ASIA/CHINA - Many young people among worshippers in church this morning for Ash Wednesday penitential liturgy

Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Beijing (Fides Service) -There were many young people among worshippers in churches in the capital this morning for the Ash Wednesday penitential liturgy which marks the beginning of Lent, says a lay Catholic in Beijing. “The most crowded masses were those at 6 in the morning popular with people on their way to work. Homilies focused on the meaning of Lent and the purpose of fasting, almsgiving and prayer and also on the Message for Lent issued by Pope Benedict XVI who reminds us that Lent is a time for Christians to strive to be more like Christ. The message has not yet been released in Chinese and so we were extremely glad to have an insight into the contents of the Holy Father’s teaching”.
A Catholic priest in Beijing said: “It comes as no surprise to see churches filled with the faithful and among them growing numbers of young Catholics who strive to live their faith with fidelity. Indeed the fervour of the faithful is often the spark for various successful initiatives”. Evening Ash Wednesday Masses celebrated to meet the needs of people otherwise engaged in the morning were also well attended. (Agenzia Fides 01/03/2006 Righe: 23 Parole: 255)