During the last week of May, Alberto was in Beijing for a series of meetings with the two Claretian missionaries in Beijing. They both teach at the National Catholic Seminary. Paco teaches Church History (in Chinese!) and Sid teaches English to the seminarians and priests. Both are very well received and welcomed at the seminary.
With Paco and Sid we evaluated our present work in China and all the new possibilities that are opening up to us. We met with the Rector and the Dean of Studies of the seminary and later with Mr. Liu Bai Nian, the Director of the Administrative Commission of Catholic Church in China.
The work of the Claretians in China is quite unique. We work completely in the open, always stressing that our mission is to help in the formation of evangelizers and the need of the local Church. We do only what is allowed for us to do – and this is plenty!
Seminary Library: There are 12 major seminaries in China. All of them need to update their libraries. Catholic publishing houses, mainly in USA, have already accepted our invitation to donate books for these seminaries. Their donations will be consolidated and Mr. Liu will get the necessary clearance to get the books from customs. We will also provide books in Chinese from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Daily Gospel 2008 in Chinese: the preparation is almost complete. Mr. Liu suggested that we print 100,000 copies for distribution to Catholics, especially in rural areas.
We continue translating theological books into Chinese and, at the same time, encourage Chinese theologians to share their vision of the Church with the rest of the world.
We also visited the largest bookstores in Beijing. Some books in English are sold in these bookstores. We talked with the managers and presented our English Pastoral Bible and other books published by Claretian Publications with the offer that these books be sold and distributed in China. We are waiting for their answer.
We met with young lay missionaries from Taiwan who came to China to share their faith experience and give seminars to Catholic leaders. And also with Raphael, a newly baptized Catholic who is finishing his university studies with honors and wants to “work for the Church.”