Sunday, January 01, 2012

Tracing the foot steps of a great missionary: Francis Xavier

St. Francis Xavier died at the gates of China, on the island of Sancian. His relics are in India and Macau. His example continues to attract Christians all over the world. In the place of his death now stands a chapel, a pilgrimage center. To get there, one needs to venture out to the sea for an hour ride from Macau.

His feast is celebrated on 3 December. This year, Fr. Jojo organized a mission trip to the island on this day and took more than 50 pilgrims from Hong Kong, Macao and China. Foreign priests cannot preside at the Mass in China, but this time the Fr. Jojo got the permission. Here are a couple of memories:
Group of pilgrims in the small chapel in Sancian Island, where
St. Francis Xavier died at the age of 44 .

Latest Publications

Following the rhythm of biblical literature, the month of January will receive 33 000 copies of the New American Bible, Revised Edition [NABRE]

Of these, 13000 is a study edition of a book of 2600 pages with ample material for personal and group study of the Word of God, printed in two colors. We have the rights from the Publishers in the US for distribution in Asia and Africa. While maintaining the original material quality [read 'with an improved quality'!] we sell the copies for five times cheaper than the original price of the Bible.
Cover of the new Catholic Study Bible (English).

Spiritual Retreat to the priests of Guangzhou

Fr. Peter Chao, CMF (seated 4th from left) with the participants of the Retreat in Guangzhou
Claretian Father Peter Chao directed a spiritual retreat for all the priests of the Diocese of Guangzhou.

Guangzhou is one of the most important cities in China, capital of the Province of Guangdong;
A very modern city with more than 11 million inhabitants in which stands the Cathedral dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Nine-Day Preparatory Mass for Christmas

Following the tradition of the first missionaries arrived in the Philippines, the country celebrates the 9 days of preparatory Mass before Christmas between 4 and 5 in the morning."The time we opted for a group of Filipino Catholics in Macau was 'more decent'" says Fr. Rossa, the Celebrant! Around 20 Philippinos attended the nine-day Mass celebrated at 5 in the morning in our House Chappel in Macau... some of them returning directly from their work.

"We brought the Gospel outside the church door": 270 baptisms in the cathedral of Xi Kai of the Diocese of Tian Jin

During the solemn celebration on December 17th which was held in the Cathedral of Xi Kai, the Diocese of Tian Jin, 270 catechumens were baptized. During the Eucharist on the fourth Sunday of Advent, on December 18, the parish priest officially welcomed them in the parish.

"We have always stressed that evangelization is the duty and right of every baptized person", said the parish priest. We are happy to see that our parishioners have applied this principle in their lives, creating an atmosphere of fellowship and missionary awareness inside and outside the parish. We brought the Gospel outside the church door". In addition, the parish priest announced the next course of catechism which opens on February 12, 2012.
Kai Xi's Cathedral, dedicated to St. Joseph of the Diocese of Tian Jin, was built in 1914 in Romanesque style and can accommodate over 2,000 people. The mission of the Vincentians, was called "the French church" by locals. The parish now has more than 30,000 faithful, it is very lively and also uses modern technology and mass media to promote evangelism. It was among the first parishes to open a website and, recently, has also opened a blog on evangelization. The Diocese of Tian Jing is a large Catholic community, where Catholicism has had a remarkable development. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 20/12/2011)

HK Diocese Celebrates Jubilee of Religious Commitment

The diocese celebrated the silver, gold and diamond jubilees of 38 brothers, sisters and priests, as well as two sisters who have reached 70 years in religious life, one 75 and another 80, at a reception and Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.
Bishop John Tong [4th from left] with Cardinal Zen and other Jubilarians
Speaking at the reception in the Caritas Community Hall, which was attended by around 150 people, Bishop John Tong Hon congratulated the jubilarians on reaching the significant milestones in their lives as priests or religious. He described the celebration as an opportunity for the people of the diocese to express their gratitude for the many years of service and sacrifice that have been lived out by the jubilarians.

Media Explosion in China!

The beginning of the year invites us to look ahead. Here we share a recent statistics on the use of social media network (internet) in China and the challenges and the possibilities this offers to our mission:

--- 25% of users of social media in the world are Chinese.
--- Population of China: 1,340 million. Internet users: 500 million (36% of the population, more than the total population in Western Europe).
--- Cellphone users: 917 000 000 (67% of the population).
--- New internet users per month: 10 million.
--- 77% use the Internet and watch TV at a time.
--- In an average daily usage of 3 hours: 58% use the Internet while 17% of television.
--- Population between 18 and 27 years average use of 5 hours a day for email and web.
--- 40% of the users are creators of web-content (more than double the U.S.).
--- 66% of Internet access via mobile.

Challenge for a 'new evangelization' in China

These data urge us to use these new means of evangelization for our service depending on what is most urgent, timely and effective.

From our Mission Centre in Macau we upload all of our evangelisation materials in our website : www.bibleclaret.org All of our evangelistic material, including translations of the Bible into different languages, Bible courses, pastoral programs in English, Chinese and Spanish are offered free for anyone interested.

We need help to make these materials accessible in the new systems of tablets, iPods, iPhones, Mac and so on. Those who wish to join us in this endeavour please get back to us through email.
An Awesome piece of acrobatic show by the Chinese artists to wish you an
awesome and grace-filled New Year 2012

video