Sunday, January 01, 2017

Welcome to the China Bulletin - January 2017

Happy New Year 2017 

Thank you Lord for all that has been of 2016 
Yes Lord for all that is in store for 2017 


AEYG 2017+CF to be held in Yogyakarta 

TRUE WITNESSES AND MESSENGERS OF THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL IN DIVERSITY will be the theme for the Asia East Youth Gathering 2017 with the Claretian Family (AEYG 2017+CF) to be held from 1 - 7 August 2017 in Yogjakarta - Indonesia. The theme and the dates were announced during the ASCLA East Youth coordinators’ meeting at Yogjakarta from 6 to 8 December 2016. 

Yohanes M. Vianey, CMF, the delegate superior of Indonesia-Timor Leste shared with the group the three mystic-words of Pope Francis to the Claretian Missionaries - TO ADORE, TO WALK and TO ACCOMPANY. The group had a reflection and sharing on the message of the Pope.  The AEYG 2017 + CF will be held simultaneously with the Asian Youth Day 2017 which will also be celebrated in Yogyakarata. The AEYG participants would join just for one of the days of AYD. 

The previous edition of the AEYG was celebrated in 2015 in Quezon City, in the Philippines. Thanks to Indonesia-Timor Leste Independent Delegation for hosting this preparatory meeting and all the best wishes to the coordinators and the participants. Let AEYG 2017 + CF be a channel for all of us to be a TRUE WITNESSES AND MESSENGERS OF THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL IN DIVERSITY.

Cantata Macau 2016

Cantata Macau 2016 - The first ever International Choral Festival of Macau was celebrated on 3 & 4 December in St. Joseph Seminary Chapel and Fatima Church Macau. It was a joint venture of St. Augustine's Choir and the Claretian Publications, Macau. 
Fr. Jijo, Director of the Claretian Publications and the organiser of the event, at the closing ceremony of Cantata Macau 2016 at the Fatima Church in Macau 
Although the first of its kind in Macau, the festival attracted 10 various choir from the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Macau.
The participating choirs during their joint performance
San Pedro College Davao Choir (Philippines)
Thomasian Chamber Choir (Philippines)
Mahildol University Choir (Thailand)
Centro Escolar University Choir - Makati (Philippines)
Vocalismo Choral Group (Philippines)
Sto. Augustinho Choir (Macau)

Pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Francis Xavier 

Fr. Jojo from his early years in Macau started the practice of leading pilgrims from Macau to the tomb of St. Francis Xavier in the month of December, in connection with the feast day of St. Francis Xavier. As per the "custom", this time too, he lead a group of pilgrims to Shangchuan Island  (St. John's Island) where St. Francis Xavier breathed his last on 3 December 1552.  
Every time he travels to the tomb, he encounters some miraculous experiences. This time, the site is closed for some major renovation work and pilgrims are not allowed to visit the site. In spite of knowing this before hand, Fr. Jojo led a group to the Island and there he comes across some one who was influential and could get access to the site and have mass there! 

This is the main island of on the southern coast of China. Its name originated from São João ("Saint John" in Portuguese). It is part of the Guangdong province, in the South China Sea. Located 14 km from the mainland, it is the largest island in the province. 

The Spanish (Navarre) Jesuit missionary St. Francis Xavier died on the island on December 3, 1552, as he was waiting for a ship to take him to mainland China.


Advent , "Simbang Gabi" & Christmas 

During the season of Advent, parishioners of Epiphany Church in Mui Wo have visited the home for the elderly in Mui Wo and Tai O with singing of carols and Christmas gifts for the elderly. 
The Youth For Life members singing Carols
in the home for the aged in Mui Wo
Carolling in the Mui Wo home for the aged 
The Youth group members after Carolling in Mui Wo 
Now it's the elders' turn! : Performance by the Epiphany Parish group during the Silvermine Bay Carnival, which is an annual cultural festival of the island. 
During the Silvermine Bay Carnival 
"Go and tell that the Saviour is born"!
Carols Singing on the streets!

Fr. Ezakias giving the message during
Christmas party for the elderly in Pengchau 
Christmas party for the elderly in
Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel, Pengchau
Ah! The Santa is here, with gifts indeed! Fr. Ezakias in action! 
Together with the Principal and students of  Holy Family School
during the elderly party 

Looking for the "Star in the East"?
Our Altar Servers during the "Christmas Camp" in Tai O 
Mid-night prayer gathering on the roof-top!
During the Christmas Camp for the Youth
Tai O community after the Christmas Vigil Mass 
The “Simbang Gabi” is a long treasured Philippine tradition originally a series of “dawn masses” for nine consecutive days before Christmas Day. Its liturgical significance emanates from the Season of Advent, being the time of spiritual preparation and purification to worthily welcome and receive the Child Jesus in our midst. The Mass at Dawn, Simbang Gabi, is a nine-day novena to the Blessed Mother. It starts every December 16th and is one of the longest and most important religious celebrations in the Philippines that has lasted over 600 years. 
There is a strong presence of Filipinos in the two parishes we serve in Macau and Hong Kong. As in the past years, this year too Simbang Gabi masses were organised in St. Lawrence Church in Macau and Epiphany Church, Mui Wo and Our lady Queen of Peace Chapel, Pengchau in Hong Kong. 
Christmas Party in Mui Wo 

Mission in Yunnan 

A Claretian presence on the southern borders of China - our project among tribal minorities.
Yunnan Province, China
In the monthly blogs of the past 11 years we have talked about many places in China, but this is the first time we write about Yunnan. Yunnan Province has more than 46 million inhabitants. Its territory covers an area of ​​394,100 km². It is located in the south of the country and has border crossings with Laos, Burma and Vietnam.
Rice terraces in Yunnan Province, China
Its geography is very varied: mountainous in the border area with Tibet and with great valleys in the lowlands. The highest point of the province is the Kagebo peak, of 6,740 meters of altitude. 

Its population is formed by more than 20 different ethnic groups, among which the Miao, Bai, Yi and Hani stand out.
Nature is beautiful
A Claretian missionary, our companion, works with these minorities who live cut off from the "civilised world" and in a very precarious situation. Education of children is the urgent missionary focus of the region. 

A group of Claretian associates from Hong Kong, Macao and China make economic aid possible on this missionary front. 

Wish to join hands? Feel free to contactus:

From the Publications 

As the Christmas was approaching, the Claretian Publications (Claret Publishing group worldwide) received a surprise Christmas gift: Apostolic Blessings:- 
"To the Claretian Publications, with my blessing 
and my gratitude for all the good they do"
Thank you Papa Francisco! 

Amoris Laetitia - A handbook for families  
Claretian Publications has just published a summary of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia with questions and answers for families. 

Wish you all a prosperous Year of the Rooster! 

While most of the world is done celebrating the arrival of 2017, the Chinese New Year will begin on January 28 marking the start of the Year of the Rooster.

2017 is the Year of the Rooster according to Chinese Zodiac, a 12 year cycle symbolized by the 12 animals. According to this calendar, the Chinese New Year falls between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20 every year and the occasion is celebrated with much pomp and grandeur across the globe. The revelry typically includes new clothes, family dinners, gift exchanging, decorations marked by an abundance of the colour red (a symbol of good luck and prosperity) and enthusiastic celebrations including firecrackers and the customary lion and dragon dances.