Sunday, June 07, 2015

Welcome to the China Bulletin June 2015

Directors and editors of the 14 publishing houses from the Claretian congregation had gathered in Rome (18-24 May) to learn about the projects, learn from those who have a longer history, and to share our dreams. The Claretian Editors' meeting is held every four years.
Directors / Editors from 14 publishing houses world over, of Claret Publishing Group had gathered in Rome for the Claretian Editors meet in the third week of May 
The Claretian editors have reflected together on our missionary charism and our work in the publishing world , trying to detect possible patterns and new ways to continue the work with greater strength and fervour in this ministry. At the end of the meeting the Father Alberto has been appointed coordinator of the Claretian editors for three years.Wow! That is a big news for the Missionaries in China! Congratulations, Father Alberto!

Papal Audience
The big news of the month is of course, the Papal Audience!!
Fr. Alberto and Fr. Jijo were in Rome to participate in the International Claretian Editors' meeting. Fr. Alberto, a "die-hard fan" of Pope Francis and shares his nationality had applied for a papal audience.
From the Eucharistic Celebration at the Chapel Of The Domus Sanctae Marthae on 19 May 
And in Rome, they had the invitation to concelebrate the Eucharist with Pope Francis on May19  in the Chapel Of The Domus Sanctae Marthae, where during the homily, the Pope recalled the suffering of the Rohingya people in Myanmar, rejected and abandoned in the middle of the sea, and also of the Christian and Yazidi refugees “cast out of their homes” in Iraq. He made a reflection on the ultimate meaning of every farewell, great or small, with the word “goodbye- a contraction of ‘God be with ye’- which expresses an act of entrustment to the Father.
"Consider that one day I too will have to say that word: ‘goodbye’"
He then invited faithful for further reflection: “Am I prepared to entrust to God all of my loved ones? To entrust myself to God? To say that word which is the Son’s word of entrustment to the Father?”. It is important “to consider that one day I too will have to say that word: ‘goodbye’, “to God I entrust my soul; to God I entrust my history; to God I entrust my loved ones; to God I entrust all”.

After the Eucharist, Fr. Alberto and Fr. Jijo also had the privilege for a personal audience with the Pope.
Fr. Alberto with Pope Francis 
Dream come true for Fr. Jijo - He was to celebrate his 25 years of Religious Life as a Claretian Missionary on May 31. He received his Jubilee gifts a week ahead! - With Papa Francisco 
There could be a lot of claimants for those Rosaries now! Hope, he has reserved a few... !!
Yes, the Chinese New Testament was a dream project of Father Rossa, which took seven long years of coordinated effort. And it rightly deserves a Papal Signature! Congrats, Fr. Rossa
Indeed, they had carried a number of our new Titles from the Caretian Publications, Macau 

Meeting with Mons. Claudio M. Celli President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications

Leveraging our stay in Rome we met with Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli , President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications . For half an hour we have shared experiences on our work in China, projects, problems, proposals ... a person with whom we are in tune immediately.
Jijo, Mons. Celli, Alberto
Selfie!.. Imagine Alberto taking a selfie? And the truth is out! A Roman Collar was not part of his luggage until May 19, - the day they had the chance to meet the Pope! So he had to borrow one and before returning it to its rightful owner, he thoughtfully had a selfie of the collar, for remembrance!

Youth Retreat in Hong Kong

Participants of the youth retreat at Martyr Saints of China Chapel,
Holistic Retreat Centre, Shek O
Twelve members of the Adoration core group of the Diocesan English Youth together with Fr. Jose came together for a two days - annual retreat at Martyr Saints of China Chapel, Holistic Retreat Centre, Shek O on 30 and 31 May. The Adoration Core group is responsible for organising monthly adoration nights - after the manner of the "Night-Fever" adoration programme of Germany. The Group has been active for the past one year and conducts adoration nights on every first Tuesday of the month in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Wanchai, Hong Kong. 
After the Morning prayers on the beach! 
Praise and worship, personal sharing, input session on better understanding of the Blessed Sacrament, a night vigil and Morning prayers on the beautiful Shek O beach and Eucharistic Celebration were the highlights of the retreat. For me, this was a fitting celebration of the anniversary of my religious profession! 

Our Birthday Celebrants!

Fr. Alberto Rossa Celebrated his birthday on 29 April. He is just 70! Thank you Fr. Rossa for all what you are to us! We pray that God grants you good health,
lots of cheers and blessings in abundance! 

Fr. Jojo Ancheril celebrated his birthday on 15 May. Blessings in Abundance, dear Jojo! 
 Fr. Mario Bonfaini -celebrated his Birthday on May 19. He is only 76 ! Pray to God for good health and lots of cheers! 

25 years of commitment to the Service of the Word

On 31 May 2015 Fr. Jijo Kandamkulathy celebrated the Silver Jubilee of Religious Profession as a Claretian Missionary. He served in the North East Missions of India in different parishes in Meghalaya and also as the Principal of St. Claret College, Ziro,  Arunachal Pradesh in India, before joining the East Asia Delegation of the Claretians. He studied Mandarin in Taiwan and in 2014 joined the Macau - Hong Kong - China community to take up the reins of the Claretian Publications, Macau. 

Jubilee Blessings and Prayers, dear Fr. Jijo

Returning to China ..

Visit Xujiahui - The cradle of Catholicism in Shanghai 

Father 'Paco' - Francisco Carín, send us an account of his visit to Shanghai. He is the 'Delegate Superior' of this part of the Claretian Congregation and in the first week of June he defended his doctoral thesis, written in Chinese.

Saturday morning, May 23, 2015, part of the Spanish-speaking community in Shanghai made ​​a pilgrimage to the Xujiahui area, which was once the centre of the Catholic Church in Shanghai, influential not only in Shanghai, but throughout China, especially in the surrounding area. Surely we can say Xujiahui is the cradle of Catholicism in Shanghai.

A bit of history to illustrate: The name "Xujiahui" (徐家汇, Zikawei) refers to where the Xu family of farmers lived, whose most prominent member is Xu Guangqi (徐光启 - Paul Xu) who became Minister of Rites and Grand Secretary of the Ming Empire.

Matteo Ricci shortly after arriving this to Beijing (1608) met Xu Guangqi, and he was converted to Catholicism and took the name "Paul" and collaborated with the missionary in the academic and apostolic activities. Paul Xu is a key part of the encounter between Catholicism and China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1633). They collaborated in the translations of Western scientific works of Euclid's geometry, Clavius and various theological and catechetical works into Classical Chinese. The two are now in the process of beatification. The great grand-daughter of Xu Guangqi, Candida Xu (徐甘第大), gained fame in Europe as a model of Catholic women. It was she who recommended the Jesuits printing catechetical works for women, although the social life of women was limited by the customs of the time (even for confession, women had to go with her husband or a servant present, and could attend the churches only for women and children). But the women palyed vital role in domestic sphere, and with good training as evangelizers they become the pillars of the family.

From the mid-nineteenth century and the return of the Jesuits, mostly French (the Society of Jesus was dissolved by Pope Clement XIV between 1773- to 1814), Xujiahui become a cultural centre of Shanghai with intense Catholic flavor. As described in the writings of Zhuang Yuanji (1867-1959) "the development of Shanghai as a modern metropolis, has its foundations largely in Xu Guangqi and promote cultural exchanges between East and West in the early seventeenth century." We visited the following places:

The observatory (under renovation), the Cathedral of St. Ignatius, where we pray the Hail Mary praying to the Blessed Mother for protection of the Church in Shanghai (May 24 - feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, is also celebrated as the feast day of Our Lady of Sheshan, Shanghai), the Convent of Santa Maria (now a restaurant), the Library of Zikawei, the College of St. Ignatius, the tomb of Xu Guangqi Memorial and the orphanage T'ou-SE-WE ( Tushanwan). No doubt Xujiahui is a good reflection of the effort over the history of Catholic Church being present in Chinese society through evangelism, social work, education, promotion of traditional arts ...

Until we meet again... Rest in Peace, Fr. Tony

The Claretian Community of Macau and Hong Kong deeply mourn the sudden demise of our good friend and Maryknoll Father Anthony Vincent Brennan. He was 80.   He was 80-years-old and had been a priest for 53 years.

Maryknoll Father Anthony V. Brennan, assistant parish priest at Christ the Worker parish, Ngau Tau Kok, died on May 19 while visiting some religious sisters in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on his way home for a vacation.

Father Brennan was born on 25 March 1935 in Brooklyn, New York. Following his graduation from Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx in 1952, he entered Maryknoll that September. He was ordained a priest on 10 June 1961.
Chinese New Year with Father Brennan 
Father Brennan was then assigned to the Hong Kong. He studied the Cantonese language and, in 1968 he became rector of the then-new parish, St. John the Baptist in Kwun Tong. He served as parish priest of the now defunct St. Peter’s parish, Kowloon Tsai, St. Matthew the Apostle parish, Tuen Mun, St. Patrick's parish, Wang Tau Hom, and assistant parish priest at Christ the Worker parish, Ngau Tau Kok.
For most of his missionary career, Father Brennan was posted in Hong Kong. He also made the rounds at the United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong, ministering to patients.
Easter Vigil baptisms in Ngau Tau Kong 
Ever since Fr. Jojo, CMF came to Hong Kong for his language studies in 2007, Claretians were associated with Fr. Brennan and the Maryknoll Fathers in Hong Kong. We fondly remember him as am elder brother who was always welcomed people with broad smile and big hug. He would surprise the first-timers who would come upto great him with his mind-reading techniques!

“May eternal rest grant unto him, Oh Lord; and may your perpetual light shine upon him”, Amen