Tuesday, May 01, 2007

First Annual Claretian Coordination Meeting for China

Claretians working in China along with some speakers, including the bishop of Macau Msgr. José Lai, the Vatican Charge d’Affairs Msgr. Eugene Nugent and the Rector of the IIUM Dr. Ruben Cabal.

Also in the picture: Claretian Fathers and Brothers Vicente Sanz, Marcel.li Fonts, Renato Manubag, Vincenzo Lee, Francisco Carin, Alberto Rossa, Mario Bonfaini, Peter Chao, Paulo Joo, Desiderio Ching, Jojo Ancheril. And Fr. Michael J. Sloboda MM (speaker) and Mr. Francis Yang (speaker).

The main event of this month has been the First Annual Claretian Coordination Meeting for China. Claretians working in China and their superiors gathered in Macau for 3 days of evaluation, consultation and projections for our new China mission. We realized that in the last year we had made great progress and many possibilities are still opening up for us.

The Macau community presented our “mission” statement:

- Evangelization in China is the responsibility
of the local Church.
- As missionaries we go only where we
are invited for specific, temporary tasks.
- We use all possible means including publications,
internet, language schools and others.
- We have opted to work in the open, therefore
always with a transparent agenda and permissions.

We want to share with you the life and joy we experience working in China. As you can imagine, the meeting was very rich in reports, experiences, dialog, etc. We have too many beautiful things to share. Our space in this blog is limited so we prepared a special web page especially for you with summary reports, powerpoints, etc. If interested please go to: www.bible.claret.org/macauzhuhai

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.

Mission Procure

Our work in China is an investment of the “three Ts”: our TIME, TALENTS and TREASURE. We do this for the love of God and neighbor – as St. Paul says: “Woe to me if I do not evangelize!”

We need dedicated missionaries and also financial support to carry on with this mission. So we need to strengthen our “China Mission Procure” for the building up and strengthening of local churches in China, for evangelization which focuses on training and formation, and to support Claretian projects in China. The center of this mission procure will be in Macau. We need your support! Thanks!!!

More Visitors

Fr. Jesus Breña, SJ, a well known Jesuit who has spent many years serving the Chinese Church. He has written some books and published them in English, Spanish and Chinese. Claretian Publications is very pleased to publish Fr. Jess books, especially in Chinese and English. This is entirely a non-for-profit endeavor and we are pleased to have this share mission with our brother Jesuit. Fr. Jess is also donating many books for the seminaries in China.

Quanquan Chen is a young Chinese man. The Pastoral Bible Foundation is sponsoring his studies in the Philippines for 6 months while he prepares to enter the university. He spent two weeks with our brothers in Beijing and another two weeks in Macau trying to perfect his English.

Fr. Huang Yu Tao visited us in Macau on his way to the Philippines. Fr. Huang will study Missiology at ICLA. We are very thankful to the institute for providing a scholarship for his studies. Fr. Huang has been the coordinator in China of our Parish Library project, a job that now will be coordinated from our Macau office.

Ms. Cuca Carín. Cuca is the sister of Fr. Paco who is now in Beijing. She spent one year as a Claretian volunteer in Chennai, India working in our missions and helping in some social projects. On her way back to Spain she visited us in Macau and Zhuhai. We will be very pleased if she could join us for a year or so and help us organize our mission procure… Welcome Cuca!

Michael Li Hailu. Michael has undergone religious formation in the Philippines for some years and now comes to Macau to give us a helping hand with many of our projects, especially those that require knowledge of Chinese language. Welcome Michael!

Other News

A group of about 60 Filipino engineers work in the border city of Zhuhai that is already part of Mainland China. We were able to put them in touch with a local priest and now they are very pleased to have an English Mass in Zhuhai – there is no more need for them to cross the border to celebrate Mass on Sunday.