CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 9 December 2017

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Lent with an interreligious flavour

ZHENGZHOU (SE): Kuan Yan, a Buddhist monk, set out from China on a pilgrimage to India with the intention of expressing his great personal devotion to Mother Teresa of Kolkata.

Upon his return, he attended an interreligious gathering at the parish of the Sacred Heart in Zhengshou, Henan province, on March 25, carrying with him a medal depicting the head of the saint that had been blessed in Rome on the day of her canonisation to show to the young people who had gathered to welcome him to their parish.

The parish had organised the interreligious gathering as part of its journey through Lent and had specifically chosen dialogue with other religions to celebrate the Year of Spirituality.

Fides reported that on the evening the youth group hosted Kuan and his disciples, the parish priest, Father Liu Jiang Dong, explained that it had been designed as a time for young people to grow spiritually.

With great emotion, the monk described his pilgrimage through India and his admiration for the saint who had dedicated everything to the poor.

Kuan said, “All religions teach what is good, put the person at the centre, preach charity, mercy and philanthropy. Both Buddhist monks and Catholic priests entrust their lives and the future of the young people to God, wishing for a solid spiritual life for them, marked by prayer and works of charity, so that others can learn about religion.”

The parish of the Sacred Heart is extremely active, with initiatives in vocation formation, catechesis, evangelisation, social service and works of charity, as well as outreaches to the sick and those of advanced age.

As the parish priest pointed out, “We want to live in a concrete harmonious community environment, eliminating all obstacles. Together we want to put ourselves at the service of the community, the Church and society.”

 

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