The three-day event (20 to 22 July), organised by the Youth Ministry Committee of the Vietnam Catholic Bishops’ Council, brought together four bishops, about 25 priests and nuns involved with youth as well as more than 100 young people from 26 different dioceses.
“We had planned to organise the meeting in Ba Lang parish, Thanh Hoa Diocese, but we were unable to get help from local authorities,” said Bishop Joseph Vu Van Thien, head of the Youth Ministry Committee. “So we just put on a smaller workshop that allowed us to engage in a deeper discussion”.
“During the meeting, we aimed our discussions at religious living” but also addressed the “issue of HIV/AIDS to promote the protection of life.” In addition, “we focused on helping young people think about how to live their faith as well as ways to make the youth ministry more effective in promoting the faith in today’s life.”
The seminar was one of the many activities organised for the jubilee of the Vietnamese Church in preparation of the ‘2010 Conference of the people of God’ scheduled to take place next October in Saigon, which will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Bishops’ Council.
Currently, Vietnamese Catholics are involved in jubilee celebrations marking the 350th anniversary of the country’s first two dioceses, Dang Trong and Dang Ngoai (respectively in northern and southern Vietnam. The 14-month event opened on 24 November 2009 and will close on 6 January 2011.