Youths attend a Mass on Oct. 10 at Tan Phuoc Church in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: UCA News)
Vietnamese youths in a southern archdiocese have been urged to follow the newly beatified Carlo Acutis by establishing close links with God and other people on social media.
Some 500 young people attended a special meeting themed “Access the internet with Carlo” on Oct. 10 at Tan Phuoc Church in Ho Chi Minh City. The event was held by Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese’s Ministry Committee for Youths.
Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Nang told them that Carlo Acutis (1991-2006), a man of their generation, was a programmer who used social media to unite many people and spread Christian values. Carlo was beatified in Assisi, Italy, on Oct. 10.
Archbishop Nang said God is the first programmer who has a plan for human beings, inviting them to pursue eternal happiness. Carlo responded to his call and adored the Eucharist so much that he called it his highway to heaven.
He said Blessed Carlo showed that all people could become holy even in a society full of temptations to sins.
“We should access the internet and do what the blessed teen did so that we can become holy,” Archbishop Nang told the congregation.
He said they should go on the internet and develop links with God, who is their light and life, and establish links with other people.
The prelate said many young people have qualifications and achievements in their careers but they are confined to loneliness and depression because they have no links with other people.
He urged them to look after those who live in poverty and suffer from distress.
“The more we give, the happier we are. Happiness is to open our hearts to others and sacrifice ourselves for others,” he said.
“We should communicate hope, truth and mutual trust with other people on social media as a way to become holy.”
Many people use social media to spread disinformation, bad news, lies and suspicion, slamming and disrespecting one another, Archbishop Nang said.
He said God does not take anything from them, so they should use their cellphones, computers and internet to serve people.
During the event, participants discussed Blessed Carlo’s life and effective ways to create a good environment on social media.
Mary Nguyen Thi Ngoc from Nam Hoa Parish said the 15-year-old Italian had inspired her to change her faith life. She said she would express that with rosaries and daily receiving the Eucharist.
“I must follow the examples of the beatified teen who set up a website to spread the Eucharist's magic and fervently recited the rosary,” the 35-year-old accountant said.
“I feel ashamed of myself as I spend all my time working and attending Sunday Masses and have no time go out with my friends.”
Ngoc said she goes on the internet every evening to watch films and listen to music for entertainment.
Martin Tran Van Hoang from Hang Xanh Parish hoped that the beatified Italian, who wore T-shirts, jeans and sport shoes and was interested in information technology, will be a model from local youths.
“I must access the internet with holy purposes like him. I will recite rosaries from tomorrow,” he said.
The 28-year-old communication worker said that in the past he posted only his photos, favorite food and clothes rather than photos about church activities on social media.