Asian youth ministers link up in Hong Kong

Sixty participants at the Asian Youth Ministers Meeting held last week on Cheung Chau Island in Hong Kong pledged to use the internet to maintain links between youth ministers across the region.

UCA News reports that this pledge was made by about 60 youth ministers who took part in the Asian Youth Ministers' Meeting (AYMM), organised by the Youth Desk of the Office of Laity and Family of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences.

The AYMM event came immediately after the Fourth Asian Youth Day (AYD), which took place from 28 July - 5 August.

In a planning session for Southeast Asia, representatives from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore agreed to use the internet to keep sharing programs and activities designed for family and youth ministries.

According to UCA News, similar ideas surfaced in the regional session for East Asia, attended by delegates from mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau and Taiwan, as well as Mongolia, which joined the East Asian group for this AYMM.

Grace Sou Sio-choi, Secretary General of Macau's Diocesan Youth Pastoral Centre, suggested at her session that youth ministers compile a mailing list for an e-group to allow them to share resources they find useful.

The East Asia region also promised to contribute content in the form of feature articles and news stories if and when the Youth Desk sets up its own website.

Some youth ministers said they would contact the pool of participants of past AYDs and World Youth Days, which they see as a valuable Church resource.

Fr John Chen Kun-chen from Taiwan and two other priest-delegates from Japan and Malaysia said they would try to convince their respective bishops' conference to appoint an executive secretary specialising in youth ministry, or establish a working team to coordinate and collaborate youth activities in neighboring dioceses.

A youth minister from mainland China, who asked not to be named, added that she also intends to ask young Catholics in other dioceses of her province about running joint-diocese programs that minister to youth.

The Youth Desk announced on 8 August that the Philippines will host the next AYD and AYMM, but dates and responsible diocese have not yet been decided.

The Youth Desk also plans two other major activities in coming years. One is the second Bishops' Institute on Lay Apostolate on Youth, proposed to take place November 2007 in Malaysia. The other is a Asian Youth Gathering during World Youth Day 2008, which is scheduled to be held in Sydney, Australia.

An online youth ministry networking project is already in place in Australia with the launch last month of a new email-based forum at the National Symposium on Youth Ministry in Sydney's Broken Bay diocese.

Asian Youth Ministers Will Depend On Internet To Facilitate Their Ministries (UCA News, 11/8/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences Office of Laity and Family

Youth ministers launch online community (CathNews, 4/7/06)
First National Youth Symposium set for July (CathNews 23/2/06)
"Builders and dreamers" to gather in Broken Bay (CathNews 28/6/06)

15 Aug 2006