IMAGINE a vibrant community of more than 250 young people, gathered in the name of Jesus Christ well before Sunday Mass even begins.
Imagine the joy of the Holy Spirit, evident in every 6 to 18 year-old participant and each of the 50 young adult and adult leaders.
Welcome to the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement (VEYM) based in St Mark’s Parish, Inala, and led by chaplain Fr Vu Minh Nguyen.
VEYM exists to spiritually and socially educate young Christians, fostering an awareness not only of community but also of mission and service in the wider Church.
VEYM leaders were overwhelmingly positive about their ministry and what financial support that they have received through your non tax-deductible gifts to the Annual Catholic Campaign.
“When I see the fruits … (like) children understanding more about God and the Catholic Church, it drives me to continue to show up every Sunday and do my part,” 22 year-old VEYM secretary Martin Huynh-To said.
He volunteers with music ministry and as a catechist, first a participant of the movement from age five.
The blessings have been “numerous” he said, and “the supportiveness and camaraderie within the leadership group, unbelievable”.
Young adult leader Leigh Pham wholeheartedly agreed.
“I’ve participated every Sunday in weekly rituals, classes and Sunday services since age five,” she said, soon speaking about her motivation to lead.
“The thought of being able to give back to the community that had raised me … (was) a great influence on choosing to step up,” she continued. “It’s hard to find such willing youth leaders who volunteer their time to strengthen the faith of the future of the Church.”
Joseph Le, another joy-filled young adult volunteer, said he “has seen the movement grow exponentially” alongside their “bond with each other and with God”.
Khang Nguyen said he appreciated immersion “in Vietnamese culture and language” and as a young adult leader is inspired “when a child understands the loving kindness of God and is mesmerised by His presence”.
Catholic Foundation grants have assisted with funding VEYM leadership training, and faith-based camps, festivals and concerts, including a nativity play.
The lively community will continue to live and preach the Gospel to their members and reach out to the wider Church in their schools, colleges, universities and work places.
“We do so for the glory of God” young adult leader Thach Paul Tran said.
Feature image: Young adult leaders of the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth movement Thach Paul Tran & Nhi Nguyen.