ASIA/CHINA - Proclaiming the Gospel through art: the "Via pulchritudinis" of the Chinese Catholic communities

Thursday, 20 April 2023 mission   evangelization   art   beauty   local churches   music  

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - On April 22, the 300th anniversary of the founding of the "Church of the West" will be celebrated in the parish of Xitang with the performance of a concert of sacred music. The Xitang church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, was founded by the Italian Lazarist missionary Teodorico Pedrini, a musician sent to China by the Congregation of Propaganda Fide. The musical event, entitled "The Night of the Baroque", is also a tribute to the memory of the founding musician, and marks the full resumption of traditional artistic performances, promoted by the Catholic community in China, after three years of blockade due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Xitang Parish and many other Chinese Catholic communities often organize artistic performances as an opportunity to manifest the attractive power of faith through the beauty of artistic languages. A form of testimony that has been carried out, for example, since 2013 with the traditional benefit concert organized every year by Xinde to raise funds for the mission.
Concerts and artistic initiatives have also accompanied the beginning of the Easter season in the parish of St. Anthony of Shenzhen, in the cathedral of Beijing and in many other churches. In the parish of the Sacred Heart of Xushan, in the diocese of Ningbo, the parish choir accompanied the path of God's people at Easter time with the beauty of sacred songs, while the Tangshan community organized performances inspired by stories from the Bible. During a seminar held on April 15, various parish delegates, along with priests and nuns, shared suggestions and experiences to make initiatives to announce the Gospel through art more impressive and fruitful, such as the organ concerts held at the Beijing cathedral or those promoted in the parish of Xiamen, or the tours of parish choirs. In Shanghai, for more than 10 years, the Guangqi Choir (named after Paul Xu Guangqi, Mandarin, friend and protector of Father Matteo Ricci) has been performing a musical tour dedicated to the great Jesuit missionary. The Shanghai choir has not interrupted its activities even during the pandemic, continuing to perform online during the Christmas holidays. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 20/4/2023)