Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Welcome to Macau-China Bulletin, May 2010

Parish Day Celebrations in Hong Kong
Over 400 faithful participated in a Concelebrated liturgy by 14 priests presided by Rev. Michael Yeung, VG, Diocese of Hong Kong, on 1 May 2010, to mark the Parish Day Celebrations of Christ the Worker Parish, Ngau Tau Kok. The Parish, under the pastoral care of Fr. Tom Peyton MM and Tony Brennan MM, the Maryknoll Fathers, is the one of the vibrant parish communities in the Diocese of Hong Kong.
Rev. Fr. Michael Yeung, the Vicar General and Head of Caritas, expressed his happiness to be part of the celebrations as Christ the Worker Parish is the only parish in the diocese which functions totally in the facilities of Caritas. During the Eucharistic Celebration, the VG administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on 14 faithful.
The Macau Community of the Claretians are associated with the Parish ever since Fr. Jojo began to stay in the parish in pursuit of his Chinese Language studies. Now, Frs. Ezakias Antony Swamy and Jose Cherukara stay in the parish while attending their classes in the Chinese University. Frs. Rossa and Jojo from Macau also were part of the Parish Day celebrations, which concluded with Agape Meal at 12.30 pm.

Macau-Hong Kong Claretians meet in HK

Frs. Jose, Rossa, Jojo and Ezakias at Christ the Worker Parish, Ngau Tau Kok
The Macau - Hong Kong Claretian Community came together at Ngau Tau Kok, Hong Kong on 12 April, to evaluate the varied projects undertaken by the Community and deliberating on its future course of Action, in view of the upcoming General Assembly in July. The Community sets highest priority in learning the language during these initial years of the Claretian presence in the region. Ongoing formation of missionaries, formation of lay leaders and to provide them with sufficient study material through publication of adequate Biblical and Catechetical material shall be the focal point of our Ministry in the Region in the coming years.

Fr. Rossa Celebrates 65th Birthday

Fr. Alberto Rossa turned 65 on 29 April. The Community had a beautiful celebration in Hong Kong together with our friends and Associates from Hong Kong on 1 May 2010. We gratefully acknowledge the wonderful ministry Fr. Rossa is involved in for the Cause of the Gospel in China and we pray for the Heaven’s Choicest Blessings upon him in the years to come. A few stills from the evening!:

Monday, May 03, 2010

Ricci symposium brings together East and West

More than 90 scholars presented papers at Fu Jen Catholic University in a four-day symposium to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci. More than 300 participants from around the world, including 25 from mainland China, gathered on April 19 to discuss East-West dialogue in terms of philosophy, history, religion, culture, science and education.
Father Ricci, an Italian missioner commonly known as Li Madou to Chinese people, was praised for his promotion of dialogue between the East and the West. The organizers had invited some mainland Church people who are involved in cultural research wiht the objective of enhancing and deepening cultural exchanges between mainland China and Taiwan.

Larry Wang Yu-yuan, Taiwan’s ambassador to the Holy See, told UCA News it was good to see the mainland participants coming. There should be more cross-straits exchanges in the academic and religious circles, especially for the Catholic Church, and not just exchanges focusing on the economy, he said. Wang was among the guests who made opening addresses for the event.

Guests unveiling the bronze statue of
Father Matteo Ricci

Cardinal Shan said in his speech that 400 years ago, Father Ricci had achieved the principles of interreligious dialogue as proposed in the Second Vatican Council, namely “mutual respect, mutual understanding and cordial cooperation.” “The secret to Ricci’s success” was respecting Chinese culture without blindly following it and humbly introducing Western science and technology to China. This went against the culture of empty talk among the Chinese scholars of his time, the cardinal said.

The international symposium also premiered a documentary film, Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit in the Kingdom of the Dragon, directed by Gjon Kolndrekaj. Dignitaries unveiled a bronze statue of Father Ricci in front of the Ricci Building of Fu Jen.
Asia News reports the follwoing from Rome:The scientific, cultural, religious dialogue, that was started 400 years ago by Matteo Ricci is still very present in China today marked by a huge economic development, but one which also creates abysmal poverty, conflict and a spiritual vacuum that can only be bridged by a proposal that can combine science and spirit, economy and religious freedom. The Chinese leadership’s own program to build a "harmonious society, a harmonious world" also risks failure. These were the conclusions reached at the international conference on "The China of Today and Matteo Ricci," held 29 April in the sumptuous "Pietro da Cortona" hall at the Capitoline Museums in Rome [To read the full story click here: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/China-in-the-wake-of-Matteo-Ricci;-even-the-economy-needs-religious-freedom-18286.html]

Church groups rush aid to China’s quake victims

Church organizations in mainland China are mobilizing resources to assist quake victims in Qinghai province, northwestern China. On April 14 morning, Yushu county in the southern Qinghai was hit by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake which killed more than 1000 people and injured another 10,000.
The Relief Department of Jinde Charities in Hebei province has contacted its local Church partner on the situation. Father Joseph Li Dongsheng of Qinghai told the nationwide Catholic NGO that quake survivors are presently staying in the open-air area at a racecourse for fear of aftershocks. The road leading to Yushu has been cut off and most of the houses have collapsed. The priest said there is only one Catholic family living in Yushu, where 93 percent of the population is ethnic Tibetan. The three members of the family, which provided the information on the situation, are unharmed although their house is slightly damaged. According to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, more than 100,000 victims spent the night braving a temperature of minus 4 degrees Celsius. Overseas Church partners, such as Caritas International and other Caritas network members, have called or emailed Jinde to express their desire to cooperate with Chinese Catholics in carrying out relief work. Meanwhile, the Catholic Social Service Center of Xi’an diocese , based in the capital of Shaanxi province, has appealed for donations and prayers for victims. The center “feels that it is our responsibility to contribute as much as we can to help the victims in Yushu,” says the appeal.

In Rome, Pope Benedict XVI prayed for quake victims at the end of his general audience in St. Peter’s Square on April 14. “I am praying for the victims and am spiritually near all those affected by this very serious tragedy. I implore God that they may find relief from their suffering and courage in this time of adversity. I hope that there will be no lack of solidarity shown,” he said. In 2008, a stronger 8.0-magnitude quake had struck neighboring Sichuan province.
Our friend Fr. Michael Saso, adds from Los Angeles, US:
The school/orphanage we (Sino-Asian Institute) built in Yushu/Jiegundo, the earthquake area, was damaged, but none of the students were injured! We thank God for this, indeed a great blessing; only the Catholic relief agency form HK, Caritas, is being allowed in, all of the Buddhist monks whom I know, who helped build the school, have been turned away. I hope to go there, or at least send help.

Censors allow Xinjiang bishop back to blogging

An elderly bishop in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region has launched his second blog as a way of reaching out to his flock in northwestern China. Bishop Paul Xie Tingzhe of Urumqi is no stranger to cyperspace. The 79-year-old used to join a Chinese Catholic chatroom and even sang Latin hymns online in 2005.
In 2007, he started a blog to upload his homilies. A year later, however, he found he was unable to login to it. On April 3, Holy Saturday, this year, he decided to start another blog, XPaul1600 to upload his homily for Easter Sunday.The bishop has since posted motivational stories and biblical articles. The Internet service in Xinjiang had been restricted since ethnic clashes occurred in Urumqi, on July 5, 2009, to prevent radicals mobilizing people online. Internet restrictions have loosened gradually since March 20 this year, according to mainland media reports.

He surmises that he could be a target of surveillance. The local government only recognizes the Vatican-approved bishop, who was clandestinely ordained in 1991, as a priest. A chatroom operator who knows Bishop Xie told UCA News that the prelate’s willingness to use the Internet at his age shows that he is an open-minded person. He is “the only bishop that I know who is interested in using chatrooms,” she said. Bishop Xie says he supports the idea of lifelong learning. He has even helped his priests to enter the digital world. - Courtesy: UCAN

First mainland bishop ordained in two years

The diocese of Hohhot in northern China welcomed a new bishop on April 18 after five years without one. Bishop Paul Meng Qinglu, 47, was ordained the seventh bishop of Hohhot, based in the capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. He was the first bishop ordained in mainland China since December 2007.
Concelebrating prelates included Bishops John Liu Shigong of Jining and Matthias Du Jiang of Bameng, both from Inner Mongolia, and Bishop Joseph Li Jing of Ningxia. Some 80 priests from Hohhot and four other dioceses in Inner Mongolia, who were mostly his classmates and students from the seminary, also concelebrated the Mass. Local Catholics said all the 500 tickets for seats in the church and 2,000 tickets for places in the courtyard were taken up.
Bishop Paul Meng Qinglu (kneeling)
during his episcopal ordination

Many laypeople could not enter the church compound to attend the ordination Mass. Bishop Meng told UCA News April 19 that since the diocese has had no bishop for five years, the priests have become used to managing their parishes in their own way. “I will strive to bring diocesan management back on the right track so that pastoral and evangelistic work will be gradually enhanced,” he said.
The bishop received a papal mandate and the approval of the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC) for his ordination. He was elected as bishop candidate in June 2005, a month after his predecessor Bishop John Baptist Wang Xixian died, aged 79. Bishop Meng recalled that he had endured pressure and difficulties during the five years he has been preparing for his episcopal ministry.His application to the BCCCC had been put on hold during the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China last year, he said. Hohhot diocese currently has 21 priests serving 65,000 Catholics. The regional seminary has suspended operation four years ago for want of students but did not officially close down. Seminarians are sent to study in different seminaries across China, Bishop Meng said. Catholicism was introduced to Inner Mongolia in the 18th century. The extensive region, including Hohhot, had been served by missioners of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary until the 1950s. - Courtesy: UCAN

Haimen bishop ordained with papal mandate

The new bishop of Haimen in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, Bishop Joseph Shen Bin, 40, was ordained with both papal mandate and government recognition at the Good Shepherd Cathedral in Nantong city on April 21.
Bishop Joseph Shen Bin
The ordination took place three days after Bishop Paul Meng Qinglu was ordained the bishop of Hohhot in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The main celebrant at Bishop Shen’s Ordination was Bishop Johan Fang Xinyao of Linyi from Shandong province, assisted by Bishops Francis Lu Xinping of Nanjing and Joseph Xu Honggen of Suzhou, both from Jiangsu. Coadjutor Bishop John Wang Renlei of Xuzhou, also from Jiangsu, concelebrated the ordination Mass. All prelates are Vatican approved except Bishop Wang, who was ordained without a papal mandate in 2006.

The recent two ordinations, even with the appearance of an illegitimate bishop here, were a sign that China has been making greater concessions, as it can tolerate some bishop candidates with papal mandates, Church observers told UCA News. While the Vatican and Chinese authorities still have considerable differences, they have shown recently that they are prepared to be realistic and compromise to avoid conflicts, the observers said. Some 30 priests and 1,500 lay people attended the liturgy. Bishop Shen told UCA News that he will give top priority to the ongoing formation of his priests, nuns and laypeople.

The diocese currently has nine priests, 21 nuns, three seminarians and 30,000 Catholics, who are mostly farmers and workers. Haimen was one of the first native apostolic vicariates and its first Bishop Simon Zhu Kaimin was among the first batch of six Chinese bishops ordained by Pope Pius XI in Rome in 1926. - Courtesy: UCAN

Shanghai Expo

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