Xi Ning (Agenzia Fides) – Over 700 faithful of the Catholic community of the Diocese of Xi Ning, in the Province of Qing Hai attended the first baptism to take place in their community. The five Tibetan catechumens were baptized after the opening of the community, which took place on the Solemnity of the Assumption, 15 August. According to information collected by Fides, addressing the many believers who received them with joy and enthusiasm, one of the newly baptized said: "It is so beautiful to become a member of the great family of the Church!" The priest, Fr. Li Dong Sheng, who also served as the catechist of these catechumens from Tibet, highlighted that "the first baptism following the opening of our community, that of the Tibetan catechumens, takes on special significance and it will give a great impetus to the development of our small community." Thus, in the village of Tu Guan Gou, which has about 400 Tibetans, there are already nine newly baptized Tibetans. Now there are several catechumens studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church through pastoral care of Fr. Li, assisted by lay catechists and even by the newly baptized themselves.
The Diocese of Xi Ning, in the Province of Qing Hai, in 1937 was a Apostolic Prefecture run by the Divine Word Missionaries. Today, the community has more than 3,000 faithful, 6 priests, 17 religious sisters, 3 churches, and 19 mission stations. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 08/30/2010)