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Eucharistic ministers a sign of parish life

KAIXI (Agencies): The cathedral parish of Kaixi in the diocese of Tainjin, China, commissioned 179 Eucharistic ministers on November 19, at a ceremony presided over by the parish priest, Father Don Zhang Liang, Fides reports.

The commissioning ceremony followed a formation course, during which the Eucharistic life of the community was the central theme.

Each of the 179 new Eucharistic ministers received a cross during the commissioning ceremony, as well as an identity card for the benefit of the parishioners.

Father Zhang acknowledged the good work that Eucharistic ministers have done in the parish in the past, saying, “They have been able to fulfill the mission of witness in their pastoral commitment, because of the development of their personal spirituality, which they have nourished by the reading of the holy scriptures and through adoration of the blessed sacrament.”

In the past seven years, Eucharistic ministers have carried communion 14,256 times to parishioners who were confined to their homes through sickness, have accompanied the priests 1,617 times for the sacrament of reconciliation and 1,882 times for the sacrament of the sick. In addition, they have conducted vigils for the deceased on 212 occasions.

The cathedral in Kaixi is dedicated to St. Joseph. It was built in 1914 in Romanesque style by the Vincentian priests and can accommodate over 2,000 people.

The parish now has more than 30,000 parishioners. It boasts a lively pastoral life and uses modern technology and mass media to promote its mission. It was one of the first parishes in China to post a website and recently began to host a blog on public witness.

The diocese of Tianjin has a large Catholic community. It also ranks with Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing as a centre for central government administration.

According to the 2008 Guide to the Catholic Church in China, there are over 100,000 Catholics, 30 priests and 40 sisters from the Community of Charity.

One sign of its health is that it also has several dozen seminarians.

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