Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic community in mainland China experienced the beginning of Lent in communion with the universal Church, particularly in tune with the Jubilee of Mercy, as witnessed by the information gathered by Agenzia Fides.
In particular the rite of ashes in the parish of Chang Shu, Su Zhou diocese was very touching, where a 98-year-old priest imposed the ashes to hundreds of faithful. During the homily, the priest encouraged those present to follow the path of Lent: "fasting, prayer, works of mercy, joy of faith are the basic elements to live Lent. So we can renew ourselves and convert ourselves to God the Father who always welcomes us".
To meet the needs of faithful workers, the parish of St. Anthony of the city of Shen Zhen, celebrated the imposition of ashes on Sunday 14 February, first Sunday of Lent. The pastor expressed the hope that "the Lord's mercy reaches the largest possible number of faithful".
The Cathedral of the Diocese of Wen Zhou began the journey of Lent with a spiritual retreat. Over 400 faithful, who are on holiday to celebrate the New Year, took part in the retreat on 10 and 11 February, during which they reflected on Misericordiae Vultus, the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and the pastoral letter of the diocesan Bishop, to "live Lent in the Year of Mercy, to be the face of the merciful Lord in the community and in society".
From January 25 to 29, the priests of Jiang Xi community gathered for a spiritual retreat in view of Lent. The central theme was "Renewed in the Lord, to answer the Lord's call of mercy concretely". (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 16/02/2016)