CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Baptism is commission to mission for everyone

HONG KONG (SE): John Cardinal Tong Hon reiterated the message of Vatican II that all the baptised are called to be missionary in their lives at a Mass celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the feast of Christ the King on November 22.

At special Mass, organised by the Central Council of the Laity to mark the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of two decrees of the council directly concerned with the apostolate of the laity in 1965, The Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem) and The Missionary Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes), Cardinal Tong said that the Decree on the Laity suggests many concrete ways in which people can participate in the mission of God and work to make the kingdom of God a reality on this earth.

At the Mass, which was celebrated by Cardinal Tong and Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang, the cardinal described the feast of Christ the King as an inspiration to mission

He said that in everyday life there are many opportunities to give witness to the faith and every little activity can take on importance in this context.

Cardinal Tong pointed out that mission must be an integral component of every activity in the diocese, especially in preparation courses for receiving the sacrament on baptism, which is the first commission to mission.

“Evangelisation is bringing blessing to the people in their lives and giving glory to Jesus Christ,” he said.

He also pointed out that looking after our own is an important component of mission as well, and that welcoming people into the Church at baptism is only the beginning of caring, as the newly-baptised also need to be welcomed into parish activities and socialised into Church life, in order to be an effective part of the witness of the community.

Cardinal Tong called this an important part of developing the witness given in wider society through Church social services, education and community activities.

The Council for the Laity led a prayer during the Mass asking for strength and courage among members of the Church in sustaining their involvement in mission and the preservation of Church groups, even in the face of difficulties.

Vitus Tai King-kong, the president of the council, said that it is important to reach out to and embrace all members of the Church, especially those who find difficulties in maintaining their connection with Church life, and ensure that they can feel welcome at all times.

A member of a prison visitation team, Lam Yuen-yi, spoke of the significance of being present among marginalised groups, like people in prison, as faith does impart hope and bring comfort to tortured minds.


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