March 2018

Church needs young people, but they need to be heard too
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

ROME (CNS): The Catholic Church needs the enthusiasm, daring and hope of young people so that it can preach the gospel energetically and respond to the questions men and women raise today, Pope Francis told some 300 young adults gathered for the opening a weeklong meeting in preparation for October’s Synod of Bishops on March 19.
“We need to rediscover in the Lord the strength to get up after failure, to move forward, to strengthen hope for the future,”...

Cross removals in Henan
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

HONG KONG (UCAN): The cathedral of Shangqiu South Church in Henan province, China, became the first Catholic church in the province whose crosses were removed by street office and district committee officials, a source, who requested anonymity, reported on March 9.
“The officials said the largest one at the highest point of the cathedral had to be removed but church staff disagreed,” the source said.
Church staff reported the incident to both...

St. Peter’s Church temporarily relocates to Saigon Street
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): St. Peter’s Church, which serves seafarers at the Mariners’ Club, Tsim Sha Tsui, is temporarily relocating to 3/F, Chi Wo Commercial Building, 20 Saigon Street, Jordan. Mass will be celebrated at the temporary address until the completion of redevelopment of the club, which is scheduled for 2023. 
The new premises was blessed during a Mass concelebrated on March 3 by vicar general, Father Benedict Lam Cho-ming, the parish priest and port...

Book launch to mark Columban centenary
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): With the launching of Columban Missionaries in Hong Kong, a new book authored by Father Joseph Houston, the Missionary Society of Saint Columban kick-started its centenary celebrations during a special reception held at the Irish Consulate in Central on March 15.
During the event, Father Houston said he was delighted to be assigned by the China Mission Unit of the congregation to write about the missionary work of the pioneers of the society. He...

Holy Week – an invitation to be prophets
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

Holy Week invites Christians to reflect on the Passion of Jesus Christ and relive the mystery of faith, suffering and resurrection, and examine their own conversion.
Holy Week begins with Passion Sunday, which takes its first reading from the Book of Isaiah. It narrates the Song of the Suffering Servant: “And I have not rebelled, have not turned back. I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting....

Church leaders praise Stephen Hawking
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): British theoretical physicist, cosmologist and popular author, Stephen Hawking, who said he did not believe in God, died on March 14 at the age of 76. He was an esteemed member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and fostered a fruitful dialogue between science and faith.
The academy, @CasinaPioIV, established by Pope Pius IX in 1847, tweeted on March 14, “We are deeply saddened about the passing of our...

Pro-independence and pro-Hong Kong graffitti in Guangzhou
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

BEIJING (AsiaNews/RFA): Posters and graffiti have appeared on the streets Guangzhou, in China’s Guangdong province, calling for independence, not just for neighbouring Hong Kong, but for Guangzhou itself, which shares the Cantonese language and culture.
Graffiti with slogans like, Independence for Guangzhou, Go Hong Kong! have been photographed in a number of public places in the city and lies at the heart of the Pearl River delta economic area....

Pope Francis by the numbers
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): In just five years as leader of the universal Church, Pope Francis has made 22 international trips, travelling 249,297 kilometres—the equivalent of six times around the world.
The pope has also declared 880 new saints, including the martyrdom of an estimated 800 Italian laypeople killed by Ottoman soldiers in the 15th century.
The Vatican released those numbers, detailing the many papal events, documents, travels and accomplishments...

Makati parish in hot water for high wedding rates
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): A barrage of social media posts has condemned Santuario de San Antonio parish in the exclusive Forbes Park village in the Makati business district, in Metro Manila, for raising its rates for weddings from around $6,000 to $9,800. The new rates were presented at the parish’s first wedding congress on March 15.
Most churches in the Philippines charge a wedding fee of about $783 to $3,100. Special discounts are also given to parishioners, or if couples...

Filipino archbishop honoured for environmental advocacy
(Saturday, 24 March 2018 )

MANILA (UCAN): Archbishop Sergio Utleg of Tuguegarao, the Philippines, has been given the Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan (hero for the environment) award for his “exemplary deeds and initiatives” to advance environmental protection and his strong advocacy against mining, especially in the northern part of the country.
The award is given to those who “serve as an example” in protecting the environment by advocacy groups led by the Centre for Environmental...