Year of the Eucharist: Food for Faith in China

Bishop Who Missed the Synod Tells of Fervor in Shanghai

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ROME, NOV. 1, 2005 ( One of the Chinese prelates unable to attend the Synod of Bishops wrote a letter highlighting the importance of the Year of the Eucharist for the Church in his country.

The letter, dated Sept. 29, was written by Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian of Shanghai to Italian Senator Giulio Andreotti, director of the magazine 30 Giorni.

«I have the great joy to be able to tell you that the Eucharistic Year, instituted by the Holy Father, also had a very high resonance in China, as our community greatly loves the Eucharist and tries to live its mystery in its own life,» stated the prelate in his letter.

«In Shanghai we held an open Eucharistic Congress, in which numerous priests and lay people took part, [and it was] solemnly closed with the holy Mass held last Sept. 24, in the Shrine of the Virgin of Sheshan, by the auxiliary bishop, Monsignor Giuseppe Xing Wenzhi,» he continued.

«Some 2,500 faithful received Communion on that occasion,» Bishop Jin wrote. «The celebration was preceded by a solemn procession that, starting from our seminary, unfolded with prayers and songs through the streets that lead to the Sheshan hill, on whose summit is the Shrine of the Virgin so venerated by us all.

«At the end I had the joy of imparting myself to those present a solemn Eucharistic blessing, which closed our celebrations.»

Extremely alive

The prelate sent Andreotti, a former Italian prime minister, photos of the «extraordinary event.»

«Our community,» concluded Bishop Jin’s letter, «prayed and continues to pray for the whole universal Church and we are sure that on your part your remembrance continues for this part of the Church, still reduced in number, but extremely alive in the testimony of life.»

Bishop Jin, who is recognized by the Chinese government, is one of the prelates the Pope invited to participate in the synod. He was unable to travel to Rome due to bureaucratic problems imposed on him and the others.

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