ASIA/CHINA - New churches consecrated in the name of missionary martyrs and confessors of faith

Monday, 13 November 2023 local churches   martyrs   pastoral  

Shanghai (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic communities of China keep alive the grateful memory of the missionary martyrs who sacrificed their lives to proclaim the Gospel in their country. Today's Chinese Catholics are following in their footsteps by professing faith in Christ in the present, and they are also expressing their gratitude by naming new churches after them and commemorating them in liturgical celebrations. Last Thursday, November 9, a new church was inaugurated in Jintang, Ningbo Diocese (Zhejiang Province), named after Saint Jean-Gabriel Perboyre, the French Lazarist, born in Montgesty on January 6, 1802. He was martyred in Wuchang on September 11, 1840. The new church, which houses the relics of the missionary and martyr, has an area of almost 8,000 square meters and was built at a cost of 1,778,433 euros. During the inaugural liturgy presided over by Bishop Francis Xavier Jin Yangke, eight catechumens were baptized and eleven baptized received the sacrament of confirmation. In his homily, Bishop Jin made reference to the construction and inauguration of the new church and invited everyone to visit the new church with joy and in a spirit of participation "to worship God the Father" and to ask that their own heart can be transformed into a "dwelling place" of the Lord. On November 9, Bishop Joseph Shen Bin also inaugurated a new church in Shanghai that will become the focus of pastoral work in the southern part of the diocese. During the inauguration liturgy of the church named after the Virgin Mary, Bishop Shen Bin repeatedly recalled the 390th anniversary of the death of Paul Xu Guangqi (Shanghai, April 24, 1562 - Beijing, November 8, 1633), the mandarin baptized by the great missionary Jesuit Matteo Ricci. More than ninety priests and more than two thousand faithful participated in the concelebration presided over by Bishop Shen Bin. During the liturgy, four sisters of the Diocesan Congregation of the Presentation of Our Lady renewed their vows. Civil authority officials and academic expert in religious studies attended the ceremony. At the end of his homily, Bishop Shen urged everyone to "use, build and manage this beautiful sanctuary with a grateful heart." (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 13/11/2023)