Sharing: First Youth Day at Holy Family Church Shenzhen


I organized the first youth day at Holy Family Church Shenzhen last April 12, 2014.  I called for three times preparation meeting and tried to write all the details in Chinese as clear as possible because there was always somebody who couldn’t attend the meeting. It was organized for 16-35 years old, especially the single parishioners.   There were almost 40 persons attended it including the volunteers, which were divided into small group of four persons: mostly two men and two women.  Four of them are not Catholics yet, several of them are usually attend the Sunday Mass in the other Church. All the volunteers are volunteers at the usher, reader, or Sunday’s School group. 

Two young women and two young men brought forward two candles, brown color cross (the replica of world youth day cross) and the icon of Mother of God of Tenderness (as I couldn’t find a big icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the bookstores in Hong Kong) to the altar followed by the participants by twos while singing the Chinese version of “The Beatitude”.  Our pastor Fr. Lu welcomed the participants followed by power point presentation of history of World Youth Day prepared by Ms. Lin and presented by Mr. Liu, it’s his first presentation.   Mr. Liu and Mr. Dai prepared the wooden stand to put the cross on the previous night.

Fr. Lu shared his experiences during the WYD in Sydney and Madrid and then led the opening prayer.  Mr. Wu read the message from Pope Francis for the 29th World Youth Day while showing in mute mode the video of the Mass with Pope during World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil.  This year, Pope Francis chose the theme: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 5: 3)  Here is the link both the message: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/youth/documents/papa-francesco_20140121_messaggio-giovani_2014.html and the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-iZAten9MI.

The participants could watch the video (with voice) of the World Youth Day 2013 Mass with Pope during the break before going to a public park nearby.  We had potluck lunch upon arriving at the park followed by ice breaking games led by Mr. Dai.    

Ms. Xiong told the story of “The Hunter, Monkey and Peanuts,” here is the link of the story:  http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/friends-family-substance-abusers/233277-parable-hunter-monkey-peanut.html.  With the help of Ms. Xiong, I led the small group sharing.  Everyone in the group took turn to answer four questions for 3 minutes before writing/drawing their small group sharing and writing a petition prayer for the Youth Mass in the evening.  Ms. Liang found the Chinese version of the message of Pope Francis and compressed it into one page to help them to look for the sentences which impressed them.  Every small group presented their sharing to the whole group led by Mr. Dai followed by games led by Ms. Luo.

After taking group pictures, Fr. Lu shared his thought.   Our praise and worship group led the praise and worship after dinner followed by Youth Mass, which was the anticipated Palm Sunday Mass.  One of the offerings was the report of small group sharing, which was posted on the brown cross. 

Most of the participants wrote “very good” and “great” on their evaluation and wish to have an event for the youth every 1-2 month as they enjoyed the opportunity to meet new friends, share their faith experiences, learn the teachings of the Church besides play together.  It’s first youth gathering for most of the participants.

When I checked the weather in the morning, it was predicted to be raining but God answered my prayer not to give us raining and too hot weather!  We were at a very nice spot under palm trees.  Thanks be to God!



Hong Kong, April 15, 2014


      


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible