CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Catechumens exhorted to live in the light of Christ

Hong Kong (SE): On March 11, St. Andrew’s Church hosted the Rite of Scrutiny, officiated by auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-sing. During his homily the bishop exhorted the catechumens not to forget what they learned during their catechumenate journey and to rely on Christ to live in the light of Christ, which they receive in the Sacraments of Initiation.  
The missionary commitment and generosity of heart of over 3,000 voluntary catechists from 52 parishes together with their priests, have been paying off for a decade of fruitful ministry of sharing the gospel in the diocese of Hong Kong. The statistics show that there have been an average of over 3,000 adult baptisms every year in the diocese. 
According to the diocesan statistics of 31 August 2017, the local Catholic population is about 394,000 whereas the number was just 363,000 in 2011. 
While the Church rejoices over the rise in numbers, it is also equally concerned about the participation of the faithful in the life of the Church. 
It is indeed a time to appreciate all our priests, deacons, sisters and laypeople who offer their time and energy in teaching catechism. They not only carry out the mission of evangelisation, but also strengthen their own faith. 
During the first three Sundays of March, the diocese held the Rite of Scrutiny for the over 2,800 candidates of Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) in preparation for their Sacraments of Initiation during the Easter Vigil Mass. 
The rite consists of the catechumens being presented to the bishop by a representative of the catechists and, accompanied by their sponsors, approaching the bishop to be anointed with the Oil of Catechumens. Candles to be used during the baptisms in different parishes were also blessed and distributed during the liturgy. 
Wong Yuk-ching, a young catechumen from St. James’s Church told Kung Kao Po that as this is the Year of the Youth, he hopes the diocese will organise more gatherings and events where newly-baptised young people can exchange their ideas and to help deepen their faith. 
Ha Wing-sum, a catechist from St. Andrew’s Church, had a message for the sponsors saying that they should not forget to accompany the young people and the newly-baptised, and to help them to live with the fire of faith. 
The Rite of Scrutiny was also held at St. Benedict Church in Shatin, on March 4; in St. Francis of Assisi Church in Shamshuipo, on March 11; and in Christ the King Chapel in Causeway Bay, on March 18. 

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