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The staff of the Sunday Examiner wish you a blessed Christmas celebration

‘All this took place to fulfill what the Lord  had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,
which means ‘God is with us’.’

– Matthew 1:22-23 –

 

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The climate merry-go-round

Around 2,000 years ago a baby was born. He was named Jesus and, since that time, has been hailed by his disciples across the globe as the saviour of the world.

He never held a spear—let alone a gun—he never headed an empire, never became a politician, scientist or a bishop, and did not seek financial dominance or to subdue people or manipulate the earth.








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Rejoice—Christmas is present in the waiting

HONG KONG (SE): The Christmas celebration begins well before the December 24 Vigil Mass and the parish of St. Benedict in Shatin put the first touches on its celebration on December 13 with the lighting of the Christmas tree.

At 5.00pm, Reverend Pio Ng Wan-hang led the Youth Band in a recital of Christmas carols during an hour-long ceremony featuring the Christmas story depicted in an amusing drama in the entrance foyer of the church.

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Pick a parol online

HONG KONG (SE): Filipino communities in Hong Kong will for the first time be invited to vote online for their favourite Christmas lantern in a annual parol-making competition sponsored by the consulate general.

Vice consul, Alex Vallespin, who has responsibility for the organisational end of the competition, said the online voting is intended to add spice to the activity and drum up interest by involving a wider section of the community in the judging process.

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Christmas celebrated in hope and fear

 

HONG KONG (SE): While Christians in Iraq faced the Christmas season of peace and joy in fear and trepidation, Catholics in Nepal reported that they were looking forward to their first Christmas in many years without threats of violence from Hindu fundamentalist groups.

Then, in normally peaceful Japan, people faced the festive season in a mood of crisis and worry, as Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, from Nagasaki, put it, “It is not a time to celebrate in a consumerist society.”

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A Christmas letter to an embattled bishop

 

SHANGHAI (SE): A Catholic person in Shanghai has penned a letter to Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin, who is currently confined to the seminary at Sheshan on the outskirts of the city, stripped of his status as a bishop and suspended from exercising his priestly ministry for two years by government authorities, telling him that he is not alone, but is very much in the prayers of the faithful people of his diocese.

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Two faces of a Chinese Christmas

 

HONG KONG (SE): There is a Chinese way to celebrate Christmas, according to a report published in the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, on December 24. “On Christmas eve, Chinese youngsters embrace the festival like westerners, but not for the religious reasons or for family reunion.”

Xinhua reports that young people approach the feast more like a festival and an opportunity to take a break from their busy lives.

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Reflecting on a sacred night

 

HONG KONG (SE): As the strains of the well-loved Christmas carol proclaim, Silent Night, Sacred Night, Christians are invited to reflect on what is sacred in our world and in our lives.

The sacred is proclaimed in many different ways, but what is common about each one is that it holds and element that is somehow transcendent, seemingly beyond the reach or our physical ability to enact or achieve and intangible.

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A Blue Christmas is more than a bad dream

 

HONG KONG (SE): While dreaming of a White Christmas may conjure up happy memories that can be looked forward to again in the future, the thought of facing a Blue Christmas is not even a bad dream, but a frightening reality for many people.

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A Christmas pastoral letter from John Cardinal Tong

 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests! (Luke 2:14)

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

 

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