The Church gave thousands of young people unable to be in Krakow a chance to be in communion with Pope Francis and share his appeal for mercy. Dioceses organised two-day meetings with prayers and games. Participants deepened their faith and discover " how generous everyone can be”.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Unable to attend the 31st World Youth Day in Poland for economic reasons, many young Vietnamese have heeded Pope Francis’s request to undertake a journey of mercy and went to summer camps organised by their diocese.
In the Diocese of Đà Nẵng (central Vietnam), the Youth Ministry Commission set up two days of meetings, prayers and seminars titled ‘Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy’" (Mt, 5: 7).
On 26 and 27 July, as many as 800 young people from 38 parishes gathered at the diocese’s pastoral centre.
The event began with a Mass celebrated at the sanctuary of Phước Kieu on the feast day of the Blessed Anrê Phú Yên. At 3 pm, participants did the 14 Stations of the Cross as hundreds went for confession.
Fr Paul Pham Thanh Thao held a meeting on ‘Christ is the Pattern of Mercy. We live in the Mercy of God’ during which he encouraged young people to use modern methods of communication (Internet, Facebook, etc.) to raise awareness among their peers of the situation of children in difficulty and in need of help. "
At the summer camp, the kids from the diocese took catechism lessons, made more interesting by a quiz game organised by seminarians with participants answering questions about doctrine.
The second day started at 7 am, when Mgr Joseph Đặng Đức Ngân, bishop of Đà Nẵng, joined in the traditional music event organised by 21 parishes. God’s mercy was the main topic of the chosen music.
In the diocese of Hưng Hóa (near Hanoi), special initiatives accompanied WYD from afar. At least a thousand young people, led by their bishops, priests and religious, took part in a meeting organised by the Youth Ministry Commission on 26 July.
Starting at 6.20 pm, the local bishop, Mgr John Maria Vũ Tất, shared with kids the spirit of World Youth Day by inviting everyone to pray in communion with the Pope and WYD participants.
On the first day, Fr Pius Ngô Phúc Hậu was a special guest. In addition to being a priest, he is a writer, a journalist and the former director of Dong Tam High School in Can Tho. He came from southern Vietnam to talk to the young people about his missionary journey.
For the kids, Pope Francis’s call for mercy "invites us to look beyond, to focus our hearts, in order to be able to see how generous everyone can be. No one in fact can be excluded from God's forgiveness."