Thursday, December 01, 2011

Welcome to the Macau-China Bulletin, December 2011

Heritage Mission in China

In 1927 the Claretian Missionaries came to the beautiful city of Huangshan, next to the famous Yellow Mountains in China . There grew a small Christian community. Although the missionaries were expelled from China in 1950, the seed of faith continued to grow and today there is still a group of Christians linked to that heritage.
Bishop laying the foundations of the new Church.
The Missionaries traced back the village some 20 years ago and helped the faithful to build a small Church. But the expansion of the city forced the relocation of the Church and hence, build a new one. Here are recent photos during the laying of the foundation of the new Church:

The new Church will be completed by the end of 2012

The Gospel According to St. Mathew

Yes, that is the Title of the latest work from the Claretian Publications, Macau, done in Simplified Chinese for the benefit of the faithful of the Mainland. The simplified characters are used only in the Mainland China, while in the other areas like Hong Kong and Macau the traditional characters are used.

The Gospel According to St. Mathew is the first in the series of the Chinese Bible project, Fr. Rossa and his team are working on. The Gospel According to St. Mark has also gone into the press for the print.

Our visitor:

Fr. Felix visits Macau and Hong Kong

Fr. Felix Martinez, the Provincial Econome for the East Asian Delegation paid a short visit to Macau and Hong Kong from 22 - 24 November.

Caritas Bazaars raise over $4 million in Hong Kong

Fun-filled events at Cheung Chau, Shatin and Tsuen Wan closed out the Caritas Bazaar season for 2011. As at November 21, over $4 million had been raised. Over 100,000 people dropped in at the six bazaars—including those at Victoria Park and Tuen Mun on November 6, and Fa Hui Park, Kowloon on November 11.
Fr. Tony Brennan, MM, who celebrates his 5o years of
Ordination this year,
at the Caritas Bazaar at Boundary Street

“The Caritas Bazaar is made possible through the efforts of many different sectors in our Church and society,” Bishop John Tong Hon said at the opening of the bazaar season in Victoria Park, Causeway Bay, on November 6. “The fund raising is evidence of a deep love and care in our society," he added.

Groups from various schools showed off their talent on stage, giving people a taste of their abilities in song, music, dance and gymnastics. The happy-go-lucky atmosphere generated in the park is a reflection of what people can do together when good will and care for neighbour are at the heart of any gathering of people.

Understanding the new English translation of the Mass

Renowned liturgist Father Anscar Chupungco, Filipino Benedictine, helped a gathering of round 300 people in Hong Kong on November 18 to understand the the new translation of the English Mass.Speaking on the occasion, he said it was more important for the faithful to "understand what it [the new traslation] is not, as it is to understand what it is,”

Father Chupungco pointed out that the new translation has departed from the concept of vernacular, which is understood as language that is self-explanatory and communicates its meaning without much explanation. However, this is not true of the new translation, which seeks to introduce concepts that do not exist in English-speaking cultures and, consequently, the words or grammatical constructions to express them do not exist either.
Fr Anscar Chupungco
Father Chupungco pointed to the controversial response to the greeting, “The Lord be with you,” as being a prime example. The liturgist noted that the response, “And with your spirit,” makes no sense in English, as it is a concept that is non-existent in the language. However, he said that the original Latin is referring to a distinction in ancient Roman and Greek culture that differentiated between soul, body and spirit in a person, and by addressing the spirit, it was referring to what is most fundamental and noble.

However, the Diocese of Hong Kong has decided that it would be better to take a little more time to prepare the faithful for the new text in terms of catechesis, and so the faithful of Hong Kong will need to wait until December 2012 before being able to say "And with your spirit".

He spoke of other areas, which need clarification, noting that without detailed explanation they will be problematic also, but with proper catechesis can help people to gain a greater appreciation of the Mass.

He added that while the new rubric demands strict reading from the prescribed text, he is sure that God would forgive a priest for expressing something of himself within the celebration. Nevertheless, he concluded that it does introduce concepts, which if unearthed, can reveal liturgical treasures that can help to give us a deeper appreciation of the liturgy of the Mass.

Hong Kong receives relics of Blessed John Paul II

In the end, this is another one of his small "miracles". If the Blessed John Paul II had expressed his desire to visit China several times during his pontificate, always clashing with the snarling refusals of the Government, now Pope John Paul II has found another way to land in the "Celestial Empire". The Relics of of Pope Blessed John Paul II were welcomed into the diocese of Hong Kong at a special Mass celebrated in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on November 12 by Bishop John Tong Hon.
He explained that the lock of hair of the blessed pope can at least be housed on Chinese soil and he will have a connection with the country in death that he could never have in life. “Although it is not convenient for mainland Chinese to visit the Vatican, millions of them now come to Hong Kong every year for shopping and sightseeing,” Bishop Tong pointed out. “During these days, they will have every chance to pray in the presence of his relic.”

Monsignor Paul Russell, Vatican's chargé d’affaires in Taiwan,
handing over the relic of

Bl. Pope John Paul
to Bishop John Tong Hon

The bishop thanked the chargé d’affaires from the Taiwan apostolic delegation, Monsignor Paul Russell, for carrying the precious relics of the late pope to Hong Kong. Handing over the relic to Bishop Tong, Monsignor Paul Russell said, "Our late Pope longed to come to China, but could not; and now he is here"!

During his homily he made a strong appeal to all young people in the diocese to be inspired by Blessed John Paul and respond to the call to priesthood and religious life. “Through his intercession, may you answer the call to follow me,” he said, explaining that the diocese is currently in great need of religious vocations, as there are only 15 students in the Holy Spirit Seminary. “Our diocese is facing a serious vocation shortage,” he explained. “Please pray for that number to increase from 15 to five-zero (50).”

Interview with Fr. Jojo in the weekly newspaper "O Clarim"

Fr. Jojo was interviewed by the weekly newspaper "O Clarim" after his recent visit to Indonesia. He is already popular in Macau with his well appreciated magical tricks and with his selfless ministry among the poor, the sick and suffering and the youth.

In the interview, he recognises the need for reopening of the Diocesan Seminary to cater to the aspiring youth to pursue their studies to priesthood.

To put the brakes ...!

We had our share of anxiety too in the earlier part of November! Fr. Rossa had a bacterial infection which appeared a bit dangerous. He had to fly to Manila to meet his personal doctor and was admitted int the hospital for a couple of days. But, as Ms. Divine of the Claretian Publications says, "the only way to keep him from being restless was to get the Wi-fi and keep him connected"!

No wonder, he contined his job from the hospital room, giving instructions to the editors and printers in China and Macau! Our good frined from Bangalore send him a "Get wll soon" message with a difference! When the Pastoral Bible replaces the IV fluids, no wonder why he had a speedy recovery!

Fr. Jose bgins his ministry in the diocese of Hong Kong

After a couple years of Chinese language - Cantonese - studies, our colleague Fr. José Cherukara has begun his new ministry on November 1 in the parish of St. Benedict. He himself writes:

The Parish

It's a new parish, with a history of 25 years. Parish has a multiple use building with 5 floors. Out of 300 Catholics in 1987 the number has increased to 3000 today.
We are 4 priests in the parish, one of whom is now retired. We have six Masses on Sunday, including one on Saturday evening.

My new ministry:

Only a month ago I'm in this parish. This is a very active parish and offers great opportunities for a new priest like me. As I begin the ministry in the Parish, I am given the responsibility for the care of the English Speaking community of the Parish.
Altar Servers' Gathering
Within the parish territory, there are four major hospitals and we take care of the pastoral needs of the patients by regular visits to these hospitals.

Besides working in the parish, I have also a couple of responsibilities in the Diocesan Commission for Youth and in the Commission for the Catholic Communication.

My hopes and challenges:

The parish provides a an extensive scope for the ministry, and I'm glad to be pretty busy at the service of the Church. This is my belief: If the Lord has brought me to this ministry, He will give me the strength to carry it out. Hence, no fears!

The main hurdle is language. After two years of intensive study, I realize I do not know to speak the language!! .... But I must say that the parishioners are so helpful and understanding. Two of them help me three days a week with the intonations, Character reading, preparation of the homily, and so on.

During the welcome party I had to talk about what were my expectations and hopes for this parish. This is my wish: May God's grace be there to respond to the expectations of those who assigned me to this ministry.

Construction of a mountain trail in China

Mt. Hua is located in the south of Huayin City, 75 miles due east of Xian. From the map, this mountain is located close to Himalayas of Tibet. 'Shan' means 'mountain' in Chinese, thus the name 'Hua Shan'. Huashan means 'Mount Hua' or 'Hua Mountain'.

According to Travel China Guide, Mt. Huashan is definitely not some neglected little spot in the middle of nowhere. Quite the contrary! Mt Huashan is one of the five sacred mountains in China.

Mt. Hua is home to several influential Taoist temples where emperors of past dynasties made pilgrimages, making this mountain the holy land of Taoism. Many emperors came to pray and sacrifice to the God of Mt. Huashan.

It is said that Lao Zi (Lao Tze), the founder and patriarch of Taoism, once lived and gave sermons here. Today many Taoism temples are located on Mr. Huashan which helps explain why this area is visited by thousands of people.

Impressive? Read further here: