ASIA/CHINA - The diocese of Xiamen intensely continues the journey of the Year of Catechism

Thursday, 20 July 2023 catechism   catechists   evangelization   art   culture

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - In the Chinese diocese of Xiamen (province of Fujian) the journey of the special Year dedicated to Catechism, inaugurated on May 1, on the liturgical feast of St. Joseph the Worker, continues with intensity. The program of initiatives and appointments put on the agenda by the Diocesan Commission for pastoral care and evangelization is expanding. About sixty catechists from different parishes and nuns from different congregations participated in the first formation course at the Provincial Catholic Formation Center located in the Shrine of Maria Rosa Mystica in Changle. The participants of the course, which took place from July 11 to 14, deepened the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sharing experiences and suggestions on the paths to follow to help all the baptized to communicate the beauty of the contents of Christian doctrine, taking into account the signs of the times, the current social context and traditional Chinese culture. The reference text was the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The in-depth meetings were led by priest Zhao Weijing, from the diocese of Xianxian (province of Hebei). Father Zhao laid out the essentials of Catholic doctrine in simple and concise terms, giving everyone advice and suggestions on how to transmit to all members of the parish community the passion to discover and savor all that is part of the Depositum fidei. The catechists also visited the ceramic art exhibition dedicated to the Catholic faith, presented in the same training center, admiring the perfect combination of traditional Chinese art and culture with the Christian faith. According to Fathers Zhou Fei and Lin Yongquan, members of the Diocesan Commission for Pastoral Care and Evangelization, the formation, the pilgrimage to the Shrine of Mary Rose Mistica and the exchange of experiences among catechists have enriched their common journey in faith, and helped everyone to recognize that the study of catechism is a favorable opportunity for all to contemplate the gifts of redemption and salvation offered by Christ to all. Under the motto, "Announcing the Good News of the Lord's Salvation", the Bishop of the diocese of Xiamen, Joseph Cai Bingrui, inaugurated the Year of Catechism with a solemn Eucharistic liturgy attended by all diocesan priests, sisters and lay representatives from parishes (see Fides, 5/5/2023). The diocese of Xiamen has about 30,000 baptized Catholics and more than a dozen priests. In the history of the local Catholic communities, the mission of the Spanish Dominicans has played an important role, and they have also contributed to the historical and artistic heritage of the region, as evidenced by the church dedicated to Christ the King on the island of Gulangyu, a church founded by Father Mamaunel Prat in 1917, recognized as a UNESCO heritage site since 2017. According to the Catholics of the island, this recognition "greatly helps our mission and makes us perceive our responsibility in proclaiming the Gospel more intensely". (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 20/7/2023)