Many Chinese Catholic communities celebrated the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China last Sunday, reported Fides. Pope Benedict XVI instituted this day of prayer in 2007.
The May 24 prayer day coincides with the Marian feast day of Our Lady Help of Christians, and this year it coincided with the feast of Pentecost. At the end of last Wednesday’s General Audience in the Vatican, Pope Francis remembered the prayer day for the Asian nation.
In China on the prayer day, the sacraments of Christian initiation were administered to seven catechumans, 13 infants, and 38 adults in the He Bei province’s parishes of Yan Jiao and of Bao Ding, as well as in the Zhe Jiang province’s parish of Long Gang in the diocese of Wen Zhou.
<p>The feast day of Our Lady Help of Christians is celebrated at the Shrine of Our Lady of Sheshan in Shanghai and on the day, the parish of Chang Shu in the diocese of Su Zhou, along with many other communities, prayed: “Let us pray for the Church in China, that faces major challenges in the life of the Church and society. Let us pray so that the Holy Spirit guides us … and may Our Lady Help of Christians protect us.” Four infants were also baptized during Mass in Chang Shu.
Also to celebrate, the parish of Yi Shan in the Diocese of Wen Zhou in the province of Zhe Jiang held a solemn Marian procession, so that, as observers noted, “the Church is one and united and a witness of love.”
Moreover, religious and some lay people of the diocese of Nan Chong, located in the southern province of Sichuan, went on a pilgrimage not only to celebrate the special feasts of Sunday, but also to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life. During it, those partaking exchanged their experiences of vocation, faith, mission and pastoral activity.
Pope Francis called for the Year of Consecrated Life at the end of his meeting with 120 superior generals of male institutes last November. The year started on the First Sunday of Advent, the weekend of Nov. 29, 2014, and ends on Feb. 2, 2016, the World Day of Consecrated Life. (D.C.L.)