ASIANEWS -- Vietnam's young Catholics "will be in South Korea for the Asian Youth Day, praying and striving to live a life in the name of faith and to be worthy descendants of the Vietnamese martyrs. We are proud to be Catholics, and we must all work to bring the love of Jesus to contemporary society", says Mgr. Joseph Thiên Vũ Văn, president of the Commission for Pastoral Youth Care of the Bishops Council. He was announcing that a delegation of Catholic young people will be in Daejeon in August to join the Pope and the rest of the young faithful from across Asia.
The group consists of about 30 young people, who are preparing to leave for Korea. There, the sixth edition of the Asian Youth Day will be celebrated with the theme " Asian Youth! Wake up! The Glory of the Martyrs Shines on You!". The faithful of the continent's 29 countries will be joined by Pope Francis, who in the course of his journey on the Korean peninsula will also beatify 124 Korean martyrs.
According to Msgr. Thiên Vũ Văn "the Church of South Korea is known for the active participation of its laity in the Catholic mission. Much like our Vietnamese Church, our Korean brothers have also suffered cruel persecution. And the blood of the martyrs was shed to prove the loyalty of the Christian community in the nation".
The Secretary-General of the Commission, Fr. John Việt Lê Quang, adds: "Our delegation starts with the belief that it is a segment, an active member of the Asian Catholic youth. We are all members of the same family. We will go to Korea to give the warmest welcome Pope Francis: he is our common father! and I am convinced that this occasion will allow our young people to learn and share many experiences that relate to the lives of all faithful".
On the other hand, the priest adds, "today's young people are 54% of the Vietnamese Catholic community, which is made up of about 7 million people. But, like in many other countries, our society has specific issues that need to be addressed: I'm thinking of internal migration, moving from the countryside to the city. Our young people are often forced to live far away from their families and their parish communities, and often feel alienated. We must do more to help them".
In this context, Fr. John says, "priests must play a leading role. We need to help our young people to come to church, to approach the sacraments regularly. If young people are not prepared in spirit, then the challenges of modern society can deprive them of many positive things. Faith will help young people to orient themselves, choosing the best direction for the future".
Asian Youth Day VI Theme Song: The Glory of the Martyrs
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