CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 22 June 2019

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May Day celebrates work and Our Lady

SHIJIAZHUANG (SE): The celebration of May Day in the Catholic community in mainland China was characterised with an expression of a strong Marian devotion and recognition of the dignity of work.

Fides reported that in many parishes the sacrament of confirmation was administered and some dioceses marked the day with the ordination of deacons and a renewal of their commitment to the witness of the faith.

Labour Day was also celebrated, as it is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and a time of preparation for the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China on the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, on May 24, was begun.

The cathedral parish in Wenzhou, in Zhejiang province, formally opened the month with the celebration of Mass and a Marian procession. Organisers of the event said, “In communion with the universal Church, we invited people to develop a particular devotion to Mary by imitating her in their faith lives.”

They suggested, “Throughout the month, in every parish the rosary could be recited every night, with a Marian meditation led by priests, before a statue of Our Lady, which is in every parish and chapel.”

They described it as being a pilgrimage through the month and a renewal to the witness of faith through works of charity. “It is like walking in the footsteps of our heavenly mother,” they said.

More than 4,000 people in the village of Xiao Hancun, in Tianjin, attended the May 1 celebration of the centennial of the founding of the parish.

The anniversary was marked by a Eucharistic congress, a Marian procession and the opening of the Marian month.

One person described it, saying, “The priests, religious and the laity reflect their faith in Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist, to be able to testify with courage.”

The solemn Marian procession around the village was led by 50 priests and lasted for over two hours.

May 1 also saw 282 members of the parish of Yangcheng in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, receive the sacrament of confirmation in the presence of over 1,000 people.

One local person described it, saying, “We opened the Marian month in the best way possible. It is like a new life in the Church, which unites us and carries us forward to witness to our faith in a meaningful way.”

In Tangshan, Hebei, the month of May opened with the ordination of three deacons for the diocese.

An eye clinic in Handan, run by the Sisters of the Holy Spirit the Comforter, celebrated 20 years of its foundation on May 1. The celebration confirmed their commitment to care for their patients with the same spirit of work as St. Joseph.

May 1 also saw the beginning of pilgrimages to China’s Marian shrines. Hundreds of people in Sichuan and Inner Mongolia met at the Sheshan shrine in Shanghai to attend Mass and pray together.

We opened the Marian month in the best way possible. It is like a new life in the Church, which unites us and carries us forward to witness to our faith in a meaningful way’

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