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Hong Kong prepares to welcome thousands of young people for international Taize pilgrimage

Posted on: March 9, 2018 4:48 PM
A Taize-styled prayer service at St Paul’s Church in Hong Kong.
Photo Credit: HKSKH

Thousands of young adults from around the world will gather in Hong Kong in August for a five-day Taize Pilgrimage of Trust and Reconciliation. The Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (HKSKH) – the Anglican Church in Honk Kong – has joined with the Catholic Church and the Hong Kong Christian Council to invite Taize to stage the significant international gathering in Hong Kong City. Some brothers from the France-based Taize Community arrived in Hong Kong last month and will stay in the Chinese autonomous territory to help plan for the international event. They have taken part in local services and welcomed to a provincial meeting of HKSKH Clergy.

In a joint letter to Taize, the Anglican Archbishop of Hong Kong, Paul Kwong; the Bishop of the Hong Kong Catholic Church, Cardinal John Tong Hon; and the chair of the Hong Kong Christian Council, the Revd So Shing Yit Eric; said: “We see in this initiative a sign of faith, hope and love, so necessary today for our world and for Hong Kong in particular in promoting justice, reconciliation and peace. Indeed, we have to educate our young people in this respect, so that they too can contribute to transforming human society. It is our understanding that the coming event would not be an end in itself, but rather a means for Christians, together with all people of good will, to open up new paths of faith, hope and love.

“We would appreciate it if the meeting could be prepared in an in-depth manner with the assistance of our local communities and institutions. This gathering will be a great opportunity for our different Churches, and especially for young people, to work together to welcome young people from different parts of the world. . .

“We cordially welcome you and your Community to Hong Kong, and with all our hearts we assure you of our blessing.”

From 8 - 12 August, thousands of young people aged between 18 and 35 will gather in Hong Kong City. They will attend common prayer three times a day in local churches. The week will also include reflection and silence, meeting in small groups with people from different places and backgrounds, workshops on themes related to faith, social commitment, culture and art, as well as a time of silent retreat.

Since their arrival in Hong Kong, delegation members Brother Jean-Marie and Brother Han-yol joined young people in a Taize-styled prayer service at St Paul’s Church on 23 February.

On 25 February, the delegation attended a Sunday service at Holy Spirit Church – one of the host parishes for the international event – and introduced the international meeting to the parishioners. Holy Spirit Church will provide hospitality to the meeting’s pilgrims.

Brother Lucas, Brother Han-yol, and Brother Ghislain were invited to the provincial clergy meeting on 1 March to meet with the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui priests.

While the core age for the week is 18-35, accompanied 17-year-olds are welcome to attend; as well as youth-leaders aged over 35. It will be followed by a “reflection week” which is restricted to 18-35 year-olds. “The aim of the week is to allow young adults of the same age-range to meet and discuss their future seen in the light of faith,” Taize said. “There will be a Bible introduction for everyone at the end of morning prayer. The programme will include workshops in which young people from different continents, people involved in international organisations, Christian communities and local initiatives of solidarity will participate. There will also be small sharing groups.”