Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Welcome to the Macau-China Bulletin: July 2012

"Cry out with jou to the Lord, for He has done great things for me"!

Fr. Paco writes: 

Through a seminarian who just finished his theological studies in August 2006, the Claretians entered China for the second time (In 1929 they had our ancestors, serving the Church in China). As newcomers, a brother and a priest came to Beijing. Brother novice made his first vows in the chapel of the National Seminary. It was a good opportunity to get in touch with the teachers of the National Seminary. This made it possible that a year later, they were invited to the Seminary to teach English and History of Christianity in the Middle Ages. 
It was a very special year, a time when they shared full-time with a large Chinese community. There were diocesan priests from all over China and more than 70 seminarians along with some sisters who were helping in the seminary. They spent their life, laughing, studying and praying together. They also had some tough times when things did not go as expected.

On June 29, 2012, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the batch of seminarians who began their Theology studies in 2006, had their Graduation in Theology!  They are set to return to their dioceses, some will be ordered within a few weeks, while others still have a pastoral year before ordination. But all are eager to implement not only what they have learned during the years of theological studies, but also their personal experience of God. 
During the graduation, I was touched not only because I had been their teacher, but because I saw how they had matured in the way of their vocation after all these years. In a difficult and sensitive life of the Church, they managed to maintain their commitment to serve the Gospel and the Church throughout their formative years. 
 Now they need more than ever our assistance through prayers, and we continue praying for them to be able to embody the ideal of the Christian priesthood as servants of the people of God after the Second Vatican Council. A priesthood is not rooted in prestige and honor, but in intimacy with the Lord and passion for humanity that God so loved that even sent his Son to be with them, as one of them. 
 Bishop Ma received a gift from the seminarians 
Graduates presented the President of the national workshop, the Bishop Antonio Ma , a copy of the Daodejing of Laozi bamboo. 

I chose two sections to congratulate them on this occasion and I put it here too, so they can enjoy:

天下皆知美之为美,斯恶已;皆知善之为善,斯不善已. (道德经1) When you see that beauty is only apparent, then it's just ugly. So it is with kindness; if not sincere, it is not kindness (Tao Te Ching 1).

天道 无 亲, 常 与 善人. (道德 经 79)
 Heaven has no favorites, but always helps good people  (Tao Te Ching 79). 
 Fr. Paco Carín with graduates, who were also his students since 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Bible Ministry - Claretian East Asia Meeting in Macau

Paco (China), Gabriel (Corea), Jojo (Macau), 
 (Philippines), Vianney (Indonesia), Alberto (Macau),
James (Philippines), Jordi (Japan).

 On 20 and 21 June 2012, a group of Claretians of East Asia met in Macau to share and explore ways to promote biblical apostolate in these countries.

Service to the Spanish Community of Shanghai

St. Francis Xavier Church, where Mass is celebrated monthly in Castilian
For the past six years Fr. Francisco (Paco) Carín serves the Spanish-speaking community in Shanghai. They have obtained permission for Fr. Paco in order to celebrate Mass for them each month and also to meet pastoral needs of the Spanish-speaking group. It is an exception, because a foreigner can not do priestly ministry in China. 

Summer camp in the Philippines to improve English

Bro. Sid during one of the sessions with the Claretian Seminarians
Bro. Sid CMF, who lives in Beijing, has conducted an 'English camp' for the Claretian seminarians in the Philippines. Sid holds an MA in teaching English as a second language. A month-long intensive course was attended by about 70 Claretian Seminarians in the month of June 201.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Chinese catechists in Macau

 Fr. Peter Chao CMF, guiding a session with the Catechists

A group of 32 lay catechists from different geographical locations, involved in the evangelization mission in China, were in Macau for a week-long training in Bible and Catechism. Fr. Peter Chao, CMF was responsible for conducting the session.

 Fr. Peter Chao, CMF

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Hong Kong SAR turns 15

The Hong Kong Celebrations Association announced that the 15th anniversary of the 1 July 1997 handover of the former colony from British to Chinese sovereignty will be marked with a three-day gala carnival of events.

However, while the announcement have been upbeat, its spirit did not seem to be reflected in the mood of the seven million-strong population of the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. This year, July 1 sees a leadership change with both the outgoing and incoming chief executives at rock bottom in the opinion polls.

 Catholic Priests from the Diocese of Hong Kong leads the prayer service for Hong Kong held at Victoria Park on 1 July 2012

Since the handover of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty 15 years ago, the economic and political situations have undergone tremendous change. Nevertheless, people have continued to upholding such core values as freedom of speech, human rights, rule of law, democracy, equality, peace, charity, integrity, transparency and professionalism.

While these are factors Hong Kong people take pride in, as they give stability to the city, they are also the spiritual values that maintain the principle of one country, two systems and a high degree of autonomy.
Catholic youth participating in the Prayers Service 
at Victoria Park 
In the past 15 years, although the region has coped with a financial crisis, a SARS epidemic and other unrest, ordinary people are still suffering from high inflation and excessively high property prices. Housing, medical care, food, transport and education are also worrying. Areas of big business have exacerbated people’s grievances by ignoring their social responsibilities, leading to social disharmony.

In February, the diocese issued a document entitled, Some Expectations about the Future SAR Government Envisioned by the Catholic Church in Hong Kong.

The document discusses political and social development, and reminds the government of the importance of people-oriented values and long-term policies. The statement seeks the protection of people’s livelihoods and dignity, as well as the creation of a society where people can freely express concern for each other.

On the occasion of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty, Pope John Paul II wrote a letter to the diocese encouraging the Church to be part of “fostering religious, moral, cultural and social values… even more than before, to be in the midst of the Chinese nation the ‘city set on a hill’ and ‘the lamp on a stand’.”
Faith does not only urge us to think, but compels us to achieve “personal sanctification, sanctification of others and contribute to a better world” through action. May the Lord guide Hong Kong towards becoming a society of charity and justice so that peace will be present in the world

Priests' Retreat in Macau

The Diocese of Macau, together with the University of St Joseph and St. Joseph Seminary, organised a two-week retreat for a group of 20 priests from the five dioceses of the province of Guagzhou, in the Retreat House of the Diocese of Macau. Our Claretian Conferrers,  Fr. Peter Chao Fr. Jojo , were responsible for arranging the logistics and infrastructure of the gathering.  
The P. Jojo, in addition to working in the parish of St. Lorance, is also responsible for the administration of the seminary and this retreat house. During the event, the Claretian Publications gifted some of the latest Chinese titles from the Publications such as The  Four Gospels, Lectio Divina Bible and the Bible Diary to all priest.  

New priest for the Diocese of Hong Kong

Aloysius Mak-Ying-kin was ordained a priest by the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, on June 23, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Fr. Aloysius Mak being Ordained a Priest by Most Rev. John Cardinal Tong Hon 

Fr. Aloysius Mak with a group of friends and family members, outside of the Church of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Hong Kong

“Ordination is only the first step,” said Mr. Mak Chuen-yat, father of the newly ordained. “I hope that he can be a good instrument of God and lead the flock of the Church well.” Fr. Aloysius Mak belongs to the Tai Po parish in Hong Kong.

Bible Diary 2013 for Mainland China

Our publishing house - Claretian Publications, Macau - works on 
several projects simultaneously.
Each month we try to introduce a new one.
In this issue, we introduce to you the cover of 
the Daily Gospel 2013 for Mainland China,
which is different from what we had presented last month, 
intended for distribution outside of China.
Chinese characters are different inside and outside of China!

Claretians' Day Out!!