Friday, March 02, 2012

Welcome to the Macau-China Bulletin, March 2012

Family News: Claretians in Huangshan ... since 1929 ...
The Huang or Huangshan mountains (literally Yellow Mountain) is a chain of mountains located in southern Anhui province, China. Since 1990 is considered World Heritage by UNESCO. The area is known for its beautiful granite peaks, by its coniferous forests and the view offered by the clouds overhead. The mountains have served as a model for many painters.

The range includes numerous peaks, 77 of which exceed 1,000 meters.

The beautiful Huangshan ...

The Claretians arrived in China in 1929 and established the first Claretian Mission in Huangshan. In 1951 as a result of the political unrest, the missionaries had to leave China together with all foreign missionaries. Yet, the Christian community that they formed still lives on ... but pale. In our previous issues of the blog, we have told of this story ... Today, a new church is being built, for the care of the few Christians who still remain. We Claretians, feel very close to this group of Christians who remain faithful to their faith in the midst of many difficulties ...

Our Associates in the Biblical Apostolate

Fr. Alberto, Ms. Winnie Wong (Chinese Editor) and Fr. Peter Chao, CMF met with [seated] Fr. Mark Fang, SJ and Fr. Luis Gutheinz, SJ in Taiwan in the first week of February

Fr. Mark is our strong support for the immense project of preparing a new pastoral Bible in Chinese. Now we have corrected and approved most of the New Testament, which includes a new translation of the biblical text, new commentaries and Lectio Divina.

Fr. Luis is one of the most important theological scholars in China. Great professor and teacher, writer, translator (of the texts of the Magisterium) ... and apostle of the people affected with leprosy. His latest project : Ecumenical Catholic Encyclopedia, in Chinese. Its purpose is to provide an aid for theological study and to find answers for the basic questions (what, how, who where) about the Bible. He plans to complete the project in 5 years.

Bible Diary 2013

The Bible Diary 2013 is already taking shape! The Bible Diary 2013 is already in print. Its indeed a huge team effort. Within a few months, the Diary will be ready for shipment to over 20 international ports ... so it reaches you before year end.

The Church in Hong Kong

With the presence of Frs. Jose and Ezakias in the Diocese of Hong Kong, both finishing the study of Cantonese, the Claretian Missionaries move into a stable presence in this city. Here are some interesting facts:

The Church of Immaculate Conception at the Diocesan Centre
A study conducted by the Diocesan Building and Development Commission, has shown that the Catholic population of Hong Kong has grown in recent years, but the ratio of priests to lay people has diminished. As of 2010, locally baptised Catholics amounted to 350,000, representing five per cent of Hong Kong’s seven million residents. Although no records are kept for expatriate Catholics, their number is estimated at 180,000, of which the Filipino community accounts for about 150,000, pushing the total Catholic population to around 530,000.
File Picture showing the Mission Sunday celebrations in 2010
Meanwhile, the data shows that the number of parishes has fallen from a peak of 62 in 1995 to 51 in 2010, but the number of churches and chapels has increased. The ratio of priests to laity also dropped from one per 500 in 1971 to one per 1,200 in 2010.

Claretian life

The Claretians who work in China, Macao, Hong Kong and Taiwan had a hectic but fruitful month. They have been involved in a couple of weeks of analysis, evaluations, projections, fellowship ... and "recharge batteries".
The Retreat House of Benedictine Sisters in Tashui, Taiwan
We started with five days of spiritual retreat followed by another five days of assembly of insight into our missionary presence in these regions. A refreshing EXPERIENCE gives impetus to this new stage ...
Fr. Gonzalo Fernandez, the Prefect of Spirituality in our Congregation accompanied and animated us during these days of retreat and Assembly.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Fr. Gonzalo's Visit to Hong Kong

The friends of Claretians in Hong Kong gladly welcomed Fr. Gonzalo Fernandez to Hong Kong. It was a sign of their appreciation for the availability of the Missionaries in their midst.

Cardinal hopes for better relations with the Mainland

John Cardinal Tong Hon

“I feel very unworthy of this position. But I am also grateful for the honour,” Bishop John Tong Hong told AsiaNews on the eve of his elevation to the rank of cardinal, which took place in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on February 18.
Cardinal Tong Hon with the delegation from Hong Kong,
after the Episcopal Ordination in Rome

“I have no reason to deserve this. It was a decision of the Holy Father, who wants to show his appreciation for the Church in China. It is a real encouragement for the Church of Hong Kong, which will continue its role as a bridge Church for the faithful of mainland China,” the cardinal-designate from Hong Kong said.

As the first Hong Kong-born cardinal in history, Bishop Tong expressed gratitude to the two living Chinese cardinals, 90-year-old Paul Cardinal Shan Kuo-his, from Taiwan, and his predecessor as the bishop of Hong Kong, the 80-year-old Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun.

“We can benefit from an older person’s wisdom,” he said. “Cardinal Zen is still working hard and with determination. We respect his opinion and his wisdom.”
Chinese flags flutter in Vatican
On the issue of China-Vatican relationship, the Cardinal said that an area of deep concern is the continued detention of bishops, priests and some Catholic people on the mainland, and he is trying to address this by fostering a better rapport or relationship with the Chinese authorities. He said that he is especially concerned about the fate of two aged bishops, Bishop James Su Zhimin and Bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang.
- Photos Courtesy: Kung Kao Po

Relic of Blessed Teresa welcomed to Hong Kong

Bishop John Cardinal Tong Hon exhorts the Hong Kong Church to pray that Blessed Teresa of Kolkata may intercede in helping people to make a new beginning in China-Vatican dialogue. He spoke during the homily at a Mass celebrated at Ss. Cosmas and Damian parish, Tseun Wan on February 5, to welcome a relic of the founder of the Missionaries of Charity to Hong Kong.

With the relic of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata enshrined in the Parish, together with Blessed John Paul II, a lock of whose hair is permanently enshrined in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Hong Kong has the privilege of having the relics of two of the most contemporary beatifides of the Catholic Church for its veneration.
The Relic of Bl. Teresa of Kolkata being brought into the Church of Ss. Cosmas and Damian during the Eucharistic Celebration

“Mother Teresa not only visited Hong Kong and mainland China, but always wanted to establish her congregation in the mainland,” Bishop Tong said. He added that “her dream was partially fulfilled” when the Missionaries of Charity were established in the special administrative region of Hong Kong in 1983.

Bishop Tong said that although the late pope could not contact Catholic people on the mainland, he had a great interest in them and prayed for them daily. But the China - Vatican relationship recieved a setback when China objected to the canonisation of the 120 Chinese martyrs on the anniversary of its foundation day, October 1, in the year 2000. The relations further deteriorated and came to a halt in 2011 when the Vatican declared that two illicitly ordained bishops had placed themselves in a state of excommunication.

“Only through honest dialogue can we resolve differences and reach a win-win solution. Let us pray more often about this,” the bishop of Hong Kong continued.

Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, a vicar general of the diocese, said the relic of Blessed Teresa—a drop of blood on a tiny piece of sack cloth—will be housed permanently in the Tsuen Wan parish church, which is situated in a grassroots residential area and is symbolic of the simplicity of Mother Teresa’s life.

Old Testament in Traditional Chinese Oil paint

Dr. He Qi was a professor at the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary and a tutor for master candidate students in the Philosophy Department of Nanjing University. He is also a member of the China Art Association and a council member of the Asian Christian Art Association.

He has been committed to the artistic creation of modern Chinese Christian Art since 1983. He hopes to help change the "foreign image" of Christianity in China by using artistic language, and at the same time, to supplement Chinese Art the way Buddhist art did in ancient times. In his works, He Qi has blended together Chinese folk customs and traditional Chinese painting techniques with the western art of the Middle and Modern Ages, and has created an artistic style of color-on-paper painting.

Visuals from the Taiwan Assembly

A word of appreciation to Fr. Gonzalo for his generous availability,
and to our Missionaries in Taiwan for their hospitality,
utmost care and loving concern
Thank you!