ASIA/CHINA - In the month of November: Catholics focus on the “Four Last Things” and pray for peace in the world

Friday, 3 November 2023 local churches   liturgy  

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - On the occasion of the commemoration of the dead, the Bishop of Beijing Joseph Li Shan, called on all Catholics to reflect on the bond of communion that unites the "triumphant Church" in heaven with the "struggling and suffering Church" on earth invited to prayer and devotion for deceased relatives, friends and benefactors. On November 2, Bishop Li Shan presided over two solemn Eucharistic liturgies; the first in the early morning at the Jiugongshan Catholic Cemetery on the outskirts of Beijing and the second in the afternoon at the Xibeiwang Catholic Cemetery in the center of the capital. On the day dedicated by the Church to the memory of the deceased, the participation of the Catholic faithful in masses, processions, visits and the blessing of tombs was very high, after the Covid-19 pandemic had prevented the celebration of such rites for some years. In his homilies, Bishop Li Shan urged everyone to live in faith and hope "that we will be reunited with our loved ones in heaven for eternal life. In the meantime, we who are in the world" the Bishop of Beijing added, "ask for forgiveness, let us turn away from sin and keep our souls vigilant at all times". The diocese also made it possible for many workers to attend one of the seven Masses celebrated at various times in the cemeteries. A bus service was organized so that everyone could reach the cemetery in Jiugongshan, which is 100 kilometers from central Beijing. The parishes have begun their extensive pastoral program for the month of November, which includes catechesis and reflections on the so-called "Four Last Things" (Death, Judgment, Hell and Heaven). The parish of Nantang is organizing a pilgrimage on Sunday, November 5th, where everyone is invited to pray also for deceased Popes and bishops, and for peace in the world. Seminarians from Sheshan Seminary in the Diocese of Shanghai also participated in three Eucharistic liturgies, each dedicated to the deceased, the Pope's prayer intentions and the deceased bishops, priests and laypeople of Shanghai. In the Diocese of Hohhot (Inner Mongolia), the priests who presided over the Mass recalled that the memory of the dead is an expression of the "communion of saints" that unites all believers in Christ, including those still on earth, as well as those already in Heaven and Purgatory, where Communion is expressed through prayers and works of charity. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 3/11/2023)