Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - The faithful were 445 adults from the Diocese of Hai Men, in Jiang Su province, in mainland China, who received the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation, on October 14, at the opening of the Year of Faith in the diocese. As reported to Fides Agency by Faith of He Bei, His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Shen Bin presided at the Mass before more than a thousand faithful in the diocese's oldest church, dedicated to St. Paul. As he explained in the homily, "we made this choice in order to remember our journey of faith and the continuity of faith, which manifests itself in words, but also in gestures and concrete evidence, guided by the Word of God. With the 'Year of Faith we need to strengthen our faith, to be salt and light." In addition, the Bishop explained the meaning and purpose of the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, the historical impact of the Second Vatican Council and the mission of evangelization of the faithful today.
The Diocese of Hai Men has over 400 years of history of evangelization, it is one of the six dioceses in China, whose Bishop, of Chinese origin, was consecrated by Pope Pius XI in 1926 in St. Peter's in the Vatican. In his long journey of faith, the Catholic community has contributed substantially to the religious, cultural, educational, health and charitable development of local society. Today the diocese has more than 30,000 faithful, 10 priests, about twenty nuns of the Congregation of St. Therese, 22 parishes. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 22/10/2012)