ASIA/CHINA - From Beijing to Inner Mongolia, a Christmas of faith and charity for Chinese Catholics

Thursday, 28 December 2023 charity   sacraments   christmas   local churches  

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) - A Christmas of faith and charity was experienced by Catholic communities in all the provinces of the People's Republic of China. During vigils and solemn masses, prayers were said for peace and aid was collected for those affected by the earthquake in Gansu and Qinghai provinces. In Shanghai, Bishop Joseph Shen Bin, in his homily during Christmas Eve, focused his reflection on peace in the world and peace in the hearts of each person as gifts to ask from the Lord Jesus on the day in which his birth is celebrated. On December 25, during the solemn mass, the Bishop of Shanghai invited everyone to carry out their own "personal pilgrimage" to adore the Child Jesus and rejoice in the gift of salvation that he has brought to us, so that the joy of each Christian becomes a blessing for others in daily life, in families and in the workplace. In Beijing, hit by the cold, the four historic parishes in the center of the capital have activated online connection services to allow everyone - including the sick and the elderly - to follow liturgical celebrations from home. In the provinces of Jiangxi, Hebei, Hubei, large communities of Catholic immigrant workers as well as foreign students participated in the celebrations of the local communities, in a spirit of communion. In the parish of Ximen (diocese of Wenzhou), 23 adults received baptism and seven received confirmation. In places where there are few priests - such as in Daxunbao, in the diocese of Sanyuan (Shaanxi province) - some parishes have brought forward the celebration of Christmas Eve to allow lay people to bring communion to the elderly and sick who were not able to go to church because of the cold. Even the harsh winter of Inner Mongolia did not prevent Catholics from celebrating Christmas with joy, praying for the earthquake victims and for world peace. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides, 28/12/2023)