Dili (Agenzia Fides) - The youth of Asian countries renew their commitment to witness the Gospel of Christ in Asia: this is what was confirmed by the youth of various Asian countries gathered for a week-long gathering organized by the Claretian Missionaries. The Asia East Youth Gathering (AEYG), held in Dili in recent days, had as its central theme "Christ's solidarity pushes us: go, sell, share and follow". As Fides learns, the meeting is held every two years and was attended by 125 young delegates from China, Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and East Timor.
Mgr. Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, Archbishop of Dili, welcomed young people urging them to face the challenges of globalization and a society in which young "millennials" are accused of "not having empathy and of being selfish".
"Solidarity with Christ means that Christians must share and give life to others, in need of help", he said. The Bishop hoped that the young people of East Timor can learn from each other's encounter, putting Christ at the Center and how they can transform the communities in which they live.
Claretian Father Emanuel Talok, coordinator of the event, said: "We are united here as Asians to renew the authentic character of the young Catholics who are bearers of the Christian message and witnesses of the joy of the Gospel".
The theme of "solidarity", he explained, follows the message by Pope Francis during the 2019 World Youth Day in Panama, in which he invited young people to be in solidarity with current realities and to become "icons of hope".
On days of gathering, catecheses, liturgies, prayer vigils, meetings among young people alternated, and took inspiration from the post-synodal document "Christus Vivit".
For many delegates this was the first time they attended an international youth meeting. Andrew Yousung Seo, from South Korea, said that the AEYG offered an unforgettable meeting. "During the search for my vocation, I happened to know the AEYG in the parish. Many friends encouraged me to participate. Despite the first fears, everyone took care of me: it was an unforgettable experience."
Veronique Crystal Rivera, one of the delegates from Hong Kong was "pleasantly surprised to find very open and very talented delegates from other regions". The young woman said she was struck by the people of East Timor, who were "so open, friendly and very talented".
The next edition of AEYG 2021 will be held in Ormoc City, Philippines. East Timor has three dioceses - Dili, Baucau and Maliana - with a total population of 1.3 million, of whom 97 percent is Catholic. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 16/9/2019)