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A week to celebrate love

This year, in an unusual occurrence, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day—February 14 and the first day of Chinese New Year falls on the first Friday of Lent on February 16. Catholic youngsters in particular are in a quandary: is it okay to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Ash Wednesday? 
 








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Better Catholics than the Pope?

A month to go and the Church will enter into the sixth year of the papacy of Pope Francis. But has he earned more critics than friends in the past five years? 
 








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Honouring young people as leaders of the Church

Celebrating the Year of the Youth is a lovely way to honour the young people of the Church and also recognise them as leaders of not just tomorrow, but today. This should be a big year for the Catholic youth of Hong Kong and they need to capitalise on it and make the Church visible in this city. 
 








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Make wise use of the Year of Youth

The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong launched the Year of Youth during Advent in early December last year. After almost two months, the initiative has yet to bring about much change within the Church. However, it is still in its early stages. 
 
Meanwhile, the atmosphere of Hong Kong society is already hard to bear.
 








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Longing for Christian unity

he Universal Church observes the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity January 18 to 25 each year. Over the 2,000 years of Church history, it has experienced the Great Schism of the 11th century and the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Christianity has taken shape in three strands: Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism.
 








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We belong to one family

The opening of the prayer which Jesus himself taught the disciples is: “Our Father.” It always reminds us that everyone belongs to one family. Differences in race, religion, economy, politics and culture must not cause hatred, hostility or conflict. Instead, these differences are opportunities for loving one another. This love calls us to make sacrifices and turn away from the greed for pleasures and selfishness, and to enter into the lives of migrants and refugees to get to know them, accept them and walk with them.
 

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The Epiphany in troubled times

“Where is the newborn king?” If someone asked you this question today, what would you feel and what would your reply be? Excited, overwhelmed, or something else? Would you tap out a message on your smartphone and share this message immediately over social media to gauge the reaction of your friends?
 








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A New Year a new leaf?

As one year dissolves into another the pessimist bemoans that the world is in worse shape than it was 12 months ago and, despite the good intentions of New Year resolutions, the upcoming months look grim.
 
However, the optimist may look back and see that amidst the grim realities of the previous year there were some bright spots and while not placing great faith in the New Year resolutions either, see some hope for the future.
 








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Facing death and respecting life

October is the Month of Mission in the worldwide Church, but November turns our attention from this life to the next and is dedicated to the faithful departed. It is a month when people are encouraged to remember their deceased loved ones in their prayer and to also pray with the whole communion of saints.
 








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An undiplomatic diplomat

In what can only be described as blunt diplomatic language, Australia’s top ranking diplomat, the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson, warned students at the Confucius Institute in Adelaide against what she termed the untoward influence that China wields in the county’s education circles and encouraged respectful engagement without blind condemnation or, most especially, silent withdrawal.