While Star Street in Wanchai is better known for its chic dining options than for cultivating a sense of spiritual calm, over the past year people have been finding out that there is indeed a spiritual oasis there. Since April 2014, the Diocesan English Youth (DEY) has been holding a young adult Eucharistic Adoration evening at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish on the first Tuesday of every month.
|The Youth Coordinators with Bishop Joseph Ha, Auxiliary Bishop of Hong Kong, (standing third from left)|
after the one-year anniversary of Youth Adoration in Our Lady of mount Carmel Church, Wanchai
Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha joined the March 3 service to help mark the event’s first anniversary, together with Father Jose Cherukara, spiritual director for DEY, along with around 80 people of all ages, including teenagers, who came to pray and be with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
The idea for a monthly activity came about when DEY was looking for ways to better minister to young English-speaking Catholics. They took their cue from Nightfever, an initiative started by young people in Germany following World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, who seeking to share their deep longing for Christ with their peers, leading them to seek new forms of encounter.One way was to invite young people to stop by a church for a few quiet moments with God before continuing on with their evening.
DEY’s monthly Eucharistic Adoration takes a similar approach, adopting a worship style that appeals to some of the sensibilities of young people. Between 8.00pm and 10.00pm, people can spend time to pray and adore the Blessed Sacrament.
One aspect of the evening that people have found the most attractive is the music, a blend of traditional hymns,Taizé, and other contemporary songs. The sound of the organ, guitar, violin and flute helps to create a unique atmosphere for worship that young people don’t often find in this city.
The music is complemented by a few readings and reflections as well as periods of silence.
Additionally, confession is available for those wishing to avail of the sacrament.
For many, the service has become a welcome respite from their busy work and study lives, drawing between 50 to 80 people each month.