ASIA/CHINA - Marian processions, Confirmations, Masses and Prayers: how Chinese Catholics experienced the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - 300 Catholics from the parish of Bailing, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, in the diocese of Shantou (Chinese province of Guangdong), received today, Wednesday, May 24, the sacrament of Confirmation during the solemn Eucharistic liturgy celebrated after a long and participatory Marian procession. The entire parish and community is famous because it is located in the village where the largest Catholic community in the diocese is located. Under the maternal protection of the Patroness Mary Help of Christians, the parishioners of Bailing are renowned for their Marian devotion and their missionary zeal. The patronal feast has also become a festive moment of community manifestation of faith. The parishioners prayed together for peace, for vocation, for a better world.
Today, May 24, nany Catholic communities in mainland China lived intensely today, May 24, the liturgical commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, venerated at the Shrine of Sheshan. Pope Benedict XVI indicated that this commemoration was an opportunity to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. According to information gathered by Agenzia Fides, many Chinese Catholic communities experienced today as the culmination of the spiritual journey of the Marian month, in communion with the universal Church.
Catholics from the cathedral of Wenzhou diocese (Zhejaing province) made a week-long pilgrimage to the shrine of Taiyuan diocese (Shanxi province) from May 15 to 20. They were welcomed by Paul Meng Ningyou, Bishop of the Diocese of Taiyuan. They shared the history and experience of the local community, while admiring the beauty of natural places and giving thanks to God for the gift of creation, in the spirit of Laudato Si', the Pope's second encyclical, which bears the date of May 24, 2015.
At Lushan shrine in Jiangxi province, the influx of pilgrims for the Marian month continues. Priests and nuns from the Matteo Ricci Spirituality Center of the Shrine are also involved in providing logistical assistance (cooking, cleaning rooms) to pilgrims from the provinces of Shanxi, Fujian, Shandong and Beijing.
Catholic communities around the world have responded to Pope Francis' invitation to pray for the Church in China. In Rome, at the Propaganda Palace, seat of the section for the first evangelization and the new particular Churches of the Dicastery for Evangelization, the whole working community prayed before the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, known as Our Lady of Sheshan. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 24/5/2023)