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A time to welcome

As in past years at the Easter Vigil celebration, some thousands of adults are set to receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist.

Their official welcome from the diocese begins during Lent as they join their godparents and catechists in a final preparation programme and are welcomed during Sunday Masses.

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Universal retirement protection

The Catholic Church began its presence in Hong Kong in the mid-19th century with caring for the needs of the poor as one of its major aims. During those early days it addressed the many social problems in the territory, particularly since the colonial government did not have any comprehensive social welfare or educational policies.

This reflected an age-old understanding of the mission of the Church to care for the whole person, both the spiritual and the physical.

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A lot more than monkey business

While a fireworks celebration was scheduled for the evening of the second day of the Lunar New Year on February 9, the real fireworks exploded some 24 hours earlier on the volatile streets of Mong Kok.

The no-holds-barred slug out between police and a local mob continued until the shadows lifted on a new day, leaving perplexed cleaners removing debris and an even more perplexed government groping for explanations.

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Inculturate or perish

The Eucharistic Congress in Cebu in The Philippines was only the fourth to be held in Asia since the first one took place in 1881 in Lille, France.

That was a small event, only intended to involve locals. But as the years rolled by, congresses gathered momentum and in 1893 became truly international with the holding of the first one outside Europe in Jerusalem.

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Pray for our enemies

The beginning of the Year of the Monkey and Lent coincide, two seasons in which people customarily make resolutions.

Although it may be a reflection of people’s consciousness of their short comings, choosing to give something up is as common as its failure rate, although because Lent is much shorter than a year and does not threaten the permanency of deprivation, it has a better chance.

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Year of Consecrated Life

The Year of Consecrated Life was launched on 5 December 2014 and comes to a close on February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Over the past 15 months, the Hong Kong Diocesan Group on the Year of Consecrated Life planned a series of activities for this celebration. Also, in collaboration with various religious congregations, it organised prayer meetings and open days to promote vocation to the religious life and an understanding of the charisms of various congregations.

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Be reconciled

In calling the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis is urging the world to contemplate the face of Christ, to experience the great mystery of God’s mercy, thus setting the proclamation of God’s merciful love in both word and deed as the guiding principle of faith and spirituality.

In simple language he is saying that expressing mercy in action should be taken as being the basic standard for Church life.

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Ecological conversion and mercy

During the Jubilee of Mercy, seven churches have been designated in Hong Kong as places of pilgrimage where people can prepare themselves to receive God’s mercy.

In a document declaring the Jubilee, entitled The Face of Mercy, Pope Francis stresses that the Church should care for the welfare of the underprivileged and future generations.

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Mercy is the foundation of peace

It is 50 years since the closing of the Second Vatican Council and it is fitting to remember the landmark encyclical penned by Pope Paul VI, The Progress of Peoples (Populorum Progressio) two years later. Pope Paul wrote the immortal words, “Development, the new name for peace.”

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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.