Monday, July 01, 2013

Welcome to the China Bulletin, July 2013

Hong Kong’s 16th Handover Anniversary

 From the 16th Anniversary Celebrations of Hong Kong SAR

Chinese national and HKSAR flags are raised at a ceremony organized by 
Hong Kong Celebrations Association to mark the 
16th anniversary of the SAR outside the government headquarters
Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents gathered at Victoria Park before the annual pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong on 1 July, amid a typhoon threat and driving rain. The protesters demanded for promised democratic reforms to allow them to directly elect their own top representative. 
The march began at 2:30pm. Hong Kong police said that 66,000 participated at its peak, up from their estimate last year, when they said 63,000 joined the event. Meanwhile, protest organizers said that 430,000 participated, up from their previous year’s estimate of 400,000.

Visit the Prefect of Apostolate

Fr. Miguel Ángel Velasco
We are a missionary congregation. Fr. Miguel Angel is in charge of the Apostoate  of our Congregation and he visited us for a few days. He was able to appreciate our work in these borders Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai.
In the photo (from left)  Jojo, Miguel Ángel, Cardinal Tong, Alberto  and  José.
We were able to converse with the Cardinal John Tong , Bishop of Hong Kong. Hong Kong has a population of 7 million, and a geographical area of 1000 square kilometers. The territory is home for over 350,000 Chinese Catholics and 175,000 overseas Catholics. There are two Claretians working in the territory: Fr. Jose  and  Fr. Ezakias.
From the left: Claretian Fr. Peter Chao : one of the lecturers
He also had a chance to interact with a group of Chinese Religious gathered at the retreat house of the diocese in Macau. 35 Religious from five dioceses of China were present for the two weeks of training.
In a similar photo can see  Fr. Jojo  at the center.
Fr. Jojo  is in charge of this retreat house, and also assistant director of the seminary and the assistant parish priest in the parish of St. Lorenzo. He is always ready for any call of any spiritual help and at any time ... He is  called "The Father 24/7." One of the most important pastoral work of foreign missionaries who work in Macau, Hong Kong and China is the formation of the Religious. We do this in China.

Macau Community is growing!

Welcome Fr. Mario
Fr. Mario Bonfaini,  Claretian veteran in this Frontier region, has now become part of our community of Macau / Hong Kong.

Fr. Mario Bonfaini
Fr. Mario (an Italian by origin, with a Japanese nationality) spent his youth as a missionary in charge of kindergartens in Japan. Then he served in Taiwan for several years as a pastor. There has organized the apostolate called "Stella Maris", paying attention to Japanese tourists in Taiwan. He joins the Macau-HK community, loaded with experience both as an educator and evangelist. Welcome!
Fr. Mario  keeps himself connected via Skype..

Fr. Mario shares some of his happy moments during his holidays in Italy :
During the baptism of his niece, Alice
I was asked by the Parish priest to baptize a baby of one of my close relatives. knowing that I was a missionary in Asia, he asked me to preside the Solemn Mass for the baptism of six babies. My answer was: “Many thanks. That is a grace of God that gives me so much of unexpected joy
With the "new born" and the family
The Joyous smile of Alice, the "Little Angel"
Mario keeps his motto: "What I can do, I will do it with joy", which keeps him cheerful, taking up his assignments!
With a group of "Trapist" nuns at Penha Hill, after the Eucharistic celebration
With a few Buddhist Friends on the Penha Hill 
New Phase of the Bulletin Blog: 
We are glad to announce the new developments with the Macau Bulletin !!
With the arrival of Fr. Mario, the Bulletin Blog enters into a new phase - the Blog is now available in Italian as well! 

For the Italian Version of the Blog, -  NOTIZIE DI CINA Bollettino informativo della ” Missione di Macao”, Cina Kindly click on the following link: 

Our Publications of the Month

"Francis - Pope from the End of the World".
After publishing in Chinese 'traditional' (for the use in Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan), we have published the title "Francis - Pope from the End of the World" in 'simplified' Chinese. Here is the cover. 5000 copies are published for distribution within China.

And the three titles on Pope Francisco that we presented last month are already for a second and third printing.

Asian Mission Encounter - Manila

Representatives from 12 countries - Eastern and Western Conferences of the Claretians in Asia -were gathered together at Claret Retreat House, Quezon City, Philippines from June 10 to 16. The purpose was to reflect on the realities of the Church of Asia and the Congregation's response to it in a Claretian missionary style. 
 Ian Dacayanan, our companion in Macau, during the Encounter in Manila. 
Ian is the one who maintains our websites online 
and does the page layout for all our publications (even in Chinese!)
The assembly also had lengthy deliberations on how to choose the mission strategy, to reach the deserving people in the right time, and the right place to exercise these ministries. 
The China-Taiwan region was represented by 
(L-R) Ian,  Frs. Jose, Bobin, Arturo, Julio and Ezakias.

Claretian Youth Coordinators' Meet

The Claretian Youth Coordinators of East and South East Asia gathered together last June 7 and 8,  at the Provincial Curia,Quezon City, Philippines for a better understanding and coordination of the Youth Ministry as well as to plan for its future course of action. Frs. Arturo Morales and Bobin from Taiwan and Frs. Ezakias and Jose from Hong Kong represented the East Asia Delegation.
A significant development of the gathering is the proposal to celebrate the East Asia Claretian Youth Gathering with the Claretian Family (AEYG 2015 Manila + FC) on July 26 to August 1, 2015 with the theme: "Meet Him in the cloud."  The Information-Technology-flavored theme is derived from Mt. 17: 1-9, the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus. It aims to present the face of Jesus to the youth through the new media; to discover Jesus in a new way; to learn from the youth how to find Jesus in the cloud; and to link the Claretian Family youth ministries of East Asia.

Adventures of Fr. Jojo!

When shall we visit our relatives?

 Jojo's 'elder sister!'
Each month Fr. Jojo our adventurous companion enters the Mainland to visit several leprosy patients' treatment centers. He is always accompanied by volunteers either from Macau or Hong Kong. They are often professional people who choose to put themselves 'grounded' from time to time.
Jojo with his group of friends from Hong Kong
This is what Jojo got to say:
"Every time I visit China I am evangelized. Last week we visited a leper colony with four partners and friends from Hong Kong. One of old patients in the colony said to me, 'Thank you for coming to visit me brother ... and when shall we go to our village to visit the other relatives?'!!  Only after talking to her for a long time I realized what did this old lady mean: Her Chinese name is Jau, and that happens to be my name in Chinese as well! Hence,  for her I was her younger brother ... (and well convinced!)"

New Missionaries of the Frontier

On 30 June, the Claretian Community in Japan had the joy of having Student John Xue, ordained a deacon.  Dn. John is a Chinese Claretian. It was dream-come-true for John, after long years of study in the Philippines. 

Fr. Paco tells us about the celebration in Japan:
On June 30 of 2013 in the Parish of St. Bernadette Ueno (Tokyo) student John Xue received from the hands of the Auxiliary Bishop of Tokyo, Msgr. Koda , ordination to the diaconate. The Ordination was witnessed a large group of faithful, mostly Chinese residents in Tokyo and members from the Chinese Catholic Diocese of Tokyo, who come together, precisely in this parish.
 A helping hand from Fr. Paco, the Delegate Superior 
as he assists the newly ordained with the dalmatic
the vestment worn by deacons
It was a simple celebration with commentaries given both in Chinese and Japanese during the liturgy. Among the participants, many were seen tears of emotion, since it was the first time to have such a liturgical celebration in the Catholic Center in Tokyo. 
"The gospel knows no boundaries, it is a universal invitation to men and women of every race and tribe and nation to participate in the work of building the Kingdom, and in this celebration we were able to feel particularly"
The new Claretian Deacon John Xue

From Hong Kong - Fr. Ezakías

Fr. Ezakías (center) with a group of children
preparing for the First Communion, with their parents.
Fr. Ezakías is a Claretian from India who arrived in Hong Kong three years ago and now works in a parish in Hong Kong. After two intense years of Chinese language study, the bishop sent him to St. Teresa's parish, one of the largest in Hong Kong, to go gain experience in the pastoral work of the diocese while continuing with language studies.

Our Visitors

 Frs. Thomas Manakuzhy, Joseph Mappilaparambil and 
Jacob Arakkal Mathai (L-R) in Hong Kong
After the meeting in the Philippines, on their way back to India, three of our Claretian conferrers visited us in Hong Kong and Macau. While Fr. Jose lived and worked many years with Frs. Jacob and Thomas back in India, Fr. Alberto had the pleasure of reuniting with Fr. Joseph after several years... Back in 1981 when Alberto passed through India, Fr. Joseph (then a seminarian) was the one who accompanied him during his short stay! [Ah...! must have been a memorable stay... as both of them remember that event 'just' 32 years later!!]
At the table with a group of friends in Hong Kong 
With Frs. Alberto and Jojo in Macau - "Missionaries without Borders..."

An extravagant and exemplary life

Fr.  Lancelot Rodrigues
He arrived in Macau at the age of 12. He attended the seminary and was ordained a priest in 1949. He dedicated his life to the poor: cheerful and always optimistic. He was instrumental in the foundation of 'Caritas Macau' after the war when Macau was invaded by tens of thousands of refugees. Several countries in the world have honoured him with medals for his work with refugees ... and he often joked that he had been given the title of "Knight of the Round Bottle" ... because he liked a nip of whiskey from time to time!
He founded a music school, and himself was a known composer ... and of course, a great friend of the Claretians. He passed away on 19 June, at the age of 90. And Macau mourned.

Encounter with Chinese history and culture

The oldest hanging monastery in China
Sources from the Internet that help us to know the immense cultural wealth of China.
Located in a canyon at the foot of the Mountain Heng in the province of Shanxi, China, the Hanging Temple or Hanging Monastery is a rare piece of architecture. The temple is built into the cliff side about 75 meter above the ground, and stands propped up by hidden rocks corridor and wooden beams inserted into the mountain. 
Over 40 halls, cabinets and pavilions within an area of 152.5 square meters are connected each other by corridors, bridges and boardwalks. They are evenly distributed and well balanced in height. Inside the temple are more than 80 bronze cast statues, iron cast statues, and clay sculptured statues and stone carvings banded down from different dynasties. 
According to, the temple was built to withstand the terrible flood, and use the mountain as protection from rain, snow and sunshine. The Hanging Temple is one of the main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area. Built more than 1,500 years ago, this temple is notable not only for its location on a sheer precipice but also because it includes Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian elements.

A Balancing Act

Patience and Concentration can turn the seeming impossibilities into a world of possibilities