Beijing (Agenzia Fides) – On Sunday, April 9, Palm Sunday, a national collection in all Catholic communities in mainland China will be celebrated for the first time. The initiative was launched by Jinde Charities, the organization which has been carrying out charitable works in the Chinese Catholic world for 20 years and was welcomed by Bishops, priests and laity. His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Xu Hong Gen, Bishop of the Diocese of Su Zhou, stressed that it is "an opportunity to unite the whole Church, and together bear witness to faith and charity, promoting evangelization". For don Wang dao Yu, a priest in Shen Zhen, the initiative "strengthens the sense of belonging to the Church".
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, Jinde Charities has invited "dioceses, parishes, congregations and religious institutes, ecclesial associations and movements to join the Sunday of the Chinese national collection (following the experience of the universal Church) which will be held every Palm Sunday". The appeal continues: "Both during the liturgy of the Sunday of Passion of Christ and our meditation during Holy Week, when we look at our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, we cannot ignore the Christ present in the victims of the various disasters and their needs" as "Pope Francis asked us in his message for Lent 2017, who encourages everyone in the universal Church to actively participate in the Lenten charity campaign. We have seen so many dioceses and parishes that are responding to the Pope with a concrete witness of charity". Starting from the Eucharist "we also give a concrete offer to witness Jesus and his Gospel of Love".
Numerous communities have already made concrete gestures of joining the collection: a diocese has given a sum of € 7,500. His Exc. Mgr. Xiao Ze Jiang, Bishop of Gui Zhou, recalled: "We were helped in 2008, during the ice and snow storm. Today we want and we have to help others who are in need as a sign of Christian solidarity". (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 06/04/2017)