ASIA/CHINA - The parish of Ma Bu Gao Sha of the diocese of Wen Zhou in the footsteps of St. Paul’s missionary spirit

Wen Zhou (Agenzia Fides) - "In the footsteps of St. Paul and his missionary spirit, so that we are the salt of the earth and light of the world, becoming authentic Christians": is the wish of His Exc. Mgr. Zhu Wei Fang, Bishop of the Diocese of Wen Zhou in Zhe Jiang province of mainland China, to the faithful of the parish of Ma Bu Gao Sha during the celebration of its 120 years of consecration and 15 years after the reopening. According to what was reported to Fides by Faith of He Bei, despite the celebration of the Chinese New Year, more than 1,300 faithful attended the solemn Mass on January 25, the day on which the universal Church celebrates the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul and the closing Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. According to the Bishop, "the 60 children present today at the Sunday-school encouraged us because they are the future of the Church, of evangelization. Today’s celebration must stimulate us for our sanctification, making Jesus known to many others".
According to Faith, in the past in this place there was a large Catholic village, but after China's economic opening of the last 30 years, many of its inhabitants moved for business, and many others began to neglect the life of faith, emptying the church and the village. Following the growing awareness of her missionary responsibility, the Catholic community intensified its evangelization and the pastoral care, so the number of the faithful has recently increased. To have a pastoral and missionary reference point, the 120 Catholic families in the village have invested one million yuan (about 150 thousand euros) to build a-4-floor pastoral center and renovate the church, because, as confirmed by the pastor, " all our activity and our effort is focused on the mission".(NZ) (Agenzia Fides 27/01/2012)

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