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Inadvertent missionaries

October 25 completes Mission Week, the only celebration in the liturgical calendar that runs for a full eight days, from Sunday to Sunday.

With the major exception of Korea, where local people received the faith in China and brought it home, Churches across Asia were founded by missionaries, mostly from Europe. Stories of their heroic deeds abound and indeed they punched well above their weight, often at great cost, for some—their lives.








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Trumpet all Nobel Laureates

The awarding of a Nobel Prize for Medicine to a Chinese research doctor, Tu Youyou, has captured the imagination of the country and in some ways turned her into of a cult hero.

The home she used to live in has sky-rocketed in value and the high school she attended over 50 years ago has become a centre of attention.








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What language will the synod speak?

The doctrine of marriage is not at stake, but the family as an irreplaceable resource in human society is.

This was the conundrum facing the synod when it convened on October 4 under the theme, The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world, after probably one of the most intense periods of lobbying from a wide spectrum of Catholic society ever seen.








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Maturity born out of social division

JUST ONE YEAR ago, tear gas fired by the police saw tens of thousands of people add to those already massed in Admiralty and the Umbrella Movement declared open. The occupation of the streets was to last for 79 days.








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Truth and life: the nature of education

New term, new beginnings.








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Love our earth as our brothers and sisters

In early August, Pope Francis declared September 1 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Despite the short notice, the Church did manage to respond.

Christianity has a rich history in loving the earth. It has always advocated the simple life. In his encyclical, Praise Be: Care for our common home (Laudato Si), Pope Francis explores the natural world and environmental protection from a community point of view.

He extends a moral invitation to all people to protect our common home.








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A hard time of year for students

The summer vacation may seem long to students as they look forward to it, but can then pass in a flash and, in seemingly no time they are back to the daily grind of hefting bags, homework and the challenge of a new school year.








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A veiled call to arms

In both mainland China and Hong Kong, September 3 has been designated as a public holiday to mark 70 years since Japan put down its arms and China claimed victory over its forces.

In gazetting the holiday, Beijing announced that it would allow people to participate in activities marking China’s conquest over Japan in what is officially known as the 70th Anniversary of Victories in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Against Fascism.








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A cross too far

 A church without a cross is a bit like a government office without a coat of arms. Both symbols are powerful and reflect a strong identity.

The cross symbolises a call to the selfless love Christ showed and the coat of arms the promise of law and order in society.

An attack on either is an assault on the core identity of those who revere them.








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A year for the word of God

In the pre-Vatican II Church, reading the bible did not get big ratings and sometimes was even actively discouraged by Church authorities and virtually not mentioned, with the exception of the readings at Mass on Sundays.

Although official attitudes have done an about turn on the subject in more recent decades, it is still a topic that requires much attention and people who do want to read, frequently ask for guidance on how to do it intelligently.