Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Welcome to the China-Macau Bulletin, May 2013

Celebrating 50 years of Commitment to the Service of the Word 
This year Fr. Alberto Rossa is celebrating 50 years as a religious in the Claretian Congregation [11.2.1963 - 11.2.2013]. On 21 April we joined the diocesan community to thank the Lord for the wonders He has done in the life of Fr. Rossa and to felicitate him for his 50 years of "commitment to the Service of the Word". The Following text is an excerpt from the "Dedication..." given in the latest title from the Claretian Publications,  "FRANCIS, the Pope from the End of the World"
It was 30 years ago that Claretian Publications was born in the Philippines with the pioneering effort of an Argentinean Claretian, Fr. Alberto Rossa, who wanted to answer the needs of the time. With more than 1000 titles published and more than 5 millions books sold, Claretian Publications has become one of the main Catholic publishers in Asia.

From the very beginning special attention was given to the Word of God and the publications embarked in an ambitious project: to make the Word of God available in simple yet accurate translation—a Bible accompanied with introductions, notes and commentaries. So the Pastoral Bible was born. The first one, published in 1988, was the Christian Community Bible. With the years the Pastoral Bible was translated and published in 12 more languages.
Wishes from Claretian Publications, Bangalore!
After spending 27 years in the Philippines, and at 60 years of age, the superiors sent him to open a new front in Macao and Hong Kong. Here Fr. Rossa and several young Claretian Missionaries from India have been working for 7 years. And here too Fr. Rossa started the Claretian Publications Macao to serve the pastoral needs of Chinese Catholics publishing mainly in English, Chinese and Spanish (for Latin America).
Flowers from Amity Press, China!
We congratulate him and join him in thanking the Lord for all the blessings of these past years, especially in the field of publications. We thank the Lord for the gift of Fr. Rossa to the Church in China and to the Claretian Community in Macau! On 29 April Fr. Alberto celebrated his birthday...Friends and well-wishers from the Mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong had reasons and occasions to join together to celebrate !  Ad Multos Annos!!

 Hearty Congratulations 
Dear Fr. Alberto !!

A magnitude 7 earthquake left more than 196 dead on April 20

Help the victims of the Sichuan earthquake

Sichuan Province

Two days after a magnitude 7.0-earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province, residents were still awaiting rescue as well as essentials like drinking water, food, medicine and tents. The epicenter of the earthquake was in Lushan, a rural county 160 km southwest of the provincial capital, Chengdu. China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency quoted local officials as saying that there have been at least 192 deaths, more than 11,000 injured and that 23 people remain missing. However, confirming death tolls and damage to buildings has proved difficult.

A house destroyed by an earthquake in Baosheng Township 
in the quake-hit Lushan County, Ya'an City
Fr. Chen, pastor of Yaan, writes about the situation of their community after the earthquake: "We have no water, no food and no shelter. The churches have been destroyed. A little help will be very welcome. " He continues: "Catholics in the region are about 10,000 and of which 6,000 have been affected by the earthquake."
This was one of the Churches

A man recovers his wedding photo from the wreckage 
of his house after Saturday's earthquake
A rescuer looks on as excavators clean up a road 
which is blocked by a landslide after Saturday's earthquake
Response of St. Benedict parish in Hong Kong
A missionary working near the affected area send us the message for urgent help. The message came after the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Fr. Rossa in the cathedral and the launch of the book on the Pope. One of the members of our Community, Fr. Jose who works in a parish in Hong Kong was with us that night, along with his parish priest Fr. Simon Li . And Fr. Li had a suggestion: "On the coming Sunday, we distribute the book on Pope free of cost in our parish of St. Benedict and ask for a donation to the people, so what we can collect, we send to the victims of the earthquake."  The suggestion was well accepted and we immediately got in touch with a Catholic NGO with which we already work in China. We have advanced an amount immediately.
Our contribution was acknowledged within a few hours in the Chinese Catholic news portal:

Our Publications

Francis: The Pope from the End of the World
"In an effort to understand his [Pope Francis] thoughts and spirituality and to have a sense to where the Church is heading with the new Pope, Claretian Publications is presenting the book..." Wrote Bishop José Lai of Macau in his Introduction to the latest title by our Publications.  

Yes, this was precisely the intention to introduce the new Pope to the people of South-East Asia region. Hence, the 72 pages and full-colour book was printed both in Chinese and in English. The Editorial Claretiana  of Argentina, a member of the Claret Publishing Group, were the Publishers of the writings of Archbishop Jorge M. Bergoglio in Buenos Aires.
Now, Claretian Publications has the rights to translate and publish all of them in English and Chinese for the Asian continent. Thus, this book is going to be the first in a series of titles on Pope Francis and books written by him. 

Distribution 'free' On Sunday April 21, Bishop Joseph Lai of Macao released book "Francis The Pope from the End of the World", in the cathedral church, during the celebration of Jubilee anniversaries of several religious and priests. Claretians had an added reason to thank God as Fr. Alberto was celebrating 50 years of religious life. Sharing our joy with the friends and well-wishers in Macau and Hong Kong, the book was distributed free, in Chinese and English.
Our forthcoming titles
"A Call to Serve: Pope Francis and the Catholic Future" 
Spiritual Journey of Religious
This title by a Claretian Missionary, Fr. Jose Cristo Rey Garcia Paredes, is being published in Chinese for the benefit of the religious formation in the region. This book has 316 pages with  the following chapters:
Spiritual Journey of Religious

Obedience for the Kingdom of God

Virginity for the Kingdom of God

Poverty for the Kingdom of God

The Religious Prayer

Advancing Religious Life

A Religious Community as a Parable of Love

New Pastoral Bible published in English and Tagalog (for the Philippines)
After an intense review over a period of four years, we come out with the new edition of the Christian Community Bible and also a new Pastoral Bible printed in tagalog "Bibia Sambayanan ng Pilipino"

China’s most famous—and most powerful—Catholic bishop has died

Aloyisius Jin Luxian
China’s most famous—and most powerful—Catholic bishop has died. After a prolonged decease Msgr. Aloyisius Jin Luxian, official bishop of Shanghai died on 27 April 2013. Jin Luxian lived through China’s most dramatic changes and growing pains as it transitioned from empire to the largest and most paradoxical Communist country in the history of our world.  

Bishop Jin was born June 20, 1916 in Shanghai into a family that had been Catholic for generations.  He soon became an orphan (loosing his mother at 10 and his father at 14) and attended Catholic schools, first with the nuns and then the Jesuits. At age 22, in 1938, he entered the Society of Jesus

Having earned his doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Jin was labeled a “dangerous counter-revolutionary” in alliance with an “imperialist power,” the Vatican. Jin Luxian’s life provides historians extraordinary access to some of the world’s most exceptional moments of transformation, and if you ask China’s Catholics who has been the most influential figure in their Church’s remarkable survival and seemingly-impossible growth through their country’s painful birth as a Communist superpower, they will, to the person, reply, “Bishop Jin.”
Bishop Jin Luxian administers Communion to Mother Teresa, 1993
Many Catholics wondered; how did Bishop Jin manage to build a Catholic empire in Shanghai under the watchful eye of a Communist government that had vowed to “help religion along the natural path of withering away”? His answer was simple: “I am both a serpent and a dove. The government thinks I’m too close to the Vatican, and the Vatican thinks I’m too close to the government. I’m a slippery fish squashed between government control and Vatican demands.” 
Funeral Mass at the Cathedral Church in Shanghai 
For better or worse, Bishop Jin Luxian’s priority was the survival of Catholicism in China, and he maintained connections with an enormous array of personalities. He kept a wide range of company;

Mission in Yunnan

Following the style of our Pope Francisco, a priest from the North China is reaching out to a mission 3200 kilometers away in Yunnan Province, to attend to the pastoral needs of the Miao ethnic group. The Miaos are an ethnic group living mostly in mountainous areas of southwest China. 

Our friend and colleague, Fr. Peter Wei has the missionary spirit and heart to reach out to the needy. He studied Scripture in Salamanca (Spain) and now works in Inner Mongolia, a province in northern China. He is also our collaborator and assists us in our publishing ministry as a translator, when time permits (from Spanish into Chinese). Currrently, together with two other priests who also did their studies in Spain, he is translating the Spanish title of the Pope Francisco, "Open Mind - Believing Heart" into Chinese. The book will be ready in a couple of months.

Some facts about Yunnan:

The Province of Yunnan has over 40 million inhabitants. Its territory covers an area of ​​394,100 km ². It is located south of the country and has border crossings with Tibet, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Yunnan has the highest number of ethnic groups among all provinces and autonomous regions in China. Among the country’s 56 ethnic groups, 25 are found in Yunnan. 

Yunnan became part of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) during 2nd century BC. It became the seat of a Tibeto-Burman speaking kingdom known as the Kingdom of Nanzhao in the 8th century AD. The Mongols conquered the region in the 13th century, with local control exercised by warlords until the 1930s. As with other parts of China's southwest, Japanese occupation in the north during World War II forced a migration of majority Han people into the region. Ethnic minorities in Yunnan account for about 34 percent of its total population. Major ethnic groups include Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai and Miao.

Its geography is varied: mountains on the border with Tibet and large valleys in the lowlands. The highest point in the province is the Kagebo peak altitude of 6740 meters while the lowest is in the Honghe River Valley at a height of 76.4 meters above the sea.

Fr. Peter Wei writes his missionary experience:

Thanks to dear  Alberto  for the interest you have shown for the Catholics of Miao and Yi. They really are living witnesses of faith. These few lines are about the experience I had in that remote land:

     Three years ago I started visiting the Catholics of  Miao and Yi ethnic groups in Yunnan province, near the border with Vietnam, living in conditions of extreme poverty; struggling to meet the bare minimum conditions to survive, without any assistance and social security.
This area was evangelized by foreign missionaries of Paris. Some of these remote regions did not have a priest for over 40 years, but still maintain the Catholic faith handed down through family traditions. Upon arriving there, we were surprised to witness both their lives, and especially their religious fervor for the Catholic faith.
Many young people knew that their parents were baptized by priests, and also knew how to say some of the traditional prayers and knew their Christian names. But, they did not know what is mass, nor the fundamental contents of catechesis, but know they are Catholic.
Even then they could live with gratitude and look at their lives with a true spirit of faith, hope and charity; and knew how to share with those in need ..... 

A hug from  Peter Wei

Chinese is an easy learning!

Did I hear some one say Chinese is a tough language to learn? Please watch this video before you make your comment!