January 2013

The Epiphany in
 Hong Kong today
(Saturday, 5 January 2013 )


TODAY, THE CHURCH celebrates the feast of the Epiphany, the story of The Three Wise Men following a star from its rising in the east to Bethlehem to pay homage to the new-born Jesus.

They offered gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, before leaving for home with joy in their hearts. In their search for Jesus, the Magi met difficulties, at one point asking directions from the autocratic king, Herod....

As Christian exodus continues pilgrims flock to Bethlehem
(Saturday, 5 January 2013 )


BETHLEHEM (AsiaNews): Each year, an atmosphere of celebration accompanies Christmas in Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born. Despite the tragic events in Gaza and tensions elsewhere in the Middle East, some 75,000 pilgrims were expected to arrive in the Holy Land at Christmas.

Catholic broadcaster and head of Al-Mahed Nativity TV in Bethlehem, Samir Qumsieh, reported that traffic has shut down the city...

A Christmas letter to an embattled bishop
(Saturday, 5 January 2013 )


SHANGHAI (SE): A Catholic person in Shanghai has penned a letter to Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who is currently confined to the seminary at Sheshan on the outskirts of the city, stripped of his status as a bishop and suspended from exercising his priestly ministry for two years by government authorities, telling him that he is not alone, but is very much in the prayers of the faithful people of his diocese.


Government hijacks control of Wuhan diocese
(Saturday, 5 January 2013 )


WUHAN (AsiaNews): While world attention was focussed on the confinement of Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin in Shanghai, the government hijacked control of the Wuhan diocese, with the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association quietly removing the long time administrator, Father Shen Guo’an, from his position.

Government officials have also interfered in a decision made by 19 of the 23 priests in the diocese to...

Two faces of a Chinese Christmas
(Saturday, 5 January 2013 )


HONG KONG (SE): There is a Chinese way to celebrate Christmas, according to a report published in the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, on December 24. “On Christmas eve, Chinese youngsters embrace the festival like westerners, but not for the religious reasons or for family reunion.”

Xinhua reports that young people approach the feast more like a festival and an opportunity to take a break from their...

Pope calls for a new vision of life in The Financial Times
(Saturday, 5 January 2013 )


HONG KONG (SE): The Financial Times published an article penned by Pope Benedict XVI in its December 20 edition, entitled, The birth of Christ challenges us to reassess our priorities, our values, our very way of life.

Attributed simply to the Bishop of Rome and author of ‘Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives’, the article begins by quoting Jesus’ famous economic comment, “Render...

Reflecting on a sacred night
(Saturday, 5 January 2013 )


HONG KONG (SE): As the strains of the well-loved Christmas carol proclaim, Silent Night, Sacred Night, Christians are invited to reflect on what is sacred in our world and in our lives.

The sacred is proclaimed in many different ways, but what is common about each one is that it holds and element that is somehow transcendent, seemingly beyond the reach or our physical ability to enact or achieve and...

Pope pleads for religious freedom in China
(Saturday, 5 January 2013 )


ROME (SE): Pope Benedict XVI made a special plea for religious freedom in China during his traditional Urbi et Orbi (to the People of Rome and the World) Christmas greeting on December 25.

“May the King of Peace turn his gaze to the new leaders of the People’s Republic of China for the high task which awaits them,” Pope Benedict said.


Not just a day out
(Saturday, 29 December 2012 )

Today, we celebrate the first of the three feasts following Christmas, the Holy Family. We are given an insight into the life of the Holy Family and, in particular, the growth and development of Jesus.

Joseph, Mary and Jesus travelled to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, a pilgrimage which provides a link in with Jesus’ public ministry, which also lead him to Jerusalem.


Feast of the Holy Family
(Saturday, 29 December 2012 )

Gloria, Creed, preface for the feast (white).
1 Samuel 1:20-22, 24-28; 
1 John 3:1-2, 21-24; 
Luke 2:41-52.

Mass of the day, Gloria...