Thursday, December 01, 2016

Welcome to the China Bulletin - December 2016

Merry Christmas 2016
Joyous and prosperous New Year 2017 

The Chinese Blog is one year old!

When a group of friends offered to translate the China Bulletin – Blog of the Claretians in China into traditional Chinese in the Month of October 2015, it saw the beginning of a new page in the media ministry of the Claretians. The China Bulletin Blog was begun in 2006 under the title “Macau Bulletin”  to share the life and mission of the Claretians, working in the China Region.
With the team of 她心中的孩子--樂仁 blog: Teresa Wong, Teresa Mak, Emily Woo and Kwok Lin Wah in
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel, Tai O 
Macau Bulletin was renamed as China Bulletin in 2010 in order to give a wider perspective to the monthly bulletin, covering the life of the missionaries in Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. But one of the drawbacks of the bulletin was that it’s target audience were not of the Chinese speaking regions! By 2015, the monthly bulletin was posted online in three different languages – English, Spanish and in Italian. Of course, each of them is customised for their target audience.

It was during this time, some of the “friends of Claretians” in Hong Kong suggested to have a Chinese translation of the Bulletin for the benefit of the Chinese-speaking people who are the real beneficiaries of the mission. And that was the beginning of the Chinese Bulletin of the Claretians in China   她心中的孩子--樂仁  .

In October 2016, the Chinese bulletin has completed one of year of bloging. The translation team gathered together in Mui Wo for a day of sharing and planning for the future. Thank you dear “team” for your valuable contributions in sharing in the mission of spreading the Word.  Indeed, you are taking up a huge responsibility now. But, we know that if it is God’s work, He will find His own ways of guiding his people.

Adieu Fr. Tom!

Fr. Tom Peyton, MM leaving Hong Kong 
Fr. Tom Peyton, a Maryknoll priest, after many decades of dedicated service to the Church in Hong Kong and in Mainland China, has returned to the United States on 14 November. He turned 85 a couple of months ago. 10 years ago when Fr. Jojo was looking for a residence while doing his language studies in the University, Fr. Tom Welcomed him to his parish. Later, Fr. Jose and Ezakias also stayed with him while attending classes. He was indeed a mentor to the first Claretians in Hong Kong. From then on, he in particular and the Maryknolls in general have been of great support to the Claretians. 
Ms. Rosa Chan, a long-time aid to Fr. Tom bidding farewell
His regular visits to the centers for the leprosy affected and to the schools in the mainland gave us opportunities to open our missionary options in the later stage. He was a great promoter of the Word of God. He helped us in distributing our Chinese Daily Gospel and Chinese Bibles both in Hong Kong and in the Mainland. He was indeed a great entrepreneur, a visionary and above all a committed missionary. Before his departure, we had a chance to have lunch with him in his favourite "Good and Cheap" restaurent in Ngau Tau Kok. While encouraging us to take up the ministry for the prisoners, which was one of his passions, he also had this to say: "Let me see what new projects can I take up in New York, before I return to Hong Kong"! 
Thank you Fr. Tom for the witness of life! 
There is a beautiful story in the Old Testament about Prophet Elisha: When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you." And Elisha said, "Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." He said, "You have asked a hard thing. (2 Kings 2:9). How I wish I could make a similar prayer! 

Year of Mercy Pilgrimage

Pilgrims in St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Tsing Yi 
A group of parishioners of Epiphany parish made a pilgrimage to the St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Tsing Yi, designated as one of the seven Holy Doors in the diocese of Hong Kong. Pilgrimage was concluded with a Eucharistic Celebration in the reliquary Chapel of the Church, where the relic of St. Thomas the Apostle is preserved. 
St. Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Christ is believed to have undergone martyrdom in India in the year 70 AD.  Fr. Ezakias and Fr. Jose accompanied the pilgrims.

Closing of the Holy Doors in Our Lady of Joy Abbey

During the closing of the Holy Doors in the
Trappist Monastery in Lantau Island 
The Holy Doors in the Trappist Monastery in the Lantau Island was the first to hold the closing ceremony, kick-starting the closing of the ‘Holy Year of Mercy celebrations’ in the diocese of Hong Kong. 
With a few of the pilgrims who made it to the Abbey on foot
The parishioners from Peng Chau, Mui Wo and Tai O attended the Solemn Eucharistic celebration, officiated by the abbot of the Monastery. A group of parishioners from Mui Wo together with Fr. Jose made a pilgrimage by walk to the Monastery, which is a little more than 3 kms. through the mountains from Mui Wo.


Fr. Jojo on pilgrimage to India and Nepal

Fr. Jojo (Centre) and Fr. Yuen (left) led a group of
30 pilgrims to India and Nepal 
Fr. Jojo and Fr. Yuen together with the pilgrims from Hong Kong and Macau with the children they sponsor in Nepal 
Fr. Jojo led a group of 30 pilgrims from Macau and Hong Kong to India and Nepal in the middle of November 2016. Besides visiting holy shrines and famous churches in Goa and Kerala, the pilgrims visited some centers for the leprosy affected in the region. 
A repeat of Francis Xavier?!
Fr. Jojo
celebrating mass on the beaches of Goa 
A visit to Bom Jesus Church in Goa, which is the custodian of the incorrupt body of St. Francis Xavier, a 16th Century Jesuit Missionary and to the Mount of the Holy Cross in Kerala, where St. Thomas the Apostle is believed to have prayed, were some of the highlights of the pilgrimage in India.
In Nepal 
“The Candle Light”- the Charity wing of the lay associates of the Claretians in Macau and Hong Kong, under the guidance of Fr. Jojo is helping the education of Children in an earthquake-hit village in Nepal. 

An Indo-Sino fusion! 
To visit to this remote village and to meet the children they are helping was one of the objectives of their trip to Nepal. The pilgrims from Macau and Hong Kong are our collaborators in the mission in this part of the world.  
Being with them, at least for a while 
The village in Nepal was hit by the 2014 earthquake which shattered the homes and hopes of the people here. The Claretian Missionaries from India are involved in the rebuilding and rehabilitation projects here.  
Being with the poor, for the Lord is with them!


Sharing the little that we have

Epiphany parish in Mui Wo is one of the smallest parishes in terms of parishioners in the diocese of Hong Kong. It is one of the largest parishes in terms of the geographical area it covers. The parish is not financially sound, as vast majority of the parishioners are domestic helpers who hail from various nationalities such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka etc. Therefore, the parish relies on the diocese.
Fr. Alberto and Fr. Marques with the parishioners in Mui Wo,
Getting ready with the box of used goods for the needy 
Yet, we find joy in sharing the little we have with the one who is in need. Recently we have sent a few boxes of clothes and goods to some of the poorest regions of the Philippines .

150 million Bibles

On November 9, 2016, Amity Printing, the printing company in China with whom the Pastoral Bible Foundation has been working for the past 18 years, celebrated its 30th anniversary. During the past 30 years in the industry, they have printed 150 million copies of the bible, in more than 100 languages, and sent to more than 70 countries.
Amity Printing Press in Nanjing, China 
Amity Printing - over 600 workers work there, but over 90% of them do not believe in the Bible! Yet as far as printing the Bible is concerned, there are not many to compare with! 
 Nancy, Jill and Fanny of the Amity Printing with Divine. 
What is expected of a printing company? When Fr. Alberto started dealing with this printing company in China he asked for three things: print quality, good price and timely delivery. After a couple of years he added one more requirement: 'a credit line' that was given to him. But what he considers as the most important thing was his discovery of what the Chinese call: 好的 关系 (hou dik guan-hai) an expression that can be translated as "good relationships". After 18 years of collaboration, the Amity Printing is like "we are family!". It is a very great deal of friendship that does not hinder the necessary commercial relationship.


The Moon Gazers! 

Fr. Ezakias, Fr. Alberto and Fr. Marques
November 14 presented the moon's closest encounter with Earth in over 68 years, since January 26, 1948. And we have made it a night to remember! With a couple of pizzas and drinks we climbed the mountain overlooking the Mui Wo beach to watch the moon! 
The elders show the way! Fr. Alberto and Fr. Marques 

A view of the Hong Kong skyline on the Super-moon night

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.