Monday, August 01, 2016

Foundation Day of the Claretians

Founding Fathers of the Congregation 
The Congregaition of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, popularly known as Claretian Missionaries, was founded on 16 July 1849 by a group of six diocesan priests from Spain under the leadership of Fr. Antony Mary Claret, with an obejective to be itinerant Preachers of the Wordof God and they called themselves to be the "Servants of the Word". 
The Claretian Community of Macau and Hong Kong 
New Chapel in the Claretian House in Macau 
Over the years, the Congregation grew in numbers and spread through Spain and Europe and to Latin America and then to the rest of the world. The Founding Father, Fr. Antony Claret went on to become a bishop of Cuba. He died in the year 1870. 80 years later, in 1950 Pope Pius XII canonised him as a Saint. 
Fr. Jojo Ancheril presiding over the Eucharistic Celebration
on the Foundation Day 
The missionaries spread across the glob and 167 years after their foundation, over 3000 missionaries work in 65 countries in the  world, including China - Taiwan, Macau & Hong Kong. In his Foundaiton Day message to the Congregation, Fr. Mathew Vattamattom, the Superior General had these words of encouragement and support: The first thing we learn from contemplating the foundation scene is the readiness of the founding fathers to listen to the Spirit of God rather than to their fears and pains. We find the path to tread in troubled times by discerning what God asks of us in each concrete situation.

Happy Foundation Day! We are only 167 years old! 
For the Claretians in Macau and Hong Kong, the year 2016 is of significance as it marks the 10 years of the Missionary presence in this region. Fr. Alberto Rossa was the pioneering missionary who came to Macau in January 2006. On 15 July this year we celebrated our Foundation Day with the blessing and dedication of the renoveated chapel in our residence in Macau. Fr. Rossa blessed the Chapel and Altar in the presence of all the members of Macau and Hong Kong communities. Fr. Jojo Ancheril, Consultor of the East Asia Delegation, presided over the consecrated Eucharistic Clebrations. 

Hong Kong International Book Fair

Claretian Publications has participated in the Book Fair for the second consecutive year, thanks to the generous support of a group of collaborators in our mission. 

Recent Apostolic Exhortations and Encyclicals by Pope Francis were the most sought-after titles in our stall. Also, a book on assistance to leper colonies in China written by one of our partners, describing the experiences of a group of friends who were accompanying the leprosy affected for a period of over five years, was one of the popular books in the stall this year. 

Hong Kongers take the book fair seriously! With in the Fair you can hardly walk free - it is a sea of ​​people, especially in the children's section. Kids' education is of paramount importance for the parents. 
A Scene from the stalls 
Partners in our mission
A place for the spiritual accompaniment
If not for the hard work and generous contributions from our collaborators, participation in a book fair of its magnitude would not have been possible for the Claretian Publications with the limitted resources and personnel in Hong Kong and Macau.  almost everything is in Chinese. 

It is not just books, but even magic sells! Fr. Jojo amuses the children with  his magic tricks... 

Claretian collaborators with Bishop Stephen Lee  (new bishop of Macao)

Friday, July 01, 2016

Welcome to the China Bulletin - July 2016

WYD Preparations 

The delegations from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and China have been preparing themselves for the much awaited gathering of the Youth with Pope Francis in Poland in the last week of July 2016. Added to the excitement of the World Youth Day is the week-long gathering of the Claretian Youth in the third week of July in Lodz. The groups from Hong Kong and Taiwan are getting themselves into a frenzy, anxiously awaiting the d-day: date of departure! We leave on 16 July for Warsaw via Moscow. Coincidence, should I say - 16 July is the Foundation Day of the Congregation of the Claretians - a great day to begin "a great enterprise"!
Group from Taiwan with Fr. Bobin, after the send off Mass in Taiwan 
For the past couple of months, the group members were literally on their toes doing rounds of shopping for camping materials, first aid and medical kits, telephone and internet cards, preparing and printing of journal and liturgy materials, Tee-Shirts and above all, going through a spiritual formation. Indeed, the wait has been too long and we are eager to take off! 
Hong Kong delegation after a Taize prayer session 
The first four days in Poland will be days of pilgrimage for the group. We will visit major churches in Warsaw, the National Shrine of Black Madonna in Częstochowa, the birth place of St. Pope John Paul II in Vadovice, monastery of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska and the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Sr. Bogusława Wozniak, a Claretian Sister from Poland has generously accepted our request to accompany us during the days of pilgrimage. We will join the rest of the Claretian Youth on 20 July for the International Claretian Family gathering in Lodz. The Claretian community in Lodz will host us till 25 July when we move to Krakow for the World Youth Day. During the days in Krakow, our group will be accommodated in the Parafia Świętego Antoniego z Padwy (Rząska). 
Plates are empty and we are ready to go! 
The Claretian group from Hong Kong consist of 15 youth (13 from St. Benedict Parish, 1 each from Saikung and Epiphany Parishes) and is accompanied by Sr. Anitha Eddula and Fr. Jose Cherukara, CMF. There are more than 500 participants from different parishes and communities in Hong Kong, preparing for the mega event in Poland. The Diocese of Hong Kong will organise a send-off mass on 10 July for the WYD participants.

Fr. Ezakias to join the Epiphany Parish

It's now official! Fr. Ezakias Anthony Swamy, Superior of the Claretian Community in Hong Kong will join the Epiphany parish and this will bring all the three Claretians in Hong Kong to serve in the same parish. Epiphany church was raised as a parish in the diocese of Hong Kong on 1 November 2015 and the Claretian Missionaries were entrusted with the pastoral care of the parish. 
Fr. Ezakias will continue to serve in the Rosary Church until the first week of August before he leaves for his home vacations in India. He will take up the new office in Epiphany parish in the Month of October.  Welcome Boss! 

Our latest arrivals from the Publisher's desk

The new translation of the Old Testament into Chinese by the Pastoral Bible Foundation is under way. Many books of the Old Testament are already completed. The Book of Psalms with commentaries and lectio divina for every Psalm is already available on sale in Hong Kong and Macau. The Book will be officially launched during the Hong Kong International Book Fair in the second half of July. 
The Chinese Daily Gospel 2017  is also available for the launch during the HK Book fair. 

Claretian Friends' Gathering in Hong Kong

Over the past couple of months, we have been talking about the establishment of a charity organization under the aegis of the Claretian Missionaries, called The Candle Light. 
The Candle Light team with the Missionaries 
The members of the Charity are associates and collaborators of the Missionaries in Hong Kong and Macau. on 20 June, they have organised a fund-raising gathering for the Claretian Friends in Hong Kong. It was first of its kind - conceived, planned and executed - by the Candle Light. 
Friends from St. Benedict Church, Shatin 
The participants spent time in prayer, sharing, singing and of course, sharing of the food! Many of our friends from Ngau Tau Kok and Shatin attended the gathering. 
Friends from Ngau Tau Kok 

From China to the world, Missionaries without borders !

Biblical formation is a project that takes our time and dedication. We learn a lot with the (original Italian) commentaries of Fernando Armellini. We translate his commentaries into Chinese (both traditional and Simplified), English and Spanish and publish them online through our weekly blogs. Of late, we find more collaborators in the project - especially from India.  His commentaries are now translated into some of the Indian languages, such as Malayalam :
Yes, yes! ... 'The fault lies with the Tower of babel !!! The Claretian also have a biblical portal to accompany the biblical formation at different levels: