Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Welcome to Macau-China Bulletin, May 2012

 Meeting for the Catholic Church in China

The Vatican’s Commission for the Catholic Church in China that Pope Benedict XVI established in 2007 to study major issues concerning the life of the Catholic Church in China met in Vatican from 23 to 25 April. In its previous sessions, the focus used to be on the formation of seminarians, consecrated persons and priests.
This year, however, the Commission examined the formation of the laity in the light of the situation of the Catholic community in China and the Year of the Faith, which will be celebrated throughout the Church from 11 October  2012 to 24November 2013.

Many members of the Clergy and Sino-Vatican observers felt the official communique, issued by the Commission on 26 April is a good step. According to Sister Beatrice Leung Kit-fun, a Macau-based political professor, the Vatican has taken the correct approach in consolidating the China Church by focusing on laity formation. “While relations with the Chinese government are tense, the Vatican would be wise settling internal problems within the Church first,” she said.
The commission discussed laity formation for the first time since it was established in 2007. “Many laypeople now demand more formation. This is a sign of healthy development and maturity from the Church,” she said.
Given their easy access to the mainland, laypeople from the “Bridge Churches” – Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau – can play a greater role in training their compatriots, the Precious Blood sister suggested.

Visit to the old Claretian mission in China

Huangshan in Anhui Province is a place of scenic beauty. Some of the most famous mountains in China are here. For us Claretians, it is a special place of significance because our pioneer missionaries to China worked here from 1929 until their expulsion in 1951.

Hence, Huangshan has a special place in our missionary concern. We visited the place several times although it is several thousand kilometers away from Macao and Taiwan. The area now has a small Catholic community. Some of the older generation who are still alive, were in contact with our Claretian predecessors... 

Recently we have visited Huangshan, intending to listen to some stories of past and present. The Catholic community is now building a Church in the area. We've already discussed this in other blogs and posted some pictures. Here are some more:

Sketch of the new Church in Huangshan

Construction in progress (April 2012). The opening will be in late 2012.

Catholics in Huangshan 

Two giants of Huangshan Catholic Community. They have received the faith from the Claretians in the 1940s. Here they are:

Mr. Wang with Alberto

Fr. Marcelino with Nicholas

--------------- The witness of Nicholas 

Gospel of John, Nicholas copied by hand, in Spanish. This book was not confiscated since it was handwritten and in Spanish, and this was his 'Daily Bread' - the Word of God for this great man for many years. We were excited to hear their stories, their experiences in times of persecution, imprisonment and house arrest for many years.

Nicholas , witness to the faith in China

Nicolas giving the manuscript of the Gospel of St. John in Spanish

Tuenxi - the famous street in Huagshan. Ancient street close to where our missionaries were resident in the 30s and 40s of the last century.In the photo: Marcelino, Alberto and Mario during a recent visit to Huangshan.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Pastoral activities

Mariology and Bible courses

Veteran Claretian missionary in Africa, Korea and the Philippines, Fr. Jose Ruiz Marquez  is teaching Mariology at the University of St. Joseph in Macau and also conducts weekly lectures on the Acts of the Apostles.
Claretian Fr. Jose Ruiz Marquez at a time of his lecture on the Acts of the Apostles.

Retreat in Beijing for Christian couples group

On Saturday March 30  Francisco Carín, CMF led a brief retreat for the members of Couples For Christ (CFC) in Beijing. The theme of the retreat focused on the words proclaimed by Our Lady when she visits her cousin Elizabeth, commonly known as the Magnificat.
The retreat was in Chinese and English ... and as expected, the boys always playing at the entrance of the Cathedral of Beijing.
 Francisco Carin in one of his visits to a group of families in a remote Chinese village

Meeting with Bishop Joseph Liu in Hefei (Anhui province).
Fr. Marcelino Fonts, Superior of the Claretian Missionaries in East Asia was also present.

Interview with the Bishop of Xi'an (Shaanxi Province) Bishop Dang Antonio to inform of our publication works in Chinese and ask his advice on some of our projects that are pending.

Golden Jubilee of Priestly Ordination

Our Dominican friend, Fr. Fausto Gomez celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his priestly ordination in Macau. The occasion of his 50 years of priestly life and service in the Church was marked with a solemn Mass in the Cathedral on April 29. He is a good friend of the Claretians!

Praying for priestly and missionary vocations

 The international meeting of Asian Serra Club was held in Macao  under the slogan: "We too will go with you!"
The Serra Club is an international secular institution dedicated to support and pray for priestly and missionary vocations. The Serras are Catholics who have understood the words of Jesus: "The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest" (Mt 9:37). They are a group of lay people who are convinced of the importance of having more and more priests in the Church for Priestly Ministry to carry out the mission of Jesus, even when increasing the number of committed laity. Through their prayer, study and activities, members of Serra encourage vocations to the priesthood and religious life and in continuous dialogue in the service of bishops, priests, religious and seminarians.

Religious meeting in Macao

The process of organizing the "Religious in Macao" has been going on for for a while now.  We meet every month to share our life and mission in the region. There are 10 male religious Congregations present in the Diocese of Macao. This photo is from the last meeting held in the Claretian House in Macau.

Servants of the Word

The Catholic University of Honduras orders for 10,000 copies of The Bible.   "Bring the Holy Bible not only to students of the University, but also to their families", is the commitment of the heads of the Catholic University of Honduras. We have prepared a customized cover for them.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Argentinian travellers ...

Fr. Rossa had some visitors from Argentina towards the end of April: Juan Jose Pairola and Betty DeCesaris ; Juan De Cesaris and Martha Jones are seen with Fr. Rossa.

ASCLA-East Youth and Vocation Ministry Encounter in Kupang (Indonesia)

Representatives of different Organisms of ASCLA-East who are involved in the Youth and Vocation Ministry had come together from 20 to 22 April 2012 at the Hati Maria Seminary in Kupang, Indonesia.  

The Encounter was organized to share and plan together the basic common guidelines for the youth ministry in this region. 11 Claretians (one from East Asia, two from the Philippines and eight from Indonesia-Timor Leste) participated in the encounter. The Encounter had deliberations on the importance of campus ministry and how to embody the methods and lines of action of the pastoral youth both from the cultural peculiarities of the countries where we are, and from the specific situation of the Congregation in each of those locations. 

The meeting stressed on the importance of Vocation Ministry and proposed that the Provincial Superiors' and the Vocation Promoters' team must look for avenues of collaboration among themselves as well as among other lay and religious - as to help us amplify the vocational scope of our charism.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Fr. Ezakias appointed in St. Teresa's Church


Fr. Ezakias Anthony Swamy (Wohng Sahnfuh) has successfully completed his two years of Cantonese studies in the Chinese University of Hong Kong in April 2012.  The Bishop has appointed him as the Assistant Parish Priest of St. Teresa's Church in Hong Kong. We congratulate Fr. Ezakias on his graduation and the new appointment. 

Claretians' Association with the Maryknollers
 Frs. Jojo, Ezakias(1 and 2 from left), Fr. Tom Peyton MM (in the middle) Fr. Jose (2 from right) and Fr. Peter Berry MM (1 from right) during the Parish Feast on 1 May, at Ngau Tau Kok
During his six-semester intensive language studies which began in June 2010, he was residing at Christ the Worker Parish, Ngau Tau Kok, with two of the veteran Maryknoll Priests - Frs. Tom Peyton and Antony Brennan. This was providential that all the three Claretians who took up the language studies in the Chinese University had the opportunity to stay with Frs. Tom and Tony and so to say, they have become the mentors of Claretians in Hong Kong! We extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to Frs. Tom and Tony and also the Maryknoll community in Hong Kong. 

The parish day of the Christ Worker parish, celebrated on 1 May 2012, also provided an occasion for Fr. Ezakias and the Claretians in general to thank the Maryknoll Fathers and the Parish community for their hospitality, generosity and tremendous support. Here Frs. Ezakias and Jose are seen with some of the members of the parish 

 The Parish day of Christ the Worker Parish was attended many Claretians including Fr. Marcel'li Fonts, Provincial Superior, East Asian Delegation.
 From left to right: Frs. Marcel'li Fonts CMF, Antony Brennan MM,  Ezakias CMF, Tom Peyton MM, Peter Berry MM and Peter Chao CMF During the parish day celebrations

Saturday, May 05, 2012

And our farewell ...

We always put a curious farewell.
This time is a brief message:
"The Bible should be daily bread, 
not cake for special occasions."

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Age doesn't matter... if you have a will!

You must have seen this picture many a time. Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center is a tower that measures 338 m (1,109 ft) in height from ground level to the highest point. An observation deck with panoramic views, restaurants, theaters, shopping malls and the Skywalk X, a thrilling walking tour around the outer rim. It offers the best view of Macau and in recent years has been used for a variety of adventurous activities. 

At 233 meters, the Macau Tower's tethered "skyjump" and Bungee jump by AJ Hackett from the tower's outer rim, is the second highest commercial skyjump in the world, after Vegas' Stratosphere skyjump at 260 meters. The tower is one of the members of the World Federation of Great Towers. Besides being used for observation and entertainment, the tower is also used for telecommunications and broadcasting.

The World's Highest Bungy Jump at Macau Tower will take its guests on a free fall at a speed of up to 200km/h for the ultimate extreme journey!

Plunging from a platform 233m high, challengers will experience a 4-5 second freefall before stretching the 50 meter bungy cord nearly four times its unloaded length and rebounding at approximately 30 meters above the ground.
Using a guide cable system, bungy jumpers will be able to safely experience a few rebounds before slowly landing onto a specially designed airbag.

Sorry! I think I gave too much of an introduction for the AJ Hackett! Now, have a closer look at this old man who is having this free fall... For those who know him, it would be no surprise, though! He is known for his readiness to plunge into the unknown...

 Here he is! Our very own Alberto! Only 67 years old now!


Bye Bye ...!