Friday, September 30, 2011

China launches space module

China took its first step towards building a space station on Thursday September 29 when it launched an experimental module ahead of National Day celebrations. Tiangong-1, or "Heavenly Palace", took off on schedule from the Gobi desert in China's northwest, ahead of China's National Day on October 1.

A carrier rocket loaded with an unmanned space lab module blasts off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Welcome to the Macau - China Bulletin, September 2011

If you are one of our readers interested in reading
some in-depth articles about China,
then this free magazine is for you:

Free Magazine
Religions & Christianity in Today’s China

E-Journal RCTC
Religions & Christianity in Today’s China
is an English language e-journal.

The China-Zentrum e.V.
The China-Zentrum e.V. was established in 1988.
The aim of this officially recognized nonprofit organization
is to foster encounters and exchange between cultures
and religions in the West and in China.
The members of the China Center
are Catholic aid organizations,
religious orders, and dioceses
in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

Our main tasks
The Center’s aims as laid out in its Statutes
in the following sectors:
Information and Conscientization
about Religions in China

Research on Christianity and its history in China
as well as on the other religions present
in the Chinese cultural sphere

Taiwan Catholic University sets up recruiting office in Beijing

Taiwan's Fu Jen Catholic University opened an office in Beijing to recruit more students from the Chinese mainland. As one of the island's most prestigious universities, Fu Jen has recruited 99 mainland students so far this year, exceeding its planned number of 40, said Liu Zhaoming, head of the university's office of academic affairs.
The university plans to offer scholarships and give primary admission to students selected from prestigious high schools on the mainland starting from next year, according to a statement issued by the university on Saturday.
This year, Taiwan began allowing students from six mainland provinces and municipalities - Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Fujian and Guangdong - to study at the island's 100-plus universities and colleges.
"The scholarship program is specifically designed for mainland students," said Liu, adding that the program provides not only a fellowship, but also includes guidance for the students' studies, internships and employment.

China vows to convert 10 million illiterate people in five years

China plans to reduce the number of illiterate people by 2 million each year over the next five years, according to an outline issued Wednesday by the Ministry of Education.
"There are still 50 million illiterate people in China, most of whom live in remote and rural areas with poor transportation and telecommunications," an official with the ministry said.
The illiteracy ratio on the Chinese mainland declined to 4.08 percent in 2010 from 6.72 percent in 2000, according to the data from China's sixth national census released earlier this year.
To better help these people learn how to read and write, the ministry has issued a set of guidelines on creating reading courses and compiling teaching materials especially for illiteracy eradication. In the guidelines, one course was designed to teach illiterate people how to correctly read, pronounce, write, and use 592 of the most frequently used Chinese characters.
When the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, the illiterate population accounted for 80 percent of its 600 million people.

Sparcs of Church’s Life in China

Training lay leaders
Shanxi Province

A Training conference for the Leaders of the Catholic Church of Fenyang Diocese, Shanxi, China, was held from August 3-6th. During this training conference, the speakers were the selected leaders of the Church from Jiaokou and Shilou parishes, Sisters and priests, all the participants were actively involved in interaction, and were aware of their important mission and responsibility.

A parish that sets example

Zhejiang Province

On the day the Church celebrates the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Yongqiang Parish in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province celebrated the new life of over 100 people, among them 41 were newly baptized Catholics, and 71 who received confirmation. All of them are from Yongqiang. It is reported that there are at least 300 baptisms every year. There are more than 10,000 Catholics in the parish of Yongqiang.

Yongqiang Parish in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province

Undoing 5,000 years of patriarchy

China’s State Council recently issued the National Program on the Development of Chinese Women (2011-2020), which sets targets for greater women’s participation in decision-making and management in the next 10 years.

It also proposes that governments above the county level have more than one female cadre in the leadership and the proportion to be increased gradually.

As of 2010, according to government statistics, there were 28 female vice governors in 26 provincial and regional governments.

Patriarchy has been the dominating social system in 5,000 years of Chinese civilization. In Chinese tradition, men are the head of the family and the society. Women have little say in the families. Some girls, who are born to poor families, are prevented from getting education to give way to their brothers. Today, there is progress for women to be able to enjoy such social status in China.

The largest WYD delegation from the diocese of Hong Kong

Bishop John Tong Commissioning the 800 strong
Hong Kong Delegation for the WYD
Over 800 young people and 21 priests from Hong Kong left on August 5, for Madrid to attend World Youth Day (WYD). The participation in the WYD has a larger delegation of young people compared to the previous World Youth Day
Some of the Youth from Hong Kong with the Chinese flag at the WYD, in Madrid

On July 31, Mgr. John Tong, Bishop of Hong Kong, officially gave the mandate to the participants with a Mass in the Chapel of Christ the King at St. Paul’s School, concelebrated by 21 priests of the delegation.

The Hong Kong - China Delegation

Hong Kong was represented by more than 200 young people from the diocese under the direction of the Diocesan Youth Pastoral Commission and were joined by 600 other young people from 14 local youth communities, parishes, religious institutions, Catholic schools and ecclesial movements.

Bro. CJ [extreme left], Fr. Arturo [second from left] and Winnie [extreme right] were part of the Chinese, Taiwan, Japan Claretian delegation the WYD

Reflection of a Chinese seminarian who participated in the WJD

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” This was the first sentence that deeply touched me in the opening mass of WJD though I was far from the altar. And when asked, Peter did not even think about it as he immediately responded, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus continually asked him three times and he answered the same. This question could be Jesus’ asking everyone, especially those present at the opening mass.

We must have been asked this question several times in our lives, most probably by our friends or girlfriend, and by those whom we love. I clearly remember my past girlfriends asking me this question and I was like Peter as I replied, “Yes, of course, you know how much I love you,” but I actually did not. Now, probably because of my age and my relationship with Jesus Christ, I know the weight this question carries because once you answer this question, you will have to carry a heavy responsibility. Love needs sacrifice, love needs offering, it needs action, and the courage to overcome a lot of difficulties one has never imagined. I believe that when Peter answered Jesus’ question, he never thought he would sacrifice his life and even die on the cross.

The Gospel in the opening mass of WJD made me deeply reflect on this. I thought that perhaps John Paul II began this WJD for the youth of the world to wake their hearts up, and I for one has truly benefited from it.

Another moment that deeply touched me most was our vigil with the Holy Father on August 21. It was very hot that afternoon and then, it got very cold in the evening, and I was very hungry, even as many of us really suffered a lot that night. We slept in our wet sleeping sacks, which felt awfully uncomfortable, but everyone stayed and did not leave. I do not know why. Maybe because many others did not leave, or because of the Pope, or because of the love of God, or the power of the Spirit of God. No matter what the reason was, it was an amazing experience for me. …
Although the WJD 2011 had finished, I think it is just beginning, and I have to bring this experience to my real life. In everything that happened, I know that God was there, and he is very close with me. I thank God for giving me my vocation to be a Claretian missionary, which is truly a very good gift from him.

Fr. Jose completes two years of Chinese Classes

Fr. Jose [Extreme right] together with some of his Chinese Classmates
This August, I have completed two years of Cantonese classes at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Although no where near an average speaker of this version of Chinese, I still feel excited with the fact that I am through with the numerous assignments, talks, quizzes and tests in the University.
However, the two years in the University was indeed a welcome-break from all the other assignments. Its true: being with the students keeps one young! After years of lecturing, it was fun to be at the 'receiving end'!

Having said that, the inability to understand, respond, read and write Chinese still poses the 'great wall' to be scaled to enter into the hearts of the Chinese! Hope and pray that the same Spirit which enabled the listeners of St. Peter to understand everything what he said on the day of the Pentecost, may work in all who listen to my Chinese!

40 years in "the Service of the Word"

August 15 is a special day for Catholics all over the world. The Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. But for all of us at Macau, we had more reasons than one to make it a solemnity: It was the 87th birthday of late Fr. Bernardo Hurault, the man behind the concept of "the Christian Community Bible". And as an icing on the cake, this was also the 40th anniversary of the Priestly Ordination of Fr. Rossa. Wow! What a day to celebrate! We thank God for the gifts of Persons such as late Fr. Bernardo and Fr. Rossa to the Church, to the Claretian Community and specially to the Church in China! Thank you Fr. Rossa for the witness of life you share!

We received a beautiful felicitation on the occasion from a very significant person - Mr. Li Chunnong, the one who handles all our printing works at the Amity Press at Nanjing, China. To the lines of Mr. Chunnong:

Dear All,

It is a joyful time for us to join the triple celebration, especially the celebration of 40th year of Fr. Rossa in the priesthood and his ministry.

We have been working together for more than 13 years since 1998 if I am correct. Through so many years experiences of working together, from business relationship to partner relationship and now the friendship has been built upon on the trust and the experiences of bad and good and the time of sad and joy that we always being together to face.

Amity's today, if we still could be proud of it, cannot forget about this very important person, his kind, tolerance, encouragement and other good human characteristics gave us confidence which was very important at the early stage when Amity doing export business.

We do believe this relationship will continue and last forever and it is very lucky for all of us that he is in good health shape. We can enjoy time together to see the Bibles been printed and distributed worldwide.

Take care my Friend!


Barbastro House – China and the 75th anniversary

On Sunday August 14
our “Barbastro” house in Zhuhai (China)
was the venue to celebrate
our Barbastro Martyr’s 75th anniversary
and the 40th anniversary
of Alberto’s ordination to the priesthood.

Our publications

Most of the work done as a publishing house in China resembles an iceberg. Only a tiny part of it is visible.
The main work of translating the complete Bible into modern Chinese keeps a team of about 15 Chinese scholars and editors busy. As we write this month’s blog, the Four Gospels, including a new translation of the text, introductions, commentaries and Lectio Divina guide is going to the press in Chinese traditional characters. A book of 800 pages. Here is the cover:

First page of the Gospel of Mark in traditional characters (Gospel text on the left and commentaries on the right)

At the same time we are also sending to the press the simplified Chinese version that is to be distributed inside China. For mainland China we are printing the four Gospels separately. Here is the cover of the Gospel of Matthew, also with new commentaries and a guide for Lectio Divina.

First page of the Gospel of Matthew in simplified characters
(Of course you saw the difference between traditional
and simplified characters, right?)

As you can see (!), on the left is the bible text, and on the right is the Lectio Divina guide and commentaries.

There are, at the moment, some 12 more Chinese titles (besides the Bible) in preparation for publication.

We, missionaries, are foreigners. The evangelization in China has to be done by the Chinese. Through publications, especially on the Bible, and internet materials available free online we help in the formation of evangelizers and grassroots people. Take a look at:

Life is a mirror

Mahatma Gandhi was asked,
what are the factors that destroy a person.

He replied:
Politics without principles, 

Pleasure without obligation, 

Wealth without work, 

Wisdom without character, 

Business without morality, 

Science without humanity
Prayer without charity.

Life has taught me that the people are friendly,
if I am kind; 
people are sad, if I’m sad; 
they are all bad,
if I hate them; 
there are smiling faces,
if I were to smile; 
sour faces there,
if I’m bitter; 
the world is happy,
if I’m happy; 
that people are angry,
if I’m grumpy; 
that people are grateful, if I am grateful!

Life is like a mirror:
If I smile, the mirror smiles back at me!
Whoever wants to be loved, has to love!!!