Wednesday, August 29, 2007

August Bulletin

Perhaps the news you hear these days about Macau have little to do with our work as missionaries… This is what the International Herald Tribune says on August 27:

The Venetian Macau. “Unbelievable? Believe it! "
– as the saying goes.

The $2.4 billion Venetian Macao Resort, scheduled to open here Tuesday, can easily give Vegas a run for its money. It has more floor space than four Empire State Buildings. The slot machines, baccarat tables and other games of chance sprawl across a casino more than three times the size of the largest in Las Vegas, making it easily the world's biggest. The 15,000-seat sports arena nearly rivals Madison Square Garden, the convention center has a 6,000-seat banquet hall and the luxury shopping mall has three indoor canals with singing gondoliers; the Venetian in Vegas has just one.

But what is most surprising about the 3,000-suite project is that it is just the first of 14 interconnected hotels being built here by Las Vegas Sands. When completed, the complex will include a St. Regis, a Shangri-La, a Raffles, a Conrad, an InterContinental and a Sheraton, each with its own casino, bars and restaurants. And the project, which will cost from $10 billion to $12 billion, is just the largest of a series of giant gambling complexes being constructed here in Macao, on the southwestern lip of the mouth of the Pearl River.

And now “back to reality”!
Some news about our mission work:

China Mission Procure

A group of missionaries gathered in Taipei, Taiwan, in late August, to organize the China Mission Procure.

Main objectives:

a To animate mission awareness and availability to encourage prayer for the missions offering information about them;
a To animate and involve the Christian communities in our missionary endeavors,
a To be a link between the communities and the missions, to help prepare laity to collaborate in our mission territories.
a To promote economic help through the creation of funds and the presentation of projects.

So, friends, all of you who read this monthly newsletter are already our partner in mission. Ours is a “shared mission for the formation of evangelizers in China”.

You are already “aware” of our missionary activities. Be also part of our mission with your financial help. We need you. We count on you!

You can send your contribution to:

Claretian Missionaries
P. O. Box 1608
Macau, China

It’s that simple!

Lay Claretian General Assembly

More than 50 representatives from 14 countries gathered in Guatemala recently for the 7th Lay Claretian General Assembly. They shared ideas and experiences about their identity, formation, economy and sharing of goods, justice, peace and integrity of creation, shared mission and an evaluation of the movement of lay Claretians. The final document was about the Spirituality of the Lay Claretian.

Two of the participants were sent by our mission from Macau/China: Lelita Salvador and Divine de Leon.

You can visit their site (in spanish) -

Cantonese Formal Studies of Fr. Jojo at the Chinese University

The Chinese University in Hong Kong
New Asia – Yale-in-China Chinese Language Center

Fr. Jojo has been attending some informal Cantonese classes while waiting for the normal course to start. The time is now. Cantonese is not an easy language. It has 7 “very distinctive” tones – so they say! – therefore mastering this language requires the best possible teachers and environment. And the Chinese University is the best. Fr. Jojo is determined to learn it well. Go for it!

Itinerant work…

We are very pleased to share with you that our missionary work, especially for the formation of lay evangelizers, has been quite active during this summer month of August.

Fr. Peter Chao, with a PhD in Pastoral Theology, was invited by Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei to give some seminars. You might be interested to know that Fu Jen Catholic University is a comprehensive university founded by the Holy See. Starting from 2003, the University comprises 9 colleges (Liberal Arts, Arts, Foreign Languages, Science and Engineering, Human Ecology, Law, Social Sciences, Management, Medicine), 45 departments, offering 42 master programs, and 11 Ph.D. programs. The University has established sister-schools with more than 100 renowned universities world-wide and is committed to holistic education. The University strives to provide students with a diversified, whole-person, interdisciplinary, and international learning environment.
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The next stop of our Chinese missionary was in Handan, Hebei Province, to share with pastoral agents:

Hebei Province

Handan dates from at least the 6th century BC. It was the capital of the state of Chao (386-228 BC) and was rebuilt on a site to the northeast during Han times (206 BC-AD 220). It remained a small regional center, with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants, until systematically developed as an industrial city in the 1950s.
The population, as of 2004, was estimated at 1,390,000.
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Next stop was Anhui Province at Jingxian Diocese for more sharing with pastoral agents.

Half Way Around the World: From Beijing to Vermont and Back

After a 23-hour travel from our house in Shangdi, Beijing, to Burlington, Vermont, via Chicago, I arrived at St. Michael’s College ( on June 21 for the 6-week summer course in MA TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Being in Vermont where the surrounding is green and the air clean made me feel quite different after having been used to the pollution and dust and noise in Beijing, not to mention my being a student again. I took an online course last spring, so this time I met my Greek and US classmates and German teacher in person. There were also Greek, Korean, Taiwanese and Middle Eastern teachers for MATESOL and Diploma program. Many Japanese and Korean students and a number of Colombians were also at SMC for the intensive English course.

I really needed some time to get adjusted to the life of a student, with nothing to do but eat, go to class, and study, while also adjusting to the 12-hour time difference, where having lunch felt more like having a midnight snack. I also met the priests of the Society of St. Edmund’s, a French congregation that owns and manages SMC. The SSE priests had been very hospitable in welcoming me to their community and to their daily mass in the morning, and being with them somehow made me feel that I was not alone even as I was missing living in a Claretian community.

The six weeks that followed had been quite intensive, but I was fortunate to have studied with two great professors, and a very supportive Practicum instructor. Many of my classmates, who themselves were professional teachers, had been complaining about our workload, which for me was quite reasonable, given the time constraint a six-week summer. I also felt bored and homesick for Beijing at times, but I had to go on studying for our ministry in China.
The summer course ended on August 4 and, finally, I returned to Beijing on August 6.

Seminar in Qingzhou, Shandong Province

Then, on August 13, I went to Qingzhou in Shandong province to facilitate a seminar for the sisters and seminarians of the diocese. I had been there last year, upon the invitation of my student at the National Seminary. But the holiday I thought I would be enjoying became a week-long seminar to the novices of the diocesan congregation of sisters and the seminarians on vacation, with the seminarian who invited me as my translator.

We began the eight-day seminar on August 17, using the approach of seeing, discerning and acting, quite new to the sisters and seminarians, who soon began to appreciate its value. After three days, we also asked the seminarians and the sisters to group themselves, so that they can take turns in small groups in facilitating the other three days of the seminar.

The Magician

One of Fr. Jojo’s many talents is that he a good magician. At times Fr. Jojo celebrates the Mass at one asylum and then he entertains them performing some magic tricks for his elderly audience.

Books at the press

In previous newsletters we shared with you that we continue to publish books in different languages.

At present we have (finally!) finished preparing the Daily Gospel in Chinese, which is being printed as we write. There are also other devotional books at the press and our translation work continues. Recently we had about 400,000 books that left the printing press in Nanjing, China for about 25 international ports. You can just imagine that it is not an easy job to follow up all these cargoes to their final destination, deal with customs and brokers in all these countries…

These books were mainly the yearly diaries and the Spanish Bible: La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo already in its 9th edition.

At the same time our Macau team, Ian Dacayanan, Divine de Leon and Miriam Cruz continue with the editorial and marketing work, and spending quite a good amount of time updating our web page:

Pray that we may find a good team of Chinese editors: our mission work needs them now.

And, “I’ll see you in September…
when summer is gone…”
as the lyrics go. Till then!