Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Welcome to the China Bulletin - November 2016

Claret Feast 2016 

 Claretians of Macau and Hong Kong together with their friends and well-wishers came together on 22 October in Macau to celebrate the feast of St. Antony Mary Claret. Bishop Stephen Li, Bishop of Macau officiated the liturgy. It was an occasion to acknowledge our heartfelt gratitude to all our valued friends for their care, love and support in our mission
Every year on 24 October, the Church celebrates the memoria of a 19th Century Spanish Bishop and Saint Anthony Mary Claret. In 1849, together with five of his fellow priests, he founded a religious Congregation - Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He died on 24 October 1870. 
A group of friends from Hong Kong during the feast day celebrations in Macau 
During the feast of St. Claret this year, a Claretian missionary, working in China wrote a piece of article in his blog, regarding the founding of the Congregation in 1849. I thought, this is worth sharing here for our wider audience: 

There is a lot of talk about Claretian identity these days.
The superiors even provide us with our congregational DNA.
We Claretians are . . . . 
Well, let me add my personal thought to this discussion. When our founder was preaching missions on
the Canary Island, gold was discover in California. That news
was officially announced to the Congress on December 5th, 1848
and ‘gold fever’ descended on the entire country. By early 1849,
it was an epidemic. Hundreds of thousands of people, mostly
young men, sold possessions, mortgaged farms, borrowed money, or banded together with others to form joint stock companies. They said their goodbyes and
streamed west to take their chance on gold. They were called “Forty-Niners”, because they left home in 1849. Their dream? To become rich.

On July 16, 1849, six people in Vic, unaware of gold fever on the other side of the Atlantic, gathered in a seminary building for a retreat. During that time, they found something more precious than gold, a new charism for the Church. It was a gift of the Holy Spirit and its DNA was and remains this simple phrase: setting the whole world on fire with God’s love. Most of the Forty-Niners ended up broke and sick with no legacy whatsoever. Gold, instead of benefiting them, ruined their lives. 

On the other hand, fathers Claret, Sala, Xifre, Fabregas, Vilaro, and Clotet passed on their newly found charism to others. We are spiritual descendants of that FortyNiners, Cordis Mariae Filii
We try to set the whole world on fire with God’s love, including China and nothing daunts us.  We delight in privations, welcome work,  embrace sacrifices, smile at slander and rejoice in suffering. 

The San Francisco Forty-Niners were ready to dedicate one year of
pain chasing after lifetime riches. We live daily on the front lines of mission in pursuit of the greater glory of God and the salvation of people. 
Fr. Jose and Fr. Jojo with Bishop Stephen Li,
during the feast day celebrations in Macau
From the Festal Mass in St. Lawrence Church in Macau 

First Profession in Macau

Ian Dacayanan in Tai O, Hong Kong 
4 October is a day to remember for the Claretians in Macau, as on this day a Claretian Novice made his first religious profession in Macau. Ian Dacayanan was associated with the Claretian Publications in the Philippines since 2001. From 2006 to 2014 he had been assisting Fr. Rossa in the Publications in Macau. During this period, he was the page setter and web designer for the Publications. 
Ian being accompanied by Fr. Jijo during the First Profession 
The China Bulletin that you are reading now was originally designed and maintained by him 2006! Although he did not understand Chinese, he designed the page layout for the new translation of the Chinese New Testament! 
Ian professing his Religious Wows at the hands of the Superior Delegate, Fr. Paco Carin 
After years of service in the Publications, he expressed his desire to be a missionary in the Congregation and entered the formation programme in Taiwan. Later on, completed his Noviciate in Spain. Ian made his First Profession during the concelebrated Holy Eucharist in St. Lawrence Church, Macau on 4 October 2016. 
A hand of support and appreciation from the friends! 
Many Claretian confrères from Japan, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong participated in the solemn liturgy. Ian will continue his Theology studies in the Philippines. Congratulations dear Ian! 
Together with the Claretian confrères from Japan, Taiwan, China, Macau and Hong Kong

Feast of Our Lady, Queen of Peace in Peng Chau

Peng Chau - A brief history: 

In the autumn of 1958, Madam Chan On Don, a lady who worked as a maid, donated her only property located at 21, Wing Hing Street, in Peng Chau to the Diocese for evangelisation.  Bishop Bianchi and the General Secretary Rev. MENCARINI, Lido PIME accepted the offer and handed the premises over to Fatima Parish of Cheung Chau. 
Island of Peng Chau
The parish rector REV. NICOLA RUGGIERO, PIME refurbished the property, turning it into a church and commenced religious services for the locals.  On 15.8.1958 (feast day of ascension of holy mother), the first batch of 30 catechumens were baptized in the chapel.   By 1995, the chapel was placed under the care of Epiphany Parish of Mui Wo. 
Procession during the Feast of
Our Lady, Queen of Peace: Peng Chau 
Marian Procession 
Our Lady, Queen of Peace is the patron saint of the Catholic Community of Peng Chau. Although no priest resides in the chapel, Eucharistic Celebration is held three days of the week. 
Eucharistic Celebration in the Sports Cente, Peng Chau 
Every year, the first Sunday of October is observed as the feast day of the Peng Chau Chapel, bringing together the small Catholic community to proclaim their faith and to share the peace and joy of being a Christian. 

On 2 October this year, the Chapel celebrated it's patron's feast day. Fr. John Wutherspoon, OMI who served this community over a decade ago, officiated the feast day liturgy. A good number of friends and faithful from St. Lawrence Church, Macau and also from other parishes in Hong Kong took part in the celebrations. 
At the meals' table after sharing the Table of the Lord 
Earlier, the chapel prepared itself for the feast day with a triduum on 29 September to 1 October, with the Holy eucharist and praying the rosary. The children from the Holy Family School and from Epiphany Church, Mui Wo joined the Peng Chau community in a display of music talents and dancing skills. 

Frankfurt Book Fair

The Claret Publishing Group booth in the Frankfurt Book Fair
Claretian Publications has got some special connections with the Frankfurt Book Fair! Yes, for the past 31 years, Fr. Alberto has been a faithful attendant of the world's largest book fair! He represented the Claretian Publications in the Philippines in the early years and continued with the projects of the Publications and Pastoral Bible Foundation, in Macau and Hong Kong. 
Claretian Publishers from around the world 
The Frankfurt Book Fair is one place where books are not sold! What people buy and sell are the "rights" for the printing and publishing of the books. Fr. Alberto feels that it was with the possibility of meeting the publishers in the book fair, especially those from the United States, the Publications in the Philippines and in Macau and Hong Kong have succeeded. It is also an occasion to meet and strengthen the friendships with the publishers around the world. 
Evaluation gathering of the Claretian Editors 
This time around, the Claret Group of Publications had representatives from Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Bangalore (India), Yaoundé (Cameroon), Argentina, Brazil, the Philippines, Macau and Hong Kong. 

Marian Pilgrimage in Lantau!

On the way to the "Marian Hill", Lantau Island
In the Month of October every year, parishioners of Epiphany parish make a Marian Pilgrimage to a small statue of Our Lady on the Bak Kung Au sector of the Lantau Peak, the tallest mountain in Lantau Island. 
Pilgrims going up the hill
The story goes back to the year 1999 when Mr. Giuseppe Salaroli, an Italian who lives in Lantau, fixed a small statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the side of a huge rock on the way to the Lantau Peak. 
Ave Maria, Regina Di Lantao
From then on, pilgrims from the various communities in Lantau Island would visit the statue and pray the Rosary. There were times in the past, when priests have accompanied small groups up the hill to celebrate Holy Mass there. 
Reciting the Rosary at the foot of the statue of
"Mary, Queen of Lantau!"
The Marian Pilgrimage and Rosary was conducted on 29 October, under the leadership of Mr. Salaroli. After the pilgrimage the Salarolis have hosted the pilgrims in their home for an Italian lunch.

Post-WYD gathering

The World Youth Day 2016 was celebrated in the last week of July this year in Krakow, Poland. Over 500 youth from Hong Kong joined the celebrations. The members of the Diocesan English Youth who participated in the WYD took time to gather together for a day of reflection and renewal in the Infant Jesus Retreat House, Mui Wo. 
Adventurous all the way! ...
At the Silver Mine waterfalls in Mui Wo 

Macau participates in the World Blind Walk

There are 39 million Blind people in the world. India has one third of the World's blind persons - 15 million. This shocking figure touched a few kind-hearted in India very deeply. They decided to do something. They started a Charity named The Project Vision with the vision, “Let everyone see”. About Fifty of them, under the leadership of Fr George Kannanthanam, a Claretian Missionary in India committed to two objectives: 
• to make eye donation a norm in the society and 
• to create opportunities for the permanently blind to live a descent life
Project Vision developed the concept of BLIND WALK and held the first ever BLIND WALK in Bangalore in three locations in 2014 for National eye donation fortnight. It was a great beginning with overwhelming response and impact.
Riding on this success story, Project Vision expanded the BLINDWALK to the global audience this year. Blindness is a global issue that needs a global response. Covering five countries, BLIND WALK carried the message of eye donation in 50 locations in United States, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal and India.
In Macau, under the leadership of Fr. Jojo Ancheril, the Blind Walk was organised on 14 October. Fr. Jijo, who joined the event had shared his reflections on his facebook page: 

20 Minutes of Blindness
Researching on the neurological wiring of the visually impaired, I have grown closer to the condition of people who are not able to see. So, I needed no special ideological push to participate in the Blind Walk held for the first time in Macau under the aegis of Project Vision. I walked blindfolded for about 20 minutes holding on to the hand of a stranger who became a friend instantaneously. The neurological wiring of these people is amazing. The concentration that they are able to achieve in mind mapping the world around them with extreme accuracy should qualify them to join rocket engineering!
While walking blindfolded, I realized how suddenly my other senses began to be extra alert. My hands extended to feel the presence of persons, to pick up as much kinesthetic sensation as possible. My head started craning in the hope of catching as much light as possible. My face started twitching, not knowing how I was being looked at. I became irredeemably self-conscious. I had a feeling of being objectified! When the vision is lost…..how much they miss?
On the way back, I decided to walk back the same route that I had walked blindfolded. I suddenly realized that my mind had picked up a sense of the geography of the place without my knowing. I moved along the crossroads and byways intuitively. (I am otherwise geography-illiterate and prone to miss a road unless I have passed through it half a dozen times).
At the end of the day, I feel, sharing blindness makes one a richer person as long as one has the option to see again. You can dramatically say that ‘the world that can be seen is beautiful. The one that cannot be seen is even more beautiful’. I said it. But I regret saying it. If I loose my sight forever, I do not think I can hold the same view again……
People need to see…. Everyone needs to see… What use is it to go to heaven with your both eyes when they can be still of use for people walking the treacherous paths of the earth?

My eyes are pledged… I think, I have the privilege of having eyes on earth, I can do the next life without them. Let them go to someone who can see….