Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Claretians in Beijing
Our missionaries shared with us realities, opportunities and challenges: What is most urgent, opportune and effective – a new way of Claretian living and presence.
· Our mission in China has to be in accord with the local Church and within the bounds of the law of the country. Foreign priests cannot engage in any active priestly ministry. This is one reality a Claretian priest in China has to be aware of and accept, and so he has to find other ways of missionary presence and activity, for example, as a teacher or an expert in certain fields, or simply as a working professional.
· Possible ministries in the local Church:
– seminars to parishes to help in training lay leaders and evangelizers,
– resource persons or consultants for congregations of sisters,
– teaching jobs in seminaries and formation centers,
– follow up of the Parish Library program started by Alberto Rossa,
– or simply as working professionals, but active parishioners on Sundays.
Beijing is a very big metropolis, so to go from our house in Shangdi to the seminary in Daxing usually takes 2 hours by bus. With the work of Paco and Sid at present, and counting the number of hours they have to travel, they realize that they have to live their community life in a way different from what we could traditionally call life in common. Community life in a vast area as Beijing and with diverse ministries becomes more like that of an itinerant community, but with a fixed residence to go home to.