Following Pope Francis’ Lenten Message, the priests proposed catechesis, retreats, Eucharistic adoration, Via Crucis, works of charity. Renewal for individuals, families, parishes, society.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - Two full days, from late morning to late evening, hearing the confessions of hundreds of faithful. In the diocese of the priest who writes to AsiaNews – who remains anonymous for security issues - at least 95% of the faithful approached the sacrament of reconciliation. This is the first step for the renewal of individual believers, families, the Church and society. The testimony of the Lenten and Easter journey by an underground priest.
Lent is a new beginning, but its specific purpose is a journey toward Easter, to Christ who defeated death. We are called to conversion and to penance.
God asks Christians to go to him with all their heart (Joel 2:12), refuse mediocrity, promote friendship with the Lord. These are some passages of the Message that Pope Francis sent us this Lenten season, 2017.
The Pope's words inspire us to live penance and conversion and to participate in the mystery of Easter.
We experienced the renewal of families and parishes of our diocese through a series of pastoral activities proposed during Lent to Easter. Earlier, I helped celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation in two parishes, along with the pastor. At least 95% of the faithful received the sacrament to reconcile with themselves, with others, and with God. For a whole day, for eight hours, I heard confessions with another priest. But even then we had not finished, as there were many other believers still waiting, so we continued to hear confessions the next day.
During this time, some priests offered special catechetical lessons, preached annual retreats, proposed adoration of the Eucharist even at night, and the Via Crucis. In some parishes there was a " charity box," for offerings and petitions to the Father and Jesus on the Cross.
During Holy Week the parish priest led preparation for Easter, helped by the group of community leaders, by the choir.
Every year, priests work hard during Holy Week and on Easter Day. But it is a joyful work because it is about self-renewal and that of families, parishes, and society, thanks to many works of charity.
The bishop emeritus of Hong Kong highlights the ambiguities that drag on in talks and in the expectations of diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican: belonging to the Patriotic Association, which Benedict XVI called "incompatible" with Catholic doctrine (and which Francis confirmed); silence on the persecution of the faithful and priests; ambiguities over appointment of bishops. A critique of the revival of the Vatican's Ostpolitik.
The Holy Week prompts Catholics to commit themselves to creating a more just world. Benedict XVI exhorted all to "reconcile" with God.
Those disappointed by materialism, consumerism and communist ideology seek new spiritual sources. In various Chinese parishes courses for catechumens are organized, but also studies and Bible reading, Eucharistic adoration, the Way of the Cross and many acts of charity.
Here is a reflection about Fr Dong Guanhua, who was ordained bishop without papal mandate taking office on September 11. This is an isolated case, condemned by many unofficial bishops. The underground Church has remained loyal to the Holy See for decades. Care should be given not to use this case for one’s purposes or to condemn others. The Patriotic Association raises questions of conscience.