CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 18 May 2019

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Shaanxi’s Heart to Heart great boost to vocations

BEIJING (SE): Heart to Heart has become a highly active parish group supporting the development of vocations to the priesthood in the parish of Beitong, Shaanxi, in mainland China.

Fides reports that the group was born by accident when, in 2009, a group of parishioners gathered together some warm woolen clothes to give to an aged priest, but the priest told them he would rather they gave the clothes to his seminarians.

“I am old now. I’d rather you brought them to my seminarians,” he said to the group.

So the people went to the seminary, without giving much weight to the priest’s words, but when they arrived there, they were surprised when they discovered that the seminarians lived without any heating or proper warm clothing and were not even able to adequately feed themselves during the icy cold weather of the central plains of China.

That visit marked the birth of Heart to Heart and today it offers support to seminarians, sisters, priests and aged people in need by providing material and spiritual support.

All expenses involved are met through the voluntary offerings of the members of the group themselves.

At their annual meeting on January 11 this year, the members of the group produced a summary of what they had achieved during the previous 12 months, as well as making plans for the upcoming year.

During the year, the group distributed goods to the value of 58,000 yuan ($74,820), 76 per cent of which went towards the support of seminarians, 10 per cent towards visiting sick or aged priests, 10 per cent towards other communities and the remainder for the support of the sick and the poor.

Only one per cent went to administrative costs.

As during every year, the members of the group put in 30 yuan ($38.70) each month out of their own pockets for each seminarian in their care. 

 

The spiritual director of the group, Father Antonio Jia, stresses, “With our sincere prayer we want to build a bridge of hearts between the faithful and seminarians, priests and sisters.”

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