Sunday, November 01, 2015

Welcome to the China Bulletin - November 2015

Opening new frontiers: New Claretian mission in Hong Kong

Missionaries and the Parishioners after the Eucharistic Celebration
in Epiphany Church, Mui Wo on 1 November 
On 1 November 2015 the Claretian Missionaries began a new mission in Hong Kong, probably 487th House of the Congregation which serves in 63 countries around the world. The new parish is in the farthest periphery of Hong Kong, a tiny Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China(PRC). 
Missionaries with Fr. Provincial (in Red) at the retreat house in Mui Wo 
After 10 years in the neighboring diocese of Macao, the missionaries have accepted the invitation of the Diocese of Hong Kong to open a new mission station in the South of Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Three Claretian Missionaries form this new community: Fr. Ezakias Anthony Swamy(Superior), Father Alberto Rossa (Econome) and Fr. Josékutty Mathew (Pastor & Vicar).
Fr. Henry SVD, the out-going parish priest,
Fr. Jose CMF  during the Eucharistic Celebration
The new parish of "Epiphany" is on Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has 53 parishes for 400,000 Catholics with a population of 8 million and about 1000 square kilometers (Macau, on the other hand has only 31 square kilometers and 600,000 inhabitants). The missionaries took over the new parish, which includes half of Lantau Island-some 75 square kilometers also including the mass centers of Tai-O and Peng Chau. Here is the map of Hong Kong.

Lantao Island in red (150 square klms). Yellow
China (9.388 million square klms). Green and Red  together forms Hong Kong 
1000 square Klms. 
In Red - Peng Chau Island having 1 square kilometer 
Peng Chau is known for its lifestyle of small island region, access to fresh seafood, and possess many temples located around the island. The main mode of transportation on the island is the bike, but no motor vehicles.
Fr. Ezakias Anthonyswamy, flanked by Fr. Alberto (Right) and Fr. Jose (left)
at the Epiphany Church in  Mui Wo 

St. Claret Feast - Family Reunion Day!

Concelebrants of the Feast Day Mass with Bishop Jose Lai,
Bishop of Macau, in St. Lawrence Church, Macau 
The Feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret, our founder, on 24 October is becoming an occasion for the friends and well-wishers of Claretians in Macau and Hong Kong to have an annual gathering to share the friendship and joy and to seek the intercession of our Father Founder, St. Claret. 

This year over 300 friends including priests and religious took part in the festal celebrations, hosted in Macau. As the Church concludes the Year of Consecrated Life, we had Mons. Ante Jozic of the "Study Mission of the Holy See" (which serve as 'nuncio' for Hong Kong, Macao and China) to address the gathering on the theme of "Consecrated Life". 
Mons. Ante Jozicof the "Study Mission of the Holy See",
addressing the gathering on the theme "Consecrated Life"
"The aims of the Year of Consecrated Life are taken by the Holy Father from the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata and I find them very interesting and useful for our reflection today", said Mons. Jozic. Quoting Holy Father Pope Francis he continued, “You have not only a glorious history to remember and to recount, but also a great history still to be accomplished! Look to the future, where the Spirit is sending you in order to do even greater things”. He further reflected on the three aims of the Year of Consecrated Life.
Solemn Procession to the Festal Mass 
1. The first of these aims is to look to the past with gratitude for our religious vocation.  
Reflecting on our history, we reflect on our identity, on our unity as a family and on our common sense of belonging. History is our teacher in the present life. History teaches us how the charism has been lived over the years.

2. The Year of Consecrated Life is also time to live the present with passion
For each community and religious person has received the Holy Spirit’s call to follow Jesus as St. Paul says: “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21). The religious vows should be intended as a concrete expression of this passionate love. The Year of Consecrated Life challenges us to examine our fidelity to the mission that we are entrusted. 

3. The third aim of this Year is to embrace the future with hope and openness 
All our communities today experience many difficulties:  decreasing vocations and aging members, many economic problems, threats posed by relativism etc.
The Festal Meal 
This Year reminds us to put our trust in God because for him “nothing is impossible” (Lk 1:37). This is the hope that enables our consecrated life to look into the future and build our communities on real values, proper dedication, concrete actions and on missionary work.
Friends from St. Benedict's Church, Hong Kong in St. Lawrence Church 
What we have to do to receive graces during the Year of Consecrated life?
1. First of all, the religious are invited to refresh their religious life and vocation within themselves and inside their own communities. 

2. The religious are invited to show more happiness in their religious life. There is a need to live authentic fraternity in our communities. 
Fr. Jijo, Fr. Jojo, and Mons. Ante Jozic during the Celebrations 
3. During this Year there is a need of bearing witness to our faith in the world.

4. The religious are finally invited to share their own love and solidarity in the community, in the Diocese where they life and serve.
Friends from Hong Kong had an extra day of Pilgrimage,
visiting various Marian Shrines in Macau
After the talk by Mons. Ante Jozic, Bishop Jose Lai, Bishop of Macau presided over the Festal Mass, concelebrated by 20 priests

Claretians at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Ever since 1985, Fr. Alberto has been a regular participant of the Frankfurt Book Fair - the largest bookfair in the world. This year we were seven participants from the Claret Publishing group, representing Macao, Argentina, Brazil, Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Hong Kong and the Philippines. Particpation and even a visit to the Fair is expensive in Frankfurt, yet Claret Group is a regular participant as it offers an opportunity to make ourselves known to the rest of the publishing houses, especially those representing the world of religious publications.  

Fr. Jijo Kandankulathy, Director of Claretian Publications in Macau, a first time participant in the Frankfurt Book Fair, shares his Frankfurt experience:

I was new to Frankfurt and the Book Fair (FBF). Being in FBF was a different experience from the hearsay. My mental association with other book fairs was connected to a booklovers community that discussed ideas and theories that might change the world. Along my wanderings to different booths, I did want to buy every good book on the shelf, but eventually realized that FBF is all about business. People came there for buying and selling copyrights, translation rights and finding out popular reading habits across the world.  
A walk through downtown Frankfurt: Alberto, Dennis and Jijo
This year, the fanfare of the FBF was the presence of the Satanic Verses fame, Salman Rushdie. Iran chose to boycott the Fair altogether because of Rushdie whom they had issued a Fatwa, years ago. Imagine the poser of a writer to hold a whole country at bay!
Julia, representing the Amity Printing, explains the new
challenges and solutions in the printing of books
In the inaugural address, Rushdie passionately defended the freedom of expression and compared the writers to front line warriors without tanks and guns to fight. I regret that I had not learned enough German to understand the live telecast of the interviews with the authors, which appeared serious fodder to the inquisitive minds...

On my way back, the maple trees that had blushed to red with the kiss of the autumn gentleman around for some time bemused me. Ah! The backdrop for the romantic scene of creation saga must have been cast here along the sides of Rhine. Thanks Frs. Devadas and Thomas for tricking me to fall into the mesmerizing German autumn spell.

From Our Publications

Bishop Bernad Moras, the Archbishop of Bangalore (India) releases a copy of our latest title "40 Days of Pilgrimage with Pope Francis on the Care of Creation," by handing it over to Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, the Apostolic Nuncio to India and Nepal.

The book has also been presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair and the title is being translated into multiple languages.

Announcing our new blogs in Chinese

In the recent past so much of talks and discussions were held on "e-evangelization" and "meeting Him in the Clouds"etc. Perhaps the Claretian mission in this part of the region has given a special focus on the use of media.

Claretian Publications and Pastoral Bible Foundation are two of the Claretian pastoral initiatives, using media in the process of evangelization. Both of these initiatives strives to print and publish Bible and related literature from world-renowned authors at the least minimum expenses for the benefit of the readers. With the changing reading habits of the readers, we  strive to make the printed literature available online for free through our website and numerous blogs. Here are a list of website and blogs we maintain for spreading "The Message"

1. : The official website of Claretian Publications, Macau and the Pastoral Bible Foundaiton. The Webpage is being modified and you get a whole lot of Bible and related material online for free download here. Do not miss the audio New Testament available here.

2. - This is the one you are reading right now! The blog is available also in Italian and Spanish languages in the following links:

3. - The China Bulletin Blog in Italian

4. - In Spanish language

5. - An in-depth study of the Bible through the Sunday readings - Original commentaries by Fr. Fernando Armellini, translated from Italian into English. These Commentaries are available also in Spanish and Simplified Chinese in the following blogs:

6. - The Spanish blog for Sunday Bible Commentaries

7.  - Bible Commentaries in Simplified Chinese

Now with the help of a few enthusiastic and passionate Chinese Catholics, we are announcing the creation of two more blogs in Traditional Chinese for the benefit of our readers in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.

8. - this is a new Bulletin Blog in Traditional Chinese.

9. A Blog also in Traditional Chinese for the Sunday Bible Commentaries - This blog will be online from the first week of Advent onward.

We missionaries extend a heartfelt thanks to all our contributors who render selfless services in writing, editing and translating the literature to make them available to the world audience. We are thankful welcome the newcomers on board: Teresa Mak, Teresa Wong, Ms. Kwok and ..

Are you interested in joining us in our Mission? You can join us in many ways: 
a) Your prayers - during your daily prayers, say a pray for the missionaries and their collaborators
b) Your man-power - If you can spare a few hours every week to make a contribution in reading, proof-reading, editing or translating the materials
c) Your Financial Assistance - Any contributions that you make will take us a long way!
d) Your appreciation - Yes, it matters! Our greatest satisfaction is to know that you have benefited from our effort! Please do not forget to write to us!

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