Sunday, December 06, 2009

Welcome to the China-Macau Bulletin, December 2009

Congratulations to the New Delegation Government!
Fr. Francisco Carin (Consultor), Fr. Marcelino Fonts
(Delegate Superior),
Fr. Felix Martinez (Econome)
and Fr. Vincent Lee (Consultor)

The General Government, after receiving the soundings from the members, has re-appointed the Government of East Asian Delegation of the Claretians. The new government took charge on 16 November 2009 in Hirakata, Japan. We wish them the Heaven's Choicest Blessings and a fruitful term in the coming years.

Meeting Friends and Partners in Nanjing

Ms. Divine De Leon has been working with the Claretian Publications in the Philippines and later in Macau. Having monitored the entire publishing projects of the Claretian Publications with Fr. Rossa for years, she had the opportunity to work in close association with the Amity Press at Nanjing. Amity Press, located in the city of Nanjing, is one of the largest bible printing companies in the world. It is there where we print close to half a million copies of books every year. Last month, Divine visited the Amity Press and following is a brief account of her experiences

Fany, Delrita, Jill, Chunnong, Me, Mr. Zhu,
Roy, Gary and Tony

"I remember hearing from Fr. Rossa some years back how the Bible containers sail across the oceans, going to different parts of the world — and you would see in him the excitement. Now I know… I am appreciating more than ever this work and ministry. Father’s parish is really BIG – IT IS THE WORLD.

"Work becomes harder when you do not have reliable and good partners. Thanks really to technology: emails, chat, and SMS, we can deal faster with our clients and partners in this ministry. For me those at AMITY are not just clients and partners, they are friends.

"Nanjing is the capital of China's Jiangsu Province, and a city with a prominent place in Chinese history and culture. Nanjing (literally: 'Southern capital') served as the capital of China during several historical periods and is listed as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Nanjing was the capital of the Republic of China before the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

With my “girls” Fany, Delrita & Yanyan in our
office at Amity Press

"The weather this time of the year is quite cold, but with the warm hearts of our friends, one would forget the weather! The Amity Press has a workforce of 400 plus people. There I met Chunnong, Gary and Mr. Zhu and the rest of the people. We had time to discus and work with father Rossa online. They assigned me an office where I could work for a day! We are now printing about 120,000 copies of Bibles and books that will be completed by February 2010.

CHINA Mainland clergy welcome Vatican letter

Fr. Rossa with a group of priests from Hebei, Mainland China
Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's letter, written for the Year for Priests, was published in the Vatican's Fides Service and Vatican Radio websites on Nov. 16. It was believed to be a result of the meeting of the Holy See's Commission for the Catholic Church in China in late March.
Half of the meeting was devoted to the formation of seminarians, priests and Religious.The document, dated Nov. 10, reiterates the importance of reconciliation within the Catholic community and reminded the clergy to find strength from the Eucharist. It also advised bishops to ensure adequate formation for their priests.
A procession of deacons before their priestly
ordination Mass in Jilin, China (File photo)
Father John Li Hongwei of Changsha, from the "open" Church community, said the letter was timely and useful in helping priests learn how to act according to the Gospel. Since Changsha diocese has had no bishop for nine years, his fellow priests have tended to work independently with little cooperation among themselves. Such lack of unity has caused many problems, he said. Father Paul Bai Chunlong of Jilin, also from the open Church community, appreciated the cardinal's reminder to bishops to pay "particular attention" to young priests working alone soon after ordination.
Commenting on the letter's emphasis on "reconciliation within the Catholic community" in China, he believes bishops from both Church communities should take the lead by contacting and accepting one other. "Three of my primary schoolmates became underground priests and we lost contact. But now we phone each other and meet up regularly," he said.
Courtesy - UCA News

Radio Veritas Asia to broadcast "Bible Diary 2010"

The Radio Veritas Asia, the Catholic Radio Station, has expressed their desire to make use of the Bible Diary 2010 in English and Chinese for one of their broadcasting programmes. This is an added recognition to the popular Bible Diary from the Claretian Publications

Saturday, December 05, 2009

“Letter from China”

In Poland 30,000 young Europeans will reflect on a “Letter from China”
Taizé: Press release 26 November 2009

30,000 young people from across Europe and other continents will gather in Poznan, Poland, from December 29, 2009 to January 2, 2010 at the invitation of the Taizé Community. This 32nd European young adult meeting has been organized in response to the invitation of the archbishop and ecumenical leaders of Poznań. From Portugal to Russia, from Sweden to Croatia, all European countries will be represented.

Five-day-long European meetings have been organized by the brothers of Taizé since 1978. They have been held in Paris, Barcelona, London, Rome, ... These meetings are part of a “pilgrimage of trust on earth” launched thirty years ago by Brother Roger, founder of the Taizé Community.

During the meeting in Poland, participants will spend their mornings in 150 parishes of the dioceses of Poznań and Gniezno. In the afternoon they will meet in the exhibition halls of the city for meals, worship together and workshops on social issues and inner life. In some of these workshops, experiences of commitment to justice, solidarity and peace in the world will enable participants to prepare to take on responsibilities back in their home countries ... During the prayer each evening, Brother Alois, Prior of Taizé, Brother Roger’s successor, will deliver a meditation.

On the occasion of the meeting in Poznan, Brother Alois will publish a “Letter from China”, translated into fifty languages, which the young people will receive upon their arrival in Poland. Taizé has had relations with Christians in China for over twenty years. As a sign of friendship and community, through “Operation Hope”, this year one million Bibles were printed in Chinese and circulated in all parts of the country.

Accompanied by two brothers of the community, a Chinese and a Korean, Brother Alois has just completed a tour of three weeks in mainland China. He will speak about this in Poznan. “What dynamic faith there is among Christians in that country!” he wrote. “We admire their perseverance and their loyalty. Several people told us about the suffering that their parents or grandparents endured for the faith. We met believers who, in their humble situation, play an active role in building the future of their country. In Sichuan province, for example, after the great earthquake of 2008, some went to help offer aid to the victims; they are still there and are greatly appreciated by the population.”

The "Letter from China" and the detailed program of the Poznan meeting will be available before mid-December. - November 26, 2009

Experts urge switch from one child policy

China needs to adjust its one-child family planning policy to fight a worsening gender imbalance and an aging population with too few children, experts said.

The photograph reflects the gender imbalance story of China. More boys than girls were in this kindergarten in Beijing on Friday when a China Daily photographer visited it. [China Daily]
"I think to properly adjust it during the twelfth five-year plan period (2011-2015) will be beneficial to both families and the whole society," said Yuan Xin, a professor with the Population and Development Institute of Tianjin-based Nankai University. China has 33.31 million more men than women among the population born during 1980-2000. The ratio of males to females at birth has kept rising since the 1980s. The normal range worldwide is 103 to 107 males born for every 100 females born. In China, that ratio reached 120.56 last year, Yuan said.

"This gender gap is unprecedented in the history of the populous countries in the world, and will continue to widen in the short term," he said. China launched its nationwide, one-child family planning policy in the 1970s. Though it prevented 400 million births, it has been criticized for leading to gender imbalance, a large elderly population and a scarcity of working-age people.

"From now on, we should launch a new population policy advocating 'two children for one couple', with the objective of preventing a rapidly aging population with too few children in the future”, he said.

HK's Novel Campaign for Vocations!

Around 1.3 million commuters had the chance recently to see Catholic clergy pursuing favorite pastimes in a series of videos aired on Hong Kong's public buses.The Diocesan Audio-Visual Centre (DAVC) filmed videos highlighting leisure activities of Hong Kong's Catholic bishop and a few priests for its "God on the Bus" initiative as a special series for of the Year for Priests.

Bishop John Tong of Hong Kong with his Violin
Bishop John Tong Hon plays basketball and the violin in the "Serving God with Joy" series. The two-minute videos also featured six other clergymen. Father Philip Chan Tak-hung performs magic and Deacon Paul Yeow Yu-hong practices taichi with a sword.The mini-programs were shown every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Oct. 2 to Nov. 8 on 1,600 buses fitted with multimedia systems. They have since been uploaded onto Youtube.

Hong Kong has no regulation against showing religious programs on buses. DAVC program organizer Loura Foo says the videos showed the public that Catholic clergy have personal interests besides religious activities. They provided a good stage to promote priestly vocations, she added.

Merry Christmas!!

We, the Missionaries in China-Macau-Hong Kong-Taiwan, wish all our beloved friends and well-wishers the joys and blessings of Christmas!

And wish you all a very prosperous New Year 2010

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Welcome to the China-Macau Bulletin, October 2009

Feast of St Claret celebrated

The joy of Celebrating the feast of St Claret in China was entirely a different one. The Communities in Macau and Taiwan celebrated the feast with due solemnity together with their associates, friends and well-wishers.
Celebrants with the Bishop Most Rev. Joseph Lai
In Macau the feast was celebrated for the first time. This served to be an occasion for our well-wishers and friends to come together to share our joy and to get to know a little more about the Claretians and their Mission.
Claretians and the Associates at Macau with the Bishop
The festal Mass, concelebrated by Most Rev. Joseph Lai, the Bishop of Macau was well attended by around 100 faithful.
Claretian Associates
During his homily, the Bishop appreciated the good works the Claretians do in the Diocese and all around the world.
Friends and Well-wishers
Like their founder St Claret, who left his own country and went to Cuba for the Missionary work, these Claretians have left their own country and home for the missionary work in this great country of China, the Bishop said.
BBQ was part of the celebrations!

Fr. Rossa attends Frankfurt Book Fair

You are what you read. You read, therefore you are!
The Frankfurt Book Fair is a meeting place for the publishing industry’s experts. Be they publishers, booksellers, agents, film producers or authors - each year in October, they all come together and create something new. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the most important marketplace for books, media, rights and licences worldwide. More than 7,300 exhibitors from 100 countries, 299,000 visitors and over 10,000 journalists.

Fr. Alberto Rossa attended the book Fair 2009 in October together with other Claretian Editors from around the world. Claretian Publications in Macau is in the final stages of its latest project of the Christian Community Bible in Chinese language. The Chinese Daily Gospel, published by the Claretians is well accepted in Macau and Hong Kong as well as in the Mainland.

Bishop Tong proves a tonic for ties with Beijing

Most Rev. John Tong, Bishop of Hong Kong
Bishop John Tong of the Diocese of Hong Kong hopes for better relations with the Mainland China. When members of the Vatican's high-level commission on China affairs meet in the last week of October, their attention will focus once again on how reconciliation with Beijing can proceed after a season of stagnation.
Bishop Tong was among the 200-strong delegation of Hong Kong business, political and social leaders the central government invited to see the celebratory events in Tiananmen Square on October 1 - a repeat of what was considered in political circles to be the honour he received last year as a guest at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing.
Anthony Lam Sui-ki, a religious affairs analyst with the Holy Spirit Study Centre, Hong Kong, said the fact that Beijing had found Bishop Tong more acceptable ... did not mean the local diocese had gone soft on religious-freedom issues. "Before Bishop Tong went to Beijing for the National Day celebrations, he called for the release of underground clerics currently imprisoned by the mainland authorities. It is just that Beijing chose not to interpret it as a challenge," Lam said. Courtesy: South China Morning Post, 27 October 2009

Catholics celebrate National Day

Catholics celebrate National Day with prayers, singing contest
SHENZHEN, China: Young Catholics have celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in their own way – by praying for the country and its future. As other Chinese were celebrating the Oct. 1 National Day with fireworks and performances, one group of Catholic teenagers and young adults organized a candlelight prayer gathering at the seaside to mark the occasion.
Father Hu Qinghua, pastor of the Bao’an Church in Shenzhen city, southern China, led some 10 parishioners to Xichong beach, a scenic spot at the eastern edge of the special economic zone on the evening of Oct. 2, the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels. There they prayed for Chinese fisher folk, the victims of natural disasters in Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia, and asked for God’s providence for the Chinese people. They placed 60 candles on the beach in the shape of a heart with a cross inside. They also prayed that they would be “salt and light,” able to share the love of Christ with others.
The prayer meeting helped the busy youngsters refresh themselves spiritually as well as physically, a participant told UCA News. Some curious passersby were attracted by the reflective atmosphere and even joined in the prayers.
In southwestern China, Nanchong diocese in Sichuan organized a singing contest on Sept. 26 themed “Celebrating the National Day, promoting evangelization.” The competition attracted eight choirs from seven parishes in seven cities as well as one formed by priests and nuns. In all there were about 200 participants. - Courtesy: UCAN

Bible in China

Is this not amazing! Claretian Publications, Macau, utilizes the facilities of the Press in the Mainland for all its publishing projects. The Christian Community Bible, available in varied sizes, designs and more importantly languages, is printed in the Amity Press.

The Story of an Abled man to all the Disabled!

Imagine being born without arms. No arms to wrap around someone, no hands to experience touch, or to hold another hand with. Or what about being born without legs? Having no ability to dance, walk, run, or even stand on two feet. Now put both of those scenarios together - no arms and no legs. What would you do? How would that effect your everyday life?

Nick Vujicic, Born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia, has only one message: NEVER EVER GIVE UP!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Welcome to the China-Macau Bulletin, September 2009

China Turns 60
It is festival time in China. October 1st was the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and celebrated as China’s National Holiday. And this year, the 60th Anniversary is being greeted as if it was the most grandiose affair of the century.

The National Day Parade

The National Day Parade was designated by CPPCC as an important component of the grand ceremony for the founding of P.R.C. From 1949 to 1959, 11 national parades were held on October first, though no national parades were held for the next 24 years. It was not until 1984 that the national parade was resumed by the then Central People's Government at the urging of Comrade Deng Xiaoping on the thirty-fifth National Day of the P.R.C. Since that time, when the anniversary is a multiple of five (e.g. the 50th, 55th, or 60th), large scale state functions may be held such as the inspection of troops in Tiananmen Square. Therefore, there will be a Grand National Day Parade in 2009 for celebrating the 60th anniversary of the funding of P.R.C.
Fireworks Show

Fireworks displays are usually held nationwide in all cities during China's National Day, one of the grandest and most famous being The Hong Kong National Day Fireworks Display held since 1997 in Victoria Harbor. During China's National Day, red lanterns are seen everywhere, especially hanging at the gates of government office buildings as well as all kinds of stores and shops. The red lantern is a symbol of festivity, luck and happiness.
HONG KONG and MACAU Bishops attend Beijing national day celebrations
Bishop Joseph Lai & Bishop John Tong Hon

Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong and Bishop Joseph Lai of Macau have been invited to the Chinese national day celebrations in Beijing, on 1 October 2009.

Bishop John Tong Hon Speaking to UCA News recently, said he hopes the Chinese authorities would start to trust the Church and religion in general. Just as in the past, he called for greater religious freedom and released of the jailed clergy, and said he hopes the Chinese authorities could do more to close the rich-poor gap in the country. He joined 200 dignitaries from Hong Kong who have arrived in Beijing to attend the 60th National Day of the People's Republic of China (PRC) celebrations from Sept. 30-Oct. 2.
Click the following link to read more on the 60th National Day Celebrations of the People's Republic of China:

From Taiwan

Fr. Peter Chao, CMF was invited to the Beijing National Seminary to take a few Classes for the seminarians there and following is an inspiring letter which he recieved from one of his students. The original letter written in Chinese and a few photographs are also reproduced here. Letter from Seminarian Chen Xiangjin to Fr. Peter Chao:

Dear Father Peter,
We are very happy that you went to the Beijing National Seminary to give us some classes -- how interesting they were! We learned a lot and we thank God for meeting you.

This summer I took the books and CDs that you gave us and brought it to Sichuan; good spiritual food you gave us and now all these people are praying for you. Perhaps it was a small gesture for you but it meant so much for us, especially the very poor appreciated your books very much.

I gave catechism during 2 months. People, most of them very poor, came from the villages to attend classes and some have to walk for 6 hours! Some of them have not seen a priest in many years. These people even if baptized know very little about our faith and their education is also very low. They do not know their faith and have difficulties connecting their daily life challenges to their faith.
I am planning to go back again for Chinese New Year. More Catholics will be there because at that time they are coming back for vacation to their villages. I will teach them to know and love Jesus and to live in God's presence.
We also shared your books and CDs with the seminarians and priests at the seminary and they are very thankful to you and pray for you.
I am sending some pictures of the summer class. Remember us and we pray for each other.

Nine Pictures From left to right:

1. Together for catechism class
2. In Shangou - some of them walked for 6 hours to come to class
3. Another group. We used the house of one family for our talks
4.Seminarian Chen Xianjin teaching the Sacraments
5. Beautiful and happy children
6. One class: no table to place the books... very poor children
7. A moment during the "Taize" prayer
8. Bible class in the home of one lay person
9. Old and sick people listening to a homily... no church building there!

Mid-Autumn Festival in China

After an absolutely stunning National Day celebration on 1 October, China continued with its festivities of the Mid-autumn Festival which fell on 3 of October this year. The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, or in Chinese, Zhongqiu Jie is a popular harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese dating back over 3,000 years to moon worship in China’s Shang Dynasty. The festival is the second most important festival to the Spring Festival to Chinese people. Every year, when the festival comes people go home from every corner of the world to meet their family and have dinner with them. It was first called Zhongqiu Jie (literally "Mid-Autumn Festival") in the Zhou Dynasty. It is also sometimes referred to as the Lantern Festival or Moon cake Festival.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is usually around late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. It is a date when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the moon cake, of which there are many different varieties.
Traditionally on this day, Chinese family members and friends will gather to admire the bright mid-autumn harvest moon, and eat moon cakes together. Accompanying the celebration, there are additional cultural or regional customs, such as:
• Eating moon cake outside under the moon
• Carrying brightly lit lanterns, lighting lanterns on towers, floating sky lanterns
• Burning incense in reverence to deities
• Planting Mid-Autumn trees
• Fire Dragon Dances
Click here to view a short video presentation and to read more on the Mid-Autumn Festival.

From the Mainland

Top religious affairs leaders shuffled
The director of China's State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), Ye Xiaowen, has been appointed to a new posting with the rank of minister and his deputy named to succeed him. Ye, 59, has been SARA director since 1995, with the governmental rank of vice minister. For his new posting at the Central Institute of the Communist Party of China (CPC), he takes on the titles of party chief and vice president of the political academy for democratic parties and people without party affiliation.

Ye Xiaowen & Wang Zuo'an
His deputy, Wang Zuo'an, 51, succeeds as head of SARA. Wang, who has been the chief official at SARA overseeing the mainland Catholic Church, has contacts among Vatican officials and other foreign Catholics. Kwun believes he will continue to promote development of China-Holy See relations.

The changes were announced on Sept. 16, just ahead of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on Oct. 1. Anthony Lam Sui-ki, senior researcher of Hong Kong Catholic diocese's Holy Spirit Study Centre, opined that Ye's promotion was expected after his long tenure as SARA director. But announcing high-level changes this close to the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, he described as "unusual."

Church observers and a leader of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA) said they did not expect the changes to impact on China-Vatican relations, even though SARA has an important role in framing religious policy. Kwun Ping-hung, a Hong Kong-based China Church observer, commented that despite China-Holy See relations having had ups and downs through Ye's 14 years as SARA director, they have stabilized in recent years into a kind of detente. During Ye's tenure, he added, officials from China and Vatican have "made efforts in forming a basic mechanism of regular contact and dialogue."

The CCPA official went on to describe Wang as easy-going, with a good knowledge of the Catholic Church, Protestant church and Buddhism. Wang is an "appropriate successor" to head the SARA, he said.

'Underground' Bishop Yu of Hanzhong dies at 90

A low-key funeral has been held for Bishop Bartholomew Yu Chengti of Hanzhong, Shaanxi province, who died of stomach cancer on Sept. 14 at the age of 90. Only around 1,000 Catholics were allowed to attend the Sept. 17 funeral at the rural church in Yuwang village, the bishop's hometown.

The elderly Vatican-approved bishop had ministered in the "underground" Church community since he was clandestinely ordained a bishop in 1981. He retired in 2003. The Chinese government recognized him only as a priest, and local officials expressed "grave concern" over the funeral, but the diocese insisted on honoring him as a bishop. In the end, officials ordered that each parish send only a few representatives, and did not allow the diocese to publicize the obituary nor invite guests from outside Hanzhong.

Despite this official disapproval, a dozen priests from neighboring dioceses in Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan provinces joined Hanzhong diocese's 27 priests to concelebrate the funeral Mass and pay tribute to the highly respected prelate. Bishop Louis Yu Runchen of Hanzhong, who is recognized by the government and in communion with the pope, presided at a requiem Mass in the morning.

Bishop Louis Yu described the late prelate as "enthusiastic" in all aspects. The two bishops had worked together since the 1980s on the formation of priests, the restoration of a convent and Church properties, and the opening of new churches. Catholics from the diocese's "open" and underground communities gradually put aside disputes and achieved reconciliation four years ago, according to Bishop Louis Yu.

A requiem Mass for the late Pope John Paul II in 2005 marked the first occasion that the two bishops and their priests celebrated together. From then, all seven priests ordained by Bishop Bartholomew Yu and 20 priests ordained by Bishop Louis Yu concelebrated Chrism Masses together with both bishops on various occasions including Holy Thursday each year.

News from Hong Kong

The Claretian Associates meet

The Claretian Associates of Hong Kong, who are involved in the publishing of the Christian Community Bible in Chinese had come together in Hong Kong on 19 September. Frs. Rossa and Jojo who came from Macau discussed the progress of the translation and editing work done on the forthcoming Chinese version of the Bible. Fr. Rossa expressed his happiness over the progress of the work and thanked all the Associates for their commitment and dedication to the project. The new version of the Bible is expected to be released in 2010.

When words leave off, music begins

Are we not formed, as notes of music are,
For one another, though dissimilar?

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Friday, August 28, 2009

Welcome to Our China - Macau Blog, August 2009

Claretians in China
Salute the New Gen. Government

Fr. Abella is Re-elected:

The news of the re-election of Fr. Josep Maria Abella, CMF as the Superior General was received here with great jubilation, especially as it is a matter of pride for all in the East Asian Delegation. The Missionaries gratefully acknowledge the tremendous support that Fr. Abella rendered to the China Mission during his first term as the Superior General. We wish him and all his Council Members God’s abundant blessings!

Domingo Grillia from Argentina (Prefect of Economy);
Mathew Vattamattam from India (
Prefect of Formation);
Gonzalo Fernandez from Spain (
Prefect of Spirituality).

Augustin Monroy from Colombia (Prefect of Apostolate);
Emmanuel Edeh from Nigeria - Counsellor;
Paul Smyth
from United Kingdom – Councellor

Congratulations & God's Blessings!

Giving and Receiving

When the poor evangelize us!

One Sunday in August a group of friends organized a trip to a little corner in the Province of Guangdong (China). Ninety minutes away from the city of Zhuhai (border with Macau) is Jiangmen. There we met with about 100 elderly people, all suffering from leprosy and a small group of “angels” who take care of them. We witness testimonies of faith, hope and love! Most of the residents have been abandoned by their family – but are now forming the Family of God!