Friday, 12 September 2003

Beijing (Fides Service) – Their life styles differ but their faith is the same. This discovery was made by a group of Catholic youth during the Summer holidays when a parish community in Beijing organised a visit to a Catholic village community. In August the Catechism group of St Joseph’s parish Dontang, Beijing was invited to visit the Catholic community in Xi Hu Lin village in the countryside surrounding the capital. It was a happy time for both groups, city and village youngsters to share their faith and experience.
The city children were amazed to see how people live in the country. The rural Catholics showed their sound faith, lived in their daily life, their simple but sincere attitude and marked spirit of hospitality. In their diversity the children experienced mutual enrichment at the human and spiritual level.
At lunch time the village priest asked each village child to take one of the new city friends to his or her own home for the meal. This was something quite new. The city children, often called “little emperors” due to the government imposed policy of “one child”, were amazed to see quote a different picture, larger families sitting round the same table and richer inter personal family relations.
On the way back to the city the accompanying priest and catechists were surprised to see the city children so enthusiastic and joyful. Despite the apparent distance between life styles in the city and in the country, the children became friends immediately and agreed to exchange visits regularly. NZ (Fides Service 12/9/2003 EM lines 31 Words: 345)