CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Parishes growing with new baptisms

HONG KONG (SE): During 2011, there were over 6,200 baptisms of adults, infants or young children in Hong Kong diocese.

The former bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, used to say that he believed that it is possible to increase this number to 10,000.

But he added that whether it is achieved or not is not as important as the creation of outward-looking, welcoming communities, capable of inviting new people in.

Since Easter is the traditional time for baptisms of adults graduating from the various catechumenates around the diocese, parish communities are now making final preparations.

The process of administering the sacrament will also begin with what is known as the scrutinies, or public profession of faith, in ceremonies usually conducted at regular parish Sunday Masses.

The number of new people entering the Church each year has seen a steady increase in the size of parish communities and the diocese has put resources into giving new Catholics a solid basis in their faith.

It requires a deep pastoral commitment from the members of every parish in the diocese. 

Father Giorgio Pasini, the parish priest of St. Andrew’s in Tseung Kwan O, told the Chinese-language Kung Kao Po that the increase in the size of the parish has prompted them to add an extra Mass to the Sunday schedule.

“Starting from Advent last year, we added a Mass on Sunday evening, due to rising demand from the people. When the parish began, about 90 people were being baptised each year, we now have 170,” he said.

The Association of Catholic Laity points out that the growth in the number of Catholics is not being reflected in the numbers of vocations to the priesthood or religious life.

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