Live the Gospel in multi-cultural Asia!

Yogyakarta (Indonesia). From 30 July to 9 August 2017, at Yogyakarta, the 7th Day of Asiatic Youth took place (AYD) on the theme: Live the Gospel in Multi-cultural Asia. The event is promoted every three years and is organized by the Federation of the Asiatic Episcopal Conference, by the Office of Laity and Families, by the Youth Department, and by the hosting Country.

The objective of the days is to encourage and accompany the young people of Asia to live and promote a ‘culture of solidarity and encounter with others and to gain greater awareness of the contribution to give to the Church and to society’.

Msgr. Pius Riana Prapdi, head of the Episcopal Commission for Youth, affirmed: “We desire to accompany the young people in developing in themselves solidarity and social sensibility for the challenges that the People of Asia are facing today like poverty, environmental degradation, abuse of human rights, drugs, intolerance, and injustice”. He added: “Today, the differences and diversities of the Asiatic nations are a wealth that we are called to use. Through the encounter of Catholic youth coming from various countries, we hope they will share experiences, reflections, and intuitions of faith, so as to strengthen their trust for a better future”.

The days were lived in three phase: One phase of Days in the Dioceses, some days in the city of the central seat (2-6 August), and then the meeting of the heads of Youth Pastoral on August 6-9. The encounter during the week allowed the youth from Asia to experience the Gospel with others from diverse cultures, to see how the modern world studies the Gospel, and how it is applied to actual questions like social justice and leadership among the young.

His Holiness, Pope Francis, asks that the young people coming from the whole of Asia listen ever more attentively to the call of God and respond with faith and courage to their vocation. As we prepare for the next World Youth Day, His Holiness invites us to look at the Mother of the Lord as a model of missionary discipleship, to speak with her as to a Mother, and to entrust ourselves to her loving intercessions always. In this way, while we try to follow Jesus more closely, they too, like the young woman of Nazareth, can truly “better the world and leave an imprint that marks history” (Message to the young, 21 March 2017).

The event alternated with times of prayer, forums, and seminars. Present at AYD 2017, were some Daughters of Mary Help of Christians together with numerous young people from Laos, India, China, and Timor.

Sr. Angelita recounts: “I was at Yogyakarta, Indonesia. There were about twenty thousand young people from all of Asia. I met some FMA from Laos, India, and China. It was a very intense experience of faith, of international cultural and inter-religious sharing. Seeing all these young people who have a deep desire to proclaim and love Jesus in their life and to proclaim Him in their Nations, even where it is difficult to proclaim the Gospel, I renewed my life consecrated to God for the young. On August 5th, the FMA participants gathered together to pray three Hail Mary’s for the Institute. There were 22 young people of the Salesian Youth Movement (SYM) from Timor.

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