ucanews.com reporter, Ho Chi Minh City
Updated: April 17, 2019 04:02 AM GMT
Vietnamese youths attend Palm Sunday Mass at the Lent youth gathering in Ho Chi Minh City on April 13. The gathering was attended by 7,000 youngsters. (ucanews.com photo)
Thousands of Catholic youths in Vietnam have been asked to follow Mother Mary’s example by respecting human values and working for the advantage of all people.
About 7,000 youngsters attended a Lent youth gathering with the theme “Together with Mother, we trust in God and say yes” held at the pastoral center in Ho Chi Minh City on April 13.
Father John Le Quang Viet, an organizer, told ucanews.com that the gathering aimed at “encouraging youth to seek to discern basic values of life and God’s call, adopt vocations and commit themselves to serving communities.”
Father Viet, who heads the ministry of youths in Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese, said: “Christ is alive, so we also should make our lives meaningful, active and abundant.”
He warned participants that they would die of laziness, physical comforts and virtual space if they lack efforts to obtain noble goals. They should make their own lives better, look after other people and promote the interests and values of communities.
He said Catholic youths should recognize the meanings of their lives through Mother Mary’s example.
The priest urged them to reflect and apply the verse “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” to their daily lives. Participants faithfully repeated the verse again.
Youths in costumes honor a Marian statue at the gathering. (ucanews.com photo)
Joachim Nguyen Trung Huy, who took part in a play depicting religious persecution by soldiers at the Marian Shrine of La Vang in the 18th century, said the gathering would help direct his life.
Huy, a third-year student who studies technology and information, said it is necessary to maintain faith practice and recite the rosary daily so as to overcome social evils and selfish desires.
He said he is interested in the “Click To Pray” app, the pope’s worldwide prayer network, which was introduced at the gathering by Father Viet. “I will download the app to pray and share with my friends,” he said.
Huy said he will spread charitable activities and good works by his home parish on social media as a way to attracting other youths to work for the common good.
During the gathering, participants took part in workshops on how to strengthen faith life, attended Palm Sunday Mass and Eucharist adoration, went to confession and watched praying plays and action songs.
On Palm Sunday, about 6,000 youths from parishes in Hanoi Archdiocese attended a special gathering at Martyr Peter Le Tuy Pilgrimage Center in Vietnam’s capital.
Archbishop Joseph Vu Van Thien of Hanoi urged youngsters to bravely tell other people that they meet Jesus in their prayers and charitable work and to share his love with them.