CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Scrutiny for three thousand catechumens

HONG KONG (SE): Eight ceremonies of scrutiny were scheduled by the diocese for catechumens on three consecutive Sundays starting March 24 to prepare them for baptism at Easter. More than 2,800 people will be baptised in the diocese this year.
A total of 1,720 catechumens, godparents and catechists attended two ceremonies of scrutiny at St. Francis de Assisi Church, Shek Kip Mei, on March 24.
Apostolic administrator, John Cardinal Tong Hon, officiated the scrutiny during the Sunday Liturgy concelebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, the former bishop of Hong Kong, along with a number of parish priests. 
Cardinal Tong said in his homily that it is the living water of Jesus Christ that brings forth eternal life. 
He said, “Faith is a grace from God, as we did not chose God, but God chose us.”  
The cardinal encouraged the catechumens to repent, pray and read the bible as they prepare for the sacrament of baptism and, once they are baptised, to attend Mass, receive the sacrament of reconciliation and join communities.
A representative of the catechists, Chiu Hoi-wa, from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Wan Chai, recommended the catechumens to Cardinal Tong, attesting to their determination to follow God.
After blessing the oil of catechumens, Cardinal Tong anointed the catechumens. He then blessed the candles to be used at Easter.
The ceremonies of scrutiny in Shek Kip Mei were for the catechumens from parishes on Hong Kong Island. The ceremonies used to be held at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, which is presently under renovation.
Catechumens from parishes in the New Territories attended their ceremony of scrutiny at St. Benedict Church, Shatin, on March 31, while those from Kowloon parishes are scheduled to attend the ceremony at Shek Kip Mei as well as St. Andrew’s parish, Hang Hau, on April 7.

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