Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - True conversion is realized through the works of charity towards each other, as taught by Pope Francis in his Lenten message, "Scripture is a gift. Other persons are a gift", is how Catholics in mainland China have begun the Lenten journey in communion with the universal Church. In all communities, the rite of Ashes was solemnly celebrated on Wednesday, March 1. In addition, to meet the pastoral needs of the faithful, many dioceses and parishes will repeat the rite next Sunday, March 5.
Among the various initiatives of this period we point out that the Immaculate Conception parish and the parish of Christ the King, of the Diocese of Su Zhou, took the message of the Pope as a reference point for the Lenten reflection. According to the priests who celebrated Ash Wednesday, "the Pope has invited us to conversion, starting from our heart, towards the needy, the sick, the elderly, the lonely, abandoned .... He does not ask us to go far, but asks us the ability to recognize the other and our neighbor. A converted heart makes us return to our faith". In the end, the priests also administered the sacrament of anointing of the sick to the elderly present.
In view of Lent, the diocese of Su Zhou organized a three-day spiritual retreat for diocesan priests, to reflect on three themes: "My relationship with God", "my relationship with Catholics", "my relationship with non-Christians".
The parish of the Sacred Heart of Zheng Zhou, of He Nan province, began the journey of Lent in the Year of spirituality organized by the Diocese. Several church groups shared the experience of faith and evangelization on the theme "open your hearts to the Church".
The Diocese of Beijing, together with other dioceses of the province of He Bei, has launched the joint initiative to collect offerings during Lent that will be donated to the poor on the occasion of the "Concert of mercy" to be held in May. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 03/03/2017)