ASIA/CHINA - Lay people from the parishes of Xiaomu and Lujia visit seminarians and religious sisters: "All vocations are valuable"

Wednesday, 20 September 2023

Xi'an (Agenzia Fides) - "In this time of serious lack of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, seminarians are the future of the Church and the hope of every diocese. Whoever cares for them cares for our future. In the name of all seminarians, we wish to express our heartfelt gratitude", said Don Li Jingxi, vice-rector of the Shaanxi Philosophical and Theological Seminary, to a group of laypeople from Xiaomu and Lujia parishes. Around 50 community members set off yesterday, September 19th, with ten cars loaded with freshly picked kiwis and other food (flour, rice, cooking oil) and traveled hundreds of kilometers to bring the gifts to the major Seminary, minor Seminary, to the Congregation of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to their retirement home. As the two parish priests Don Zhang Aijun and Don Li Zeyi said, "they are the future and the present of the church. From the students of the minor seminary to the older nuns who have dedicated their lives to the Church, all vocations are valuable. They must be protected, encouraged, supported, accompanied and we must thank everyone. So let us join hands and build the family of the Catholic Church together with prayer and concrete commitment." After the visit to the minor seminary and the subsequent visit to the seminary, where the rector thanked for support in formation, the lay people from the parishes of Xiaomu and Lujia visited the general house of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who celebrated their 100th anniversary in recent days celebrated its founding anniversary. During the visit, they learned of the presence of three older sisters in the Congregation's retirement home and, without hesitation, they made an additional stop to visit them after the long and tiring day. “The elder sisters are the greatest treasure of the Church,” the visitors said with emotion after having listened carefully to the testimonies of the life dedicated to the church and to the mission of the elderly nuns, in wheelchairs. You have done God's work diligently for the work of evangelization, following Christ and dedicating your youth to the Church, especially in those difficult times. Thanks to the selfless and sincere efforts of you elders and the witness and sacrifice of your courageous and persistent lives in the Lord, the Church today has developed and grown. You are like candles that burn and illuminate the world, and you are the role models from whom we Catholics can all learn!”. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 20/9/2023)