Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Welcome to the Macau-China Bulletin, January 2013

We wish you a joyous New Year 2013

Start the New Year With Mary, the Mother of God

On 1 January every year, the Catholic Church observes the World Day of Peace. The Liturgy of the Word on 1 January gives us this blessing:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make his face to shine upon you, 
and be gracious to you; 
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you 
and give you peace” 
(Num 6:24-26)

Missionary wanderings and adventures of Fr. Jojo

On the feast day of St. Francis Xavier, Fr. Jojo organized a pilgrimage to the island of Shangchyun, where St. Francis Xavier died. You should go by land and sea, and the place is about 120 kilometers from Macao. Let him tell us this adventure:

This year on December 2nd we went on a pilgrimage to Shangchyun island where St. Francis Xavier died. We were 66 of us from 7 nationalities and started our journey with the celebration of the Eucharist. After the mass we were suppose to take a ferry from Macau to mainland China. 
 Fr. Jojo Celebrating the Mass at the site 
where St. Francis Xavier died
Because of the bad weather and traffic some of us were late to reach the immigration department and to our surprise it happened that, that day immigration officers too came late and we were able to cross the boarder as scheduled and catch the ferry as planned. While we were on the ferry we received a phone call informing us that due to bad weather no ferry to Shangchyn island and to cancel our pilgrimage. Well we informed them that we will go there and if weather is bad we just have a glance at the Shangchun island and come back. 
Pilgrims at the tomb of St. Francis Xavier
Well we reached there and the climate changed and there was a ferry for us to go there and the same way to come back. Well we all believe that this "miracle" happened because of the powerful intercession of St. Francis Xavier.  

Christmas Musings:
Christmas 2012 becomes more meaningful for me with very many reasons. I would like to share few of my personal experiences during these few days. On 20th I received a phone call from our Indian Consulate in Hong Kong, requesting our help to accommodate a person here in Macau and I agreed to help out. On 21st evening the concerned person came here to Macau and on 24th before she left she had this to tell me: "Father I am not a Catholic but you accommodated me here in your house and now I have no words to express my thanks and gratitude for all what you have done. Now I do understand the meaning of Christmas. Well Christmas is a celebration of Love". When she said these words baby Jesus was already born in my heart.  

On 28th we had a Christmas celebration and Mass at Macau prison. After the holy communion all inmates started to cry out of Joy and gratefulness and after the mass there was veneration of baby Jesus each one spending few moments in prayer and kissing the baby Jesus. It was a heart touching experience to see each of them praying and crying with real repentance. Before we left the prison they told us that it was the first time that they had an opportunity to join a mass in the prison. With a grateful heart they told us thank you for coming to celebrate Christmas with us. Today we understand what Christmas means to us. It is a celebration of Love and sharing. This was another particular moment in which I felt Jesus was again born in my heart. 

Our team of Editors in the Chinese Bible project

Our Publications move ahead in its Chinese Bible Project with a group of Chinese editors, who have done their Biblical studies in Europe and the United States and have returned to the country. Some of them also render their services as visiting professors in various institutes of Theology around. 

Fr. Alberto with the Chinese Bible Project Team
In the first week of December, we have come together at our house in Zhuhai for a couple of days of review of the work done, the methodology and a shared work-plan to carry out this project. 
 Days of reflection and sharing... 
in our House in Zhuhai, China
Our goal for the New Year 2013: The Chinese New Testament be published by mid-2013. This will be a project of about 1200 pages with new Chinese translation, new introductions and commentaries and a guide to Lectio Divina (Read, meditate, pray, act ) for each chapter of the Bible. Meanwhile the team is already working on the translation of the Old Testament.
...And meetings must end with a meal
with a promise to meet again!

China to home the largest Christian population in the world in 20 years

During a recent presentation of a book on Rome, a prominent theologian said China will be home to the majority of Christians in the world within the next two decades.
"Interreligious dialogue is something that China, which have the largest Christian population in the world in 20 years lives every day," said Harvey Cox during the presentation at the Gregorian University in Rome, in his book "A Catholic with Religions World. "
Cox asks in his book where Christians have been in the past, where we are now, and where we will be in the future. "There are two phenomena in the world today," he added. "First is no longer recognize Christianity as a Western religion and the second is that the countries with the largest number of Christians do not have a culture or Christian traditions. "

The book launch was part of a session of two days of talks at the Gregorian University to mark the 80th anniversary of the Faculty of Missiology.

Missionaries in China Celebrating Christmas

The following visuals are from the Christmas celebrations in various communities where our Missionaries render their services
From the Christmas celebrations in Taiwan

Fr. Joshy, during the celebrations in Taiwan

Fr. Mario officiates the Christmas Mass at Keelung, Taipei. 
Frs. Liju [left], Jijo and Bobin [right] concelebrates

Fr. Mario during the Celebrations

From a "Nativity Scene" by a group of School Children in Macau 

 Fr. Ezakias in "Santa-gear" for a Christmas Celebration 
in a Home for the Aged in Hong Kong
"Santa" with some of the parishioners 
and inmates at Bhak Tin, Hong Kong
Fr. Ezakias with the caroling team 
at St. Teresa's Church, Hong Kong
The Christmas Tree and the Crib at St. Benedict Church, Hong Kong
With the Altar Boys of St Benedict Church, Hong Kong
During the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony 
 The Hong Kong Diocesan Youth together with 
the inmates of Dawn Island, after a caroling session. 
Dawn Island is the treatment and rehabilitation facility for 
youngsters addicted to substance abuse.
Fr.Jose together with the youth group and parents 
during a pilgrimage to St. Joseph's Church, Yim Tin Jai

HK Diocese opens the Year of Faith

Over 7,500 people gathered  at AsiaWorld-Expo in Chek Lap Kok on 16 December to mark the closing  of the Year of Laity and the opening of the Year of Faith.
 Rev. Fr. Dominic Chan, Cardinal Joseph Zen and John Cardinal Tong Hon, 
during the opening ceremony of the Year of Faith
During the two-hour programme that began with community singing of "We are all Catholics", the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, announced the formal opening of the Year of Faith.

Rev. Dominic Chan, Vicar General, lead the gathering in the recitation of the Prayer for the Year of the Laity and that was followed by a pictorial summary of various activities that took place during the year, projected on big screens hung around the giant exhibition hall.
The online chat sessions from Kolkutta, Sydney, Taipei and Toronto, where an innovative idea, which provided a glimpse of the the lives of Chinese Catholics living outside of Hong Kong.

 A group of Catholics from St Benedict Church, at the venue

The reflection on the seven sacraments in the Church summarized the life of a Catholic in Faith and that proved to be an apt platform for the opening of the Year of Faith.

A beautiful rendition of Psalm 51 by the  well-known Chinese singer, Francis Yip Lai-yee, lead the gathering into pray with one accord: “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity…”

Welcome Fr. Jijo!

The latest news at the beginning of the Advent Season is indeed a joyful one for the Claretian Mission in China: Fr. Superior General has assigned Fr. Jijo Kandankulathy for the China Mission. He is assigned to the Macau - Hong Kong  Community. He has joined the Claretian Community in Taiwan in the first week of December. Fr. Jijo will do his two years of language course in Taiwan before he moves to Macau.

"You are right, he is the one"! Fr. Rossa seems to say so, pointing Fr. Jijo [file: May 2009]

Fr. Jijo is no stranger to the China Mission. In fact it was one of his earlier visits to Macau and the Mainland in May 2009 which inspired him to opt for the Mission in China.
Fr. Jijo with the "Team Macau" in 2009
That time he was on an internship programme as part of his Post Graduate Degree in English Literature, he traveled to Macau and the Mainland. After his Month-long experience here, he had a short write-up for the May 2009 issue of the Macau Bulletin. Read his article here: