Despite language and cultural barriers, the Asian Youth Day brings young people together through faith and the love of Christ. The last Asian Youth Day in 2009 was hosted by the Diocese of Imus, Philippines. (Photo: Melanie Santos)

MANILA, Oct. 8, 2013—Even centuries after, the powerful witness of the Asian martyrs continues to inspire, reaching a new generation of believers as the main theme of the upcoming Asian Youth Day (AYD) to be held from 10-20 August, 2014 in South Korea.

Walking together as witnesses

In his formal invitation to the Asian churches, Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences – Office of the Laity and Family Chairman Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario, CSC said, AYD 2014 with its theme “ASIAN YOUTH! WAKE UP! The glory of the martyrs shines on you” aims to gather 1,120 young people from all over Asia to “walk together, in the world of today, as witnesses, with Jesus and the martyrs.”

Other objectives of AYD2014, which will be held in the Diocese of Daejeon, is “to remember the roots of our faith” and “to re-discover the faith (values) that we have lost.”

Exchange of experiences

The 6th AYD comprises the Days in the Dioceses program from August 10-13 and the main AYD event from August 13-17. This will be followed by the Asian Youth Ministers’ Meeting (AYMM2014) from 18- 20 August 2014.

Aside from being opportunities for young Catholics to contemplate on faith realities in Asia, the AYD and the AYMM according to Bishop D’Rozario, “have been a very effective platform for the youths of Asia to come together to reflect, to exchange views and to pray together.”

The AYMM, which is specifically for youth ministry leaders in the diocesan and national levels, is an AYD extension of sorts, which makes a vibrant exchange of experiences among Asian youth leaders and animators possible.

A hundred youth will be handpicked from the different dioceses, the Federation of National Youth Organizations (FNYO) members, as well as from the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines to represent the Philippines at AYD2014.

Young people representing 29 countries from South Asia, Southeast Asia 1, Southeast Asia 2, East Asia and Central Asia are expected to be at the AYD2014. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]