright citizens in the unique situation of Hong Kong?”

This first article (chapter) highlights the fact that the Rector Major explicitly stands for youth, walks together with the youth, and gives some concrete advice for the youth. For example:

“I don’t think there is any need to accept that social commitment, ‘militancy” in associations that promote the good of young people and of society are incompatible with gospel teaching.”

“For our young people today, used as they are to practical things, to easy results, to the immediate effect of their actions……..(we need to teach them) undertake programmes or processes or to accept the burden of sowing the seed or the long wait before they see the fruits.”

“It is a matter of fact that safeguarded by the ‘rules of the game’ many contemporary socio-political systems control their citizens or keep them subdued far more that we could or would like to believe. Our educational centres need to prepare the young to react to such situations with a responsible political attitude and one of civic participation.”

I believe that Fr Angel is always caring about Hong Kong, as the video of the Strenna captured the demonstration of Hong Kong. He show his care and expectation on us through his Strenna.


The Strenna's responses to many problems of Social Justice: Refugees, Human Rights, Ecology, Trustworthy and Law biding etc. The secular world always has different attitudes to the above problems, which makes us feel confused and even shrink back when fulfilling the mission of education and evangelization.

The Strenna is just like the presence of Don Bosco, leading us to face the challenges of the world, adhere to the 'two-fold expression', and walk with the youth. For the past year we have somehow been feeling confused. This series attempts to integrate these confusions into four parts, and then find the answers from the Strenna. At the same time, it also refers to other sources within the Church and also outside the Church to make the suggestion of the Rector Major more three-dimensional.

There are 4 more reflections that will be published in from October 2020 - January 2021

Chapter 2: Persistence

When the young people are focusing on the movement, is it still meaningful to talk about faith with them?

The first part of the Strenna gave a clear response to the question people were asking frequently during the year. The Catholic faith laid a solid foundation for Martin Luther King’s idea of Civil disobedience. Some Hong Kong scholars also point out that the Catholic faith has extraordinary significance for maintaining Hong Kong’s core values.

Chapter 3: Guidance

The "Strenna" uses a whole chapter (1.5) to discuss relativism.

At the same time, the encyclical " Veritatis Splendor " also pointed out the erroneous values that have caused serious harm for young people, especially to their conscience.

Chapter 4: Changing

"When young people strive to change the current state of society, do we have any successful experiences to share with them?"

The second part of the "Strenna 2020" affirms that young people desire to change, but they need to stick with some principles.

Such as the American Black Civil Rights leader John Lewis, who passed away in July, they succeeded in fighting for justice, for the people but still persist with some of the principles.

Chapter 5: Goodness

"When young people have lost their faith in human nature, how can we help them to see the beauty of life?"

"Strenna" quoted the encyclical "Laudado Si": Explore the beauty of ecology and creation.

This chapter look deeply into the encyclical to bring out the values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, which are closely related to the order of creation. The beauty of all things affirms the beauty of man.

NB: The Salesian Bulletin of CIN is among the three bimonthly editions published within the EAO region together with Thailand and Korea  (32 pages), both in hard copy and on the internet.

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