By Minh Thu - Student of Don Bosco Ben Cat
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 15 March 2023 -- Lent is a time of preparation for the faithful through prayer, repentance of sins, practices of charity, and fast. People are always busy but sometimes neglect their faith.
The Youth Ministry Commission of the Vietnam Province organized a Lenten Recollection for young people to help them reflect on their lives. The theme “YEAST” was chosen for the recollection according to the 2023 Strenna of the Rector Major: "As the YEAST in today's human family".
Father Peter Minh the Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry presented ten types of YEAST: Love, Honesty, Generosity, Responsibility, Purity, Courage, Service, Zeal, Forgiveness, and Joy. He emphasized that each young person was an individual who was constantly developing and spreading good things to people around.
The program was held on Saturday afternoon, March 11, 2023 at Don Bosco Ben Cat community, in Ho Chi Minh City. The participants were young people, catechists, from Salesian parishes in the area of Ho CHi Minh City - Binh Duong - Dong Nai Provinces and diocesan parishes of Go Vap district in Ho Chi Minh City. In addition, there was the active contribution of Don Bosco students and aspirants of two communities of Ben Cat and Xuan Hiep in Ho Chi Minh City.
The program was carefully planned by Father Peter Nguyen Viet Quang Minh and the Provincial Youth Ministry Commission. The preparation was accompanied and assisted by Fr Martino That Bao and the Community of Ben Cat. All have created a program that brings many benefits to young people.
The program began at 2 p.m. A large number of participants from many places greeted one another with joy. Upon arriving at the gate, all were warmly welcomed and given a bracelet, each color representing a "yeast". Those with the same "yeast " joined the same group. The bracelets came at random, so that they could meet and interact with new friends.
At 14:30, the program started with a lively performance of "Witness of love" by Don Bosco Animators. The young people also responded and danced along, creating a vibrant atmosphere in line with the spirit of today's youth. Some little games were held with the guide of MC Vincent Duy Tuan and Mary Phuong Trinh, stirring up and creating heat for the program.
There was the presence of Fr. Joseph Nguyen Kim Khanh - Vice Provincial, Fr. Nicolas Kieu Long Ho - Provincial Economer, Fr. Peter Nguyen Viet Quang Minh - Provincial Delegate for Youth Ministry, Fr. Joseph Nguyen Tri Dung - Provincial Delegate for Social Communication, the Salesians, teachers, FMA sisters. Especially, at 15:15, they listened to Fr Peter Nguyen Viet Quang Minh's sharing on the topic "YEAST". He helped them to recognize 3 types of bad leaven of today's youth: Hypocritical, Indifference, and Secular yeast. But all could not defeat the Yeast of Jesus. He helped young people know how to be a good leaven. Through the sharing of father Peter, the youngsters have drawn for themselves to be a "Yeast" to life and spreading to everyone.
Then they received the Sacrament of Reconciliation to prepare themselves for a pure soul during this Lent. Next, the youngsters were able to attend the Mass presided over and preached by Father Vice Provincial.
After Mass, they had dinner, followed by a wonderful musical performance, which helped to touch the heart, touch the soul of each person to listen to the voice of God's call. The program ended with a 'send-off rite' with the words of Vice Provincial Fr Joseph Nguyen Kim Khanh. He invited young people "to be good Yeast.” After that, everyone exchanged the bracelet Yeast received at the entrance, accompanied by a song by singer Phi Nguyen.
It is with gratitude to the Province, the Salesians, the teachers and the organizers for organizing such a meaningful program. Many thanks to the young people who did not hesitate to make sacrifice and generously took time to attend.
May God, the merciful Father, always love, protect and give peace and grace to all of us.