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Prayer for five continents promotes mission and faith


TAIPEI (SE): Taiwan moved towards World Mission Day this year with the release of a Prayer for the Five Continents at the beginning of October.

Falling on the second last Sunday in October, the day was celebrated this year on October 21.

The prayer initiative came from the Pontifical Mission Societies of Taiwan, in collaboration with Fu Ren University. They have been promoting the prayer to rekindle an international awareness and missionary zeal among people.

The prayer is designed to be part of the celebration of the Year of Faith, which was launched on October 11, as those promoting it say that awareness of the needs of people around us is an integral part of the missionary vocation.

The Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference has released a pastoral letter for the Year of Faith encouraging people to retrace the history of their own faith and that of the Taiwan Church to reawaken their sense of the urgency of witnessing to the faith in this day and age.

“One thing that is of decisive importance in this year is retracing the history of our faith,” the bishops say.

They quote the late Paul Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi as saying, “The last call of God in my life is to be a witness of my faith.”

The bishops say that proclaiming the faith is also a witness to charity. “The Year of Faith is also a good opportunity to intensify the witness to charity, as faith and charity complement each other,” they say.

The bishops are placing great stress on the celebration of the liturgy and the sacraments, as they note without this profession of our faith it lacks efficacy and, consequently, the grace that makes Christian witness effective.

Father Ding Li-wei told AsiaNews, “The Year of Faith is an opportunity to understand more thoroughly the contents of our faith. It is about realising where our commitment comes from. Because we are disciples of Jesus, we spend all our energies to build up the community of believers.”

The Catholic Weekly, published by the archdiocese of Taipei, reported that 52 students from 11 countries participated in a Eucharistic celebration led by Archbishop John Hung Shan-chuan, from Taipei, who is also the president of the bishops’ conference of Taiwan.

The celebration featured sharing on the situation of the faith in various countries in order to emphasise the urgent need for evangelisation in the world today.

Archbishop Hung urged the Church in Taiwan to wake up. “The vocation of all local Churches is to evangelise,” he said. “This is not a commitment to be made by others, but is the responsibility of each person in our Church. We have to consider evangelisation to be the greatest joy in our lives.”

Those taking part in the Mass renewed their baptismal promises, remembering that they embrace the basic call to all Christians to witness to the faith and share it with others.

Archbishop Hung called it a response to the mission entrusted to us by Jesus Christ. He reminded the congregation that we are not alone in this vocation, as Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with us at all times.

He described the call to mission as bringing the love of Christ to every corner of the world, because there are still many people waiting for the good news of Christ.

“And Christ has sent us into the world to proclaim his gospel,” Archbishop Hung was quoted by Fides as saying.


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