ASIA/HONG KONG - The local Church intensifies pastoral initiatives to respond to the increase of the baptized

Hong Kong (Agenzia Fides) - In view of Lent and considering the steady increase in recent years of the baptized in the Catholic community in Hong Kong, the local Church has intensified the formation of faith so that the newly baptized can have a solid basis, encouraging the spiritual guidance and pastoral care of the parish. According to reports from the Kong Ko Bao (Chinese version of the diocesan bulletin), last year there were 6,200 of adult and infant baptisms. This number requires an adequate and intensified pastoral commitment on behalf of all the parishes to meet the needs of the new members of the Church. According to Fr. Giorgio Pasini, PIME, pastor of the parish of St. Andrea, "starting from Advent we have added the celebration of a Mass on Sunday evening, due to the rising demand of the faithful. When the parish was inaugurated there were about 90 baptized a year, have now increased to 170. So we have increased the number of Masses, diversified pastoral groups (liturgical, altar boys, readers, choir) giving birth to a group that focuses exclusively on children by allowing adults to participate in the Mass. The Association of Catholic Laity in Hong Kong have highlighted that Hong Kong is a community poor of priestly vocations, but with a continuous increase of the lay faithful. Thus, he stressed the importance of the awareness of lay people about their commitment to formation, both for themselves and to spiritually accompany the newly baptized. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 03/02/2012)

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