Rome (Fides Service) – On Sunday 16 November the community of Chinese Catholics in Rome will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the opening of its religious and cultural Centre named after Agostino Chao. A special Mass for the occasion will be presided by Cardinal Shan, the Chaplain, Franciscan Father John Chiu informs Fides.
Cardinal Paul Shan, Bishop of Kaohsiung, mainland China’s only Cardinal, is very attached to the Chinese community in Rome. Whenever he comes to Rome for pastoral reasons connected with his service of the universal Church he always manages to find time to say a special Mass at the Centre and spend a little time with the people. Fr Chiu and the Chinese Catholic community in Rome are very grateful and deeply devoted to Cardinal Shan.
After the Mass on Sunday the Cardinal will join the people for refreshments and a chat in a room adjoining the community chapel at St. Bernardino da Siena’s church in the centre of Rome.
The primary purpose of the Agostino Chao Centre was to provide Chinese Catholics in Rome with adequate pastoral care. However today it also offers practical assistance: language courses Italian, and Chinese, social assistance with immigration matters, interpreters, medical assistance through Caritas Rome, information and help with regard to accommodation and other services. Cardinal Gregorio Agaggianian then Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples established the Centre in 1968 naming it after the first of China’s 120 martyrs who were put to death for their faith in Jesus Christ in 1815 and canonised by Pope John Paul II on October 1, 2000. (NZ) (Fides Service 13/11/2003 lines: 29; words:320)