December 2011

Christmas and peace in the Church in China
(Friday, 23 December 2011 )


Christmas is a good time to reflect upon our relationship with God and with others. Christians, like others, long for the absence of conflict and long to prepare for the coming of the peace of Christ.

The year 2011 in the Church in China has been a difficult one, complicated by two illicit ordinations of bishops, one in Leshan, Sichuan province, on June 29; and the other in Shantou, Guangdong province, on...

We are all in 
the big picture
(Friday, 23 December 2011 )

Jesus was born on Christmas Day in humble circumstances, of a mother temporarily displaced from her home and without even the most basic amenities available, either for the birth or looking after her newborn child.

She and Joseph were people on the move, a tag that describes an ever increasing number of people in our world today that has been used by successive popes to describe their greater than usual need for the...

Former Vatican communications head and Mideast advocate dead at 76
(Friday, 23 December 2011 )


DARBY (CNS): John Cardinal Foley of the United States of America (US), the head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications from 1984 to 2007 and later active on the desk for the Church in the Middle East, died on December 11 after a battle with leukaemia. He was 76-years-old. 

Cardinal Foley was noted for his media-friendly style and quick sense of humour. He often spoke of the joys of working...

Shanghai bishop in hospital
(Friday, 23 December 2011 )

SHANGHAI (UCAN): The 95-year-old Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, from Shanghai, fractured a rib during a fall at his residence and was hospitalised on December 7.

Although his injury is not life-threatening, he will probably remain in the hospital for a few months.

Bishop Jin does have Vatican approval and was named honorary president of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic...

Priest and seminarians die in car crash
(Friday, 23 December 2011 )

SHIJIAZHUANG (UCAN): Six seminarians and a priest from the unofficial community of the Catholic Church in northern Hebei province were killed in a road accident on December 11 and one seminarian is in a serious condition in No. 3 Hospital in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital.

He was thrown from the minivan, which was badly damaged in an accident along the Jinzhou section of the provincial highway.

Meditation movement celebrates fifth anniversary
(Friday, 23 December 2011 )

HONG KONG (SE): Members of the Worldwide Christian Meditation Group (Hong Kong) celebrated the fifth anniversary of its foundation and the 20th year of the movement with an afternoon seminar on contemplation given by Father Laurence Freeman, its current world director, and a dinner at restaurant in Central on December 10.

The convener of the group in Hong Kong, Lina Lee, said at the dinner, which was attended by...

Sister cleared of trafficking charges in Colombo
(Friday, 23 December 2011 )

 COLOMBO (Agencies): Sister Mary Eliza, from the Missionaries of Charity in Colombo, Sri Lanka, was cleared of a charge of trafficking children on December 15 at a court hearing, after spending three days in police custody before being released on bail.

Indian-born Sister Eliza was arrested on November 25, after police acted on information given by an anonymous caller accusing the sisters of profiteering from adoptions and selling children to...

Aid to Church in Need gets pontifical status
(Friday, 23 December 2011 )

VATICAN (SE): The international Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need, has been made a pontifical foundation with the prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy, Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, as its president.

The Vatican press release does not give any reason for this move nor does it elaborate on what influence the Vatican will have on it, other than to say that the organisation will maintain its headquarters in...

A Christmas pastoral letter from Bishop John Tong
(Friday, 23 December 2011 )

Dear brothers, sisters and friends in Christ,

Christmas is the time of caring. If we implement the spirit of Christmas throughout the year, I am sure we will be doing our part to make our world better and more humane.

The Lord Jesus was born in a manger because there was no room for his parents in the inn. Nowadays, many people in Hong Kong are having great...

La Salle College celebrates the responsibility of heritage
(Friday, 16 December 2011 )


HONG KONG (SE): “This is your college. That is why we are here,” Brother Steve Hogan, the principal of La Salle College in Kowloon Tong told 1,650 students gathered together with staff, old boys and supporters of the school at a Mass celebrated by Bishop John Tong Hon at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Central on December 2, to mark the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the prestigious academic institution.