Friday, January 01, 2016

Welcome to the China Bulletin - January 2016

Thanks for joining us! 

There are over 500 monthly news blogs ... sharing the Word of God and the life of the Church in China, Macau and Hong Kong. 

Claretians in Macau- Hong Kong-China are completing 10 years of their presence in this region! It was on 11 January 2006 Fr. Rossa arrived in Macau and we thank God for His mercy. 

China - Macau Bulletin was started in early 2006 with the monthly blog in Castilian. Soon followed the blog in English. Later the blog in Italian and Chinese blog were started recently. Thanks to many of our friends for their contributions! 

To all our readers: Thanks for joining us, to share, to empathise with the life of the Church in China. 

We know that some of you sent the link to their friends and so help us in this task of evangelization through the internet: Also Thanks! 

10 years of the blog are available on the same link. Feel free to share it with your friends on your contact list. 

Wish you all a grace-filled New Year 2016 

New Testament for mainland China

Cover of the New Testament in Simplified Chinese 
This is the "good news" by far for the New Year! We open the new year with the arrival of the New Testament in Simplified Chinese. It contains introductions, commentaries and extensive pastoral guidelines for the prayerful reading (Lectio Divina) for each paragraph of the New Testament. The text has 1550 pages printed in two colors. 

This is a pioneering work for the sole distribution in mainland China at a price well below its printing cost. It is a project of the Pastoral Bible Foundation and the Claretian Publications of the Claretian Missionaries who work in China, under the title: "Bible Claret".
Left side of the page is NT text with parallel references below
Right side gives guide to Lectio Divina and pastoral commentaries

Meanwhile we continue translating the Old Testament into modern Chinese.

Opening of the Holy Doors in the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Opening of the Holy Doors ceremony in the
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Hong Kong 
As darkness fell across the city of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon stood in the flickering light of a phalanx of torch bearers in the grounds of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to formally inaugurate the Jubilee of Mercy in the diocese on December 12.
Faithful gather together with their Bishops for the Opening of the Holy Doors 
Beginning with a plea to God to have mercy on the world and its people, the bishop of the diocese prayed to the Lord who forgives faults and heals infirmities, as well as human weakness.
John Cardinal Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong presides over the liturgy
Cardinal Tong prayed, “Glory to you, Lord, merciful and kind, slow to anger and abounding in mercy,” before calling on all present to fix their eyes on the merciful face of Jesus.
The Holy Doors of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Hong Kong 
Then, as Pope Francis did when he opened the Jubilee of Mercy at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, the bishop of Hong Kong inaugurated the Extraordinary Jubilee to open to us, all men and women, the door of God’s mercy.
John Cardinal Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong opens the Holy Doors
during the liturgy held on 8 December 2015 
He described the moment as a prelude to the profound experience of grace and reconciliation that awaits the Church this year, praying to God, the author of true freedom, who desires to gather the whole human race into one people unshackled from the chains of slavery, to make the Church a brilliantly shining sacrament of salvation. 
Bishops, deacons and Priests of the Diocese
brought their faithful together as the Jubilee Year of Mercy began 
As the sweet aroma of incense swirled through the gathering in the blustery breeze, the bishop of the diocese walked in solemn procession with his ministers. 
"The Home of the Church, the Gateway to Heaven"

Beneath the door, the words, The Home of the Church, the Gateway to Heaven, have been inscribed in Chinese and Latin, inviting people to pass through in search of repentance and forgiveness, as an expression of trust in the mercy of God.
- Sunday Examiner 
Newly baptised opens the Gate of Mercy in China

In the city of Tian Jin, China, 641 newly baptized in 2015, together with the community of the faithful opened the doors of the Cathedral to begin the Jubilee Year of Mercy.  As a sign of communion with the Universal Church and following the request of Pope Francis, pastoral initiatives focused on Mercy are launched in the diocese. Service to the poor and needy, visiting the sick and elderly are givein priority 

Good news from China ...

It has been revealed a Vatican delegation has traveled to Beijing to continue dialogue with the Chinese government. That was in last October. Previously the government had proposed a priest of the diocese of Sichuan as bishop and now it has also been reported that the Vatican has approved this election. The Episcopal consecration will take place in 2016.
Committee on the election of the new bishop

This 'solution' for the election of bishops in China is that the Chinese government 'choose' a new bishop and asks the Vatican approval or veto. Meanwhile, the dialogue between the Vatican and China, begun by Pope Francisco, continues.

Inter-parish events...

St. Lawrence's Choir with Fr. Jojo in St. Benedict Church, Shatin 
St. Cecilia Choir of St. Benedict Church, Shatin Wai hosted the Parish priest, Fr. Jojo and his Choir from St. Lawrence Church, Macau on 6 December 2015 for a day of prayer, singing, sharing and meal.  "Divine Words Music Cross Over (福傳音樂交流)" was the theme-line for this event.
The parish choir of St. Lawrence Church and St. Cecilia Choir of St. Benedict Church
with the Parish Priests - Fr. Jojo and Fr. Simon Li 
It's meal time! 

Christmas Celebrations...

Hong Kong 
The Crib in Mui Wo Chapel 
The first Christmas in Mui Wo was indeed a beautiful celebration of love and sharing. We had organised two talks on Infancy Narratives as a preparation for the season of Advent and the Parish Community had an intense preparation of nine days of Novena Masses - Symbangabi - a Filipino tradition -  from 15-23 of December.
Fr. Alberto addressing the gathering of the elderly on the Christmas day in Peng Chau 
From the gathering of the elderly in Peng Chau on the Christmas day!

During the nine days of the Novena, Fr. Alberto guided the faithful focusing on a theme given by Pope Francis to the Claretian Missionaries: To Walk, to Accompany and to Adore.  Pope Francis during an audience given to the Missionaries during the General Chapter in September 2015 invited the congregation to focus on this theme in our Missionary apostolate. We picked that up as our theme for the Christmas Celebrations. Midnight liturgy was conducted both in Chinese and English in Mui Wo Church and Peng Chau mass centre. 
During the Mui Wo Carnival, Fr. Alberto as one of the "three wise men from the East"
Parishioners performing during the Carnival 
A week before Christmas, the local community of Mui Wo celebrated the Mui Wo Carnival - a village festival. Our Parish Community participated in the event staging a play on the Christmas Story and singing carols.
On the way to the Home for the Aged in Mui Wo on the Christmas Day 
Christmas was also a special occasion to reach out to the elderly, especially those in old age homes in Mui Wo and in Peng Chau. A number of parishioners went around Mui Wo downtown on the Christmas Eve, singing Carols and greeting people on the streets the joys of Christmas.
Carols in the Home for the Aged 
On the Christmas day a celebration was organised for the elderly in the Peng Chau chapel, where over 150 elderly persons, most of whom are non-christians, participated. In Mui Wo, the parishioners visited a number of old age homes, singing carols and distributing Christmas gifts to the inmates.

聖誕快樂! Happy Christmas!! 
"Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let all the earth rejoice"


The Christmas Decorations in Macau 
In the Parish of St. Lawrence, where Fr. Jojo is the parish priest, Nine-day novena mass was held at 5.30 am from 15-23 December. Christmas Eve liturgy in English included an hour of adoration and meditation prior to the midnight mass. The meditation was led by Bro. Sid Ching, CMF and the Concelebrated Mass was presided over by Fr. Francisco Carin, Delegate Superior of the Claretians of the East Asia. 

Keeping the missionary spirit alive...

The Chapel in Javier Castle, in the province of Navarre in the Basque region of Spain
about 30km from Pamplona. St. Francis Xavier (one of the founders of the Society of Jesus
or Jesuits) was born here on 7th April 1506
St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of the Missionaries died at a very young age of 46 in on 3 December 1552 in a small island called Shangchuan which is now part of China. He made a tedious apostolic journey to India and Japan before arriving this Chinese Island with an ardent desire to evangelise China. 
Group of pilgrims with Fr. Jojo in St.Lawrence Church, Macau
as they set out for Shangchuan Island
Shangchuan Island is just a couple of hours by boat away from Macau. Fr. Jojo organises  pilgrimage to this holy place on 3 December to commemorate the death of the Patron of the Missions and to keep the missionary spirit of the Church alive in the hearts of the faithful. A group of faithful from Macau joined him this year in this annual pilgrimage. 

WYD + CF - Łódź+ Kraków 2016

A group of youngsters from St. Benedict Parish, Shatin and Epiphany Parish, Mui Wo are gearing up to participate in the Claretian family World Youth Day organised by Polish Claretian Family as part of World Youth Day convoked by pope Francis. 
The Delegation from Hong Kong for the WYD+CF in Łódź+ Kraków 2016
It’s a meeting of communities and environments functioning by Claretian parishes throughout the World. We are meeting a week before official inauguration of WYD to celebrate this time together. We will be visiting the most beautiful parts of Poland, pray and play together. We will experience our holy day unitedly. 

"World Youth Day is a huge meeting of young people from the whole World around Christ’s Vicar. It’s one of evangelization means of the Church, which during this time gives Christ’s address for young people.” (Pope John Paul II)

The Youth group from Hong Kong will be part of a larger unit of the Claretian Youth groups coming from Taiwan, China and Japan. They have started their intensive preparations with both spiritual formation and arranging the logistics. 

Our Visitors...

Fr. Joshy James with Fr. Alberto in Mui Wo 
We had a number of our conferrers and friends visiting us in Macau and Hong Kong in the month of December. Fr. Joshy James from Taiwan was in Macau and Hong Kong in the first week of December. He hails from India and for the past seven years he has been rendering his services in Taiwan.
In Mui Wo 
Together with Fr. Jose, Fr. Ezakias and Fr. Alberto 
Acquaintance with the Missionaries also attracts youngsters to embrace religious life. A couple of youth came to live with us for a couple of days to live with us as part of their discernment process. 
Jose, Simon, Peter James, Bro. Sid and Alberto in Mui Wo 
Lantau Island is known for his beautiful landscape and exciting hiking trails. A group of friends from Shatin came on hiking from Tungchung to Tai O (a little more than 14 kms. on a mountainous terrain). The Chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Tai O is one of the Mass centers of Epiphany Parish in Mui Wo. 
The Hiking Team from Shatin in the Chapel of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Tai O 
Fr. Luc Song in Mui Wo, Hong Kong 
Fr. Luc Song , a Chinese priest who is completing his doctoral studies in Scripture paid a visit to our new parish in Mui Wo. He has done his studies in France and Rome. He is  part of the biblical team working on the translation of the Old Testament.
In the Mui Wo House 
Fr. Jojo (extreme left) with a group of bishops from the Philippines in St. Lawrence Church  in Macau. The Bishops were in Macau for a meeting and several of them are well known to the Claretians and we had a good opportunity to recall the times gone ...

Birthdays and anniversaries...

December is indeed special, busy with the advent celebrations and preparations and celebration of Christmas... We had some special reasons to thank God for in this Month.
On 10 December we celebrated the birthday of one of our collaborators in the Mission in China-Macau-Hong Kong - Jessica Chan.  
Jessica, second from right, and her sisters with Fr. Alberto and Jose in Tai O 
We pray that the Good Lord may grant His choicest blessings, good health and lots of cheers on her and her family. 

Fr. Jojo and Fr. Jose celebrated the 12 anniversary of their Priestly Ordination on 27 and 30 December. They were Ordained in 2003 in India. 

A New Year's Prayer

Fr. Blas Márquez, A Claretian Missionary, wrote a beautiful prayer for the eve of the New Yrear. Fr. Blas is a poet, a prophet, very committed missionary who worked in the poorest countries. The Original Prayer in Spanish is translated by Fr. Alberto and Fr. Jose Marques. As we begin the New Year 2016, we wish to share this prayer with all our dear readers, supporters: 

I thank you, Lord, for everything you gave me in this year that is ending.
I thank you for all the sunny days and also for the cloudy and the sad ones.
I thank you for health, sickness, pains and tears.

I thank you for everything you lent me and, then, asked it back from me.
I thank you, Lord, for the friendly smile and the helping hand, for love, for everything beautiful and everything sweet. Thanks for the flowers and the starts, for the existence of children and good souls.

Thanks for the loneliness, concerns, difficulties and tears, for everything bringing me closer to you.
Thanks for having preserved my life, for giving me shelter and sustenance.
What will the year that is starting bring me? Anything you want, Lord.

But I ask you FAITH to see you in everything, HOPE not to falter and CHARITY 
to love you every day more and make you loved.
Give me, Lord, what you know it is good for me, and I don’t know to ask for.

May I have an alert heart and attentive ear, active hands and mind 
and the readiness to always do your Holy Will.     
Pour out your graces upon all those I love and grant your peace to the whole world. Amen.