Vietnam's young Catholics must evangelize among youths of other faiths

Many young Catholics who are interested in evangelization ask what ways the Church has to spread the faith among non-Christian youths. This good question reflects youths' concerns and interest in the Church.

Sep 11, 2021

Catholic youths attend a thanksgiving Mass ending their voluntary service at a healthcare center for Covid-19 patients on Sept. 7 in Bien Hoa. (Photo courtesy of giaophanxuanloc.net)

VIETNAM: Many young Catholics who are interested in evangelization ask what ways the Church has to spread the faith among non-Christian youths. This good question reflects youths' concerns and interest in the Church. They must be so ecstatic about their faith to think about spreading it among other youths.

Catholics are only a small minority in Vietnam, Catholic youths work with most people who do not share their religion in their work environment. Therefore, it is eminently desirable to share faith with others. In his 2019 message to Vietnamese Catholic youths, Pope Francis reminded them of the mission of bearing witness and evangelizing young pagans who have the right to hear the Good News.

When asking about the Church's ways of evangelization, many people will probably picture the image of a structured and hierarchical Church in which clergy and religious map directions. That way of thinking needs to be broadened and more balanced. In reality, clergy and religious are, after all, just a minority in the heart of the Church. Most of the members that make up the Church are the community of God's people — laypeople living their vocation in society.

Youths who have been baptized and educated in the Catholic faith have a duty to evangelize and preach the faith to those who do not yet know God. Those in charge in the Church can create many programs, activities, directions, plans and strategies, but it is the young people who carry out those programs who are the first-hand witnesses converting the minds and hearts of other youths around them.

The Church relies on young Catholics to spread the faith in God to pagan youths.

Who are young Catholics? They are full members of the Church. In daily life, they directly interact with followers of other faiths. Therefore, any young Catholic can be the face of the Church. Whether people of other faiths gain a favorable or negative impression of the Catholic faith, and want to embrace Catholicism or not, entirely depends on their impression of young Catholics.

People could not love the Church because of its good teachings but because of its inspiring examples of life. A hundred good teachings are not necessarily as effective as a good example of life. Many youths are interested in the Church simply because they admire other young people in the Church, finding beauty, attraction and personalities that they long to be.

The Church requires young Catholics who dare live out their faith in the heart of the world. The Church needs Catholics' jovial personalities to speak to non-Catholics about the practical value of the Catholic faith and moral convictions in modern society.

While Vietnam sees the decline and fall of morality because of fostering economic development, nothing is more precious than faith in young people's preparations for life. In the treasury of the Catholic faith, countless moral lessons teach youths how to live well and humanely. It must take faith to have a spiritual outlook on life. Having strong faith as a pillar can help youths overcome tumultuous times in their lives. Faith, when shared properly, can be received well and certainly encourages young people to live more peacefully and happily.--ucanews.com

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