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Celebration of service

XIANXIAN (SE): The parish of St. Francis Xavier in Wuqiao in Xianxian, Hebei province, celebrated the feast of its patron saint on December 3 under the theme of Healing the physical and spiritual health of elderly people by reaching out in love and kindness.

Fides reported that on the day, the parish provided free medical consultations for about 150 people in their sunset years, without prejudice to faith or no faith, in collaboration with the diocesan social service foundation, Heart to Heart.

The doctors were assisted by three young priests, along with five sisters and volunteers, who welcomed and assisted people that needed help to travel and looked after them while they waited. After lunch they celebrate Mass with the Catholic people.

Over past years, the parish has sought to celebrate the feast of its missionary patron through concrete service as a witness to the faith of its people and also by giving special attention to the elderly people of the area.

Last year, a free eye and dental check-up was offered, and every year a specific health care service is proposed, including treatment to help stall the development of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

The diocese of Xianxian used to be called the apostolic vicariate of Southeast-Tcheli. Today it has a Catholic population of about 75,000, with 206 churches and chapels, and about 100 priests.

Every year there are over 100 baptisms. The parish of Wuqiao is a vibrant community with an active congregation.

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