Macao: Divine Mercy Congress

divmer2In response to Pope Francis' announcement of the Year of Mercy, the Claretian Missionaries with lay collaborators organized the Divine Mercy Congress in Macao from January 22 to 25, 2016. St. Lawrence Parish, where one of our brothers, Fr. Jojo Ancheril, CMF, is the parish priest, was the venue. The main theme of the Congress was "Jesus Christ—the Face of the Merciful Father." About eighty participants from the Mainland, Macao, Hongkong and Taiwan attended the said congress.

The congress began on Friday evening, Jan 22, with the opening mass presided by Fr. Stephan Rothlin, SJ. In his homily he showed how the social teaching of the church springs from the fount of the Divine Mercy. Then, he wished all the participants to have a meaningful experience during the coming days. Four speakers developed the theme of the congress. Since they were from the Mainland, Hongkong, the Philippines and India, their presence added an international flavor to the event.
IMG 0410The congress was not just an intellectual event, but experiential as well.  Aside from six biblical talks about God’s mercy in the Old and New Testament, the participants also experienced the Divine Mercy in the sacrament of reconciliation and through prayer. During the entire events Claretian priests were at the service of those who wanted to receive God’s mercy through the sacrament of reconciliation. Then, on the second day of the event, Fr. Joy Pulickal, CMF, conducted a healing service with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and prayer for inner and physical healing. The organizers also provided ample time for sharing and testimonials. Each day, some of the participants shared how the Divine Mercy was visible in their lives with their stories of conversions and forgiveness, of healing and transformation. The Gospel became alive again and all realized that God’s mercy was something real, concrete, and experiential.
IMG 0359The last day of the event was graced with the presence of the newly appointed shepherd of the Diocese of Macao, Bishop Stephen Lee, who presided over the concluding Eucharist. After the Holy Mass, he spent an hour with the participants, sharing about his life and experience, and answering their questions. It was truly a time of God’s mercy and—as one of the participants said—one could see "the finger of God" behind the event. 
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Abriendo nuevas fronteras: Nueva misión Claretiana en Hong Kong

El 1 de Noviembre los Misioneros Claretianos comenzaron una nueva misión en Hong Kong. Se trata de una nueva parroquia en la periferia más apartada de este territorio.

Luego de 10 años en la vecina diócesis de Macao hemos aceptado la invitación de la diócesis de Hong Kong para abrir un nuevo puesto misionero y una nueva parroquia. Tres Misioneros Claretianos forman esta nueva comunidad: El P. Ezakías (Superior), el P. José (párroco) y el P. Alberto.

(Iz) P. José, P. Ezakías y P. Alberto. 
El 1 de Noviembre en la nueva parroquia de la Epifanía.


La nueva parroquia tiene también una pequeña casa de retiro que está ahora bajo nuestro cuidado. En la foto las dos comunidades de Macao y Hong Kong con el Superior Provincial P. Francisco Carín (en rojo).
Dentro de la pequeña casa de retiro.
Luego de la Misa de toma de posesión de la nueva parroquia.

La nueva parroquia de la “Epifanía” se encuentra en la isla de Lantao, la isla más grande de Hong Kong y a su vez, se trata de la parroquia más extensa del territorio. Hong Kong tiene 53 parroquias, para unos 400.000 católicos con una población de 8 millones de habitantes y unos 1000 kilómetros cuadrados (Macao, por el contrario solo tiene 31 kilómetros cuadrados y 600.000 habitantes).

Los misioneros tomaron posesión de la nueva parroquia, que incluye la mitad de la isla de Lantau—unos 75 kilómetros cuadrados incluyendo también la isla de Peng Chao. 

Tomado de:

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Meeting the Pope on the Jubilee Year of my First Profession

2Meeting the Pope personally is of course a rare moment in anyone’s life. So was mine. Many thanks to Fr. Rossa. The moments of meeting passed so abruptly that I wanted to recapture those moments repeatedly but in vain. Fr. Rossa had brought the newly published Chinese New Testament and copies of a few other books as a present to the Pope. The Pope looked very elated and signed his name on one of the New Testament copies. Then Fr. Rossa introduced me. I wanted to talk to him a lot, but all that came to me was, "This is the jubilee year of my first profession." Before I could continue speaking, he asked me, "Then pray for me." I smiled as if it was not fair and told him, "You bless me first." He gave a hearty smile and prayed over me. In the meanwhile I asked him to pray over the rosaries that I had carried to give as gifts to friends and relatives. He blessed them and the time was over.

1Celebrating the mass with the Pope was also a once-only-happens moments like birth and death. The anticipation of the meeting had robbed me of sleep the night before. As we reached the Vatican precincts, Fr. Rossa’s name was checked three times before we were ushered into the Chapel of Santa Marta. I entered the Vatican as an anonymous "una persona with Fr. Rossa"!

Beyond the emotional depth of the moment, I relish the simplicity and the ordinariness of the papal mass that I cannot but recall. It was not like meeting a Pope, a head of the Church who was conscious that his every word would be recorded and broadcast and kept. It was more like meeting a passionate missionary who felt the angst of the people deep in his heart and shared them without guard. When he came for the Mass, he came unaccompanied, looked a little old and tired but appeared very ordinary. I have seen priests who need two or three altar servers to lift the chusable when they sit and stand, with other priests assisting to prepare the altar and a lot more unnecessary rituals in the mass. The Pope came as a stark contrast to those aristocratic customs. He himself prepared the altar for the offertory even when his secretary was next to him. When he started giving the homily, he became vibrant and started speaking from the heart. He remembered the Rohingyas from Myanmar who have become unwanted refugees in other countries.

3He also spoke about saying one’s goodbyes, quoting Jesus and Paul from the readings of the day. He drew vivid pictures of a mother saying goodbye to a soldier son, not ever hoping to return, a goodbye that happens among the persecuted Christians and led us to meditate on the goodbye that all of us must be prepared to say at the end of our lives. He was a mesmerizing preacher.

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“If you don't learn how to cry, you cannot be a good Christian"

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The Pope-Francis-frenzy is yet to subside in the city of Manila. This nation celebrated every moment of the visit of the most celebrated leader of the world, bringing them the message of "Mercy and Compassion".

Together with other three members of the Diocesan Youth Commission of Hong Kong [DYC] , I had the opportunity to be part of the Papal Encounter with the Youth held in the campus of the University of Santo Thomas (UST) on January 18.

Hundreds of thousands of both young and old, with singing and praying waited patiently for hours at the UST grounds before the pope arrived in the campus. Four youngsters had the privilege of raising the concerns of the Filipino youth before the Pontiff. Two of them were students of UST and the other two were rescued street kids. But the one to win the heart of the Pope was a 12-year-old girl named Glyzelle Palomar. I will never forget the encounter of Glyzelle with the Pope. She had no words, only tears to express her suffering.

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Bible Publishing Training: Servants of the Word.

Seminar participantsAfter the publication of the Chinese New Testament last year, a representative of the United Bible Societies (UBS), Prof. Simon Wong, from Hong Kong, a bible translator adviser, contacted us. He was interested in our translation and offered their services for possible joined collaboration.

He presented to us ParaText:
ptWebBannerParatext and related tools are a collection of software programs developed jointly by the United Bible Societies and SIL International which allows to input, edit, check, and publish a translation of the Scriptures, based on the original texts (Greek, Hebrew), and modeled on versions in major languages.

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