14 Notes & Comments

posted Oct 24, 2018, 7:07 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Oct 24, 2018, 7:07 AM ]

Asian Conference of Secular Institutes

Dr Ms Adelaide Vaz, President - ACSI

The General Assembly of the Asian Conference of Secular Institutes (ACSI) was held in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam from September 4-6, 2018, at the Pastoral Centre of Ho Chi Minh Archdiocese, Vietnam.

43 years after its foundation, the 12th General Assembly was a landmark in the history of the Asian Conference of Secular Institutes. For the first time, a Vatican official, Cardinal Joao Braz Aviz, Prefect of the Congregation for Consecrated Life, and his secretary, Fr Donato, came personally to experience and interact with members of Secular Institutes in Asia. The ground work for this historic gathering with his Eminence was largely due to the meticulous planning of the ACSI President, Dr Adelaide Vaz, who personally invited the Cardinal Prefect and Bishop Peter Nguyen Van de SDB, and Fr Thomas Trung SJ, secretary of the VCCB.

11 countries, 34 Secular Institutes and lay Associations, with over 170 Vietnamese participants took part in the deliberations of the Conference. The inaugural Eucharistic celebration, presided over by Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, was concelebrated by Archbishop Emeritus Fernando R. Capalla from the Philippines, Bishop Peter Nguyen Van De, SDB, Fr Thomas Trung SJ, Fr Donato and priests from the different secular institutes in Asia.


Indigenous World Youth Day: preserving culture, preserving Nature


The promoters of the Indigenous World Youth Day—the bishops of the diocese of David responsible for the pastoral ministry of indigenous people—have described the event as an "invitation for young people to respond to Pope Francis' call to be grateful for the history of our people, to be brave when faced with the difficulties that surround us and to go forth, full of hope for the creation of another possible world."

The logo features six of the strongest meanings for the event: a straw roof symbolises a unified community walking together; the Cross depicts the Christian Faith "inviting us to follow in Jesus' steps"; cocoa beans and a corn cob are fruits sacred to many Central American communities. The cocoa is often consumed in important community moments, pointing to a spirit of solidarity. "So that we feel like true brothers and sisters, a real family". Plant roots show "our respect for our Mother Earth, that gives us life"; and similarly, a chameleon, which shows "our respect for all of Creation, in its diversity."


Peace without Cross not Christ's peace: Parolin


Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin celebrated a Holy Mass on Oct. 17 evening in Rome's St Peter's Basilica, praying for peace in the Korean peninsula, saying that peace without crosses and tribulations is not the peace of Jesus.

Present at the Mass were visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in (a Catholic), his wife, a large group of Korean faithful, a hundred priests and missionaries, some bishops and many representatives of the Holy See's diplomatic corps.

The Vatican's number 2 after the Pope said that "peace is built by daily choices, by a serious commitment to the service of justice and solidarity, by the promotion of the rights and dignity of the human person, and especially by caring for the weakest. But for the one who believes, peace, first of all, is a gift that comes from above, from God Himself."

The cardinal pointed out that peace is something lived concretely in daily life, as Pope Francis often repeats, "a peace in the midst of tribulations". This is why the peace promised by Jesus is not as the world gives, but as He gives.


Youth need inspiring priests


Young Catholics of India are like the fragile and sinful men and women disciples of Jesus yearning for His living water. These young people are urging the Church leadership to be an authentic inspiration on living the faith and to provide them opportunities and spaces to build communities and experience the Church's mission.

The call was made by Percival Holt, a young lay Indian, who addressed the ongoing world Synod of Bishops. Holt, 25, is President of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM). He is among 34 young people from around the world chosen to participate in the Synod in the capacity of auditor.

Holt said he was lucky to have good guides who helped him fall in love with Christ and His Church and to discern his vocation. But he has seen many unlucky others who have fallen by the wayside, because of the lack of good guides. Rather than "be reduced to meagre ritual-performers", candidates to the priesthood need to be "groomed to nurture and handle the challenges and psychology of young people and extract the best out of them."

Holt described the challenging situation in which Indian youth are growing up. Success in life is dictated by extreme competition in education and career that leave many a youth disappointed, depressed, mentally disturbed, with many migrating elsewhere. Political chaos, corruption and communal disharmony exacerbate the situation.