Monday, 29 December 2003

Taichung (Fides Service) – On 27 December, feast of Saint John the Apostle, the Little Brothers of St. John the Baptist (CSJB) and Little Sisters of St. Teresa di Lisieux (CST) locally founded congregations marked their 75th anniversary with the ordination of new priests. Both congregations were founded in China in 1928 by Belgian missionary Father Vincent Lebbe, C.M., to spread the Good News of the Gospel among the Chinese people. The Jubilee Mass was presided by Bishop Joseph Wang of Taichung, the diocese where the congregations were started. Concelebrants included Bishop Joseph Cheng of Tainan and Bishop Paul Ch’eng emeritus of Taichung, and two Bishops from Vietnam, Bishop Paul Nguyen Van Hoa Nha Trang, President of the Vietnamese Bishops’ Conference and Bishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Da Lat as well as about a hundred priests. During the Mass, attended by about one thousand people, a group of Little Brothers of St. John the Baptist deacons of Vietnamese origin were ordained priests for evangelisation in Asia. At the end of the Mass the Chargé d’Affairs Mgr Ambrose Madtha, read out a letter from the Holy See on behalf of the Pope expressing gratitude for the service offered by both male and female congregations and encouragement for the future as well as an appeal to young people to listen for the calling of the Lord. Card. Paul Shan Bishop of Kaohsiung also sent a message of congratulations. The Mass, which lasted almost three hours, was followed by a reception at St. Victor’s School run by Little Brothers of St. John the Baptist. (S.L.) (Fides Service 29/12/2003 – lines 20; words 287)