Daily Archives: December 15, 2017

Reverend Father Claude Lo passes away

Macau Diocesan priest Reverend Father Claude Lo (羅啟瑞神父) passed away from an illness in the morning of 13 December 2017 at the San Januario Hospital. He was 84.

Father Lo was born on 1 November 1933 in Hong Kong. He joined the St Joseph Seminary in 1949 and was ordained priest on 31 December 1961. From 1962 to 1965 he studied Church History and Liturgy in Rome at the Gregorian University from which he obtained a master’s degree.

A FILIPINO TRADITION SINCE 1668 – Crowds expected for Simbang Gabi


Starting today, the Filipino Catholic community, led by the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), is holding the Simbang Gabi (Dawn Masses) in Macau, an ancient religious tradition introduced in the Philippines by the Spaniards.

From Dec 16-24, the Masses honoring the Blessed Mother and preparing for Christ’s birth will be at 5:30 AM in St Lawrence’s Church. For those who cannot make it to the dawn Masses, Simbang Gabi will be celebrated at 8:30 PM from Dec 15-23 in St Joseph’s Seminary Chapel.

“The importance of this festivity to us, Filipinos, is that first of all it prepares us for the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord,” Fr Alejandre Vergara, SOLT, told us. “This is the time to unite ourselves with one another to celebrate the love of God for all of us. This is a kind of thanksgiving to God for all the graces and blessings that we received especially for the gift of Jesus who was born for us,” he added.

NOVENA AND MASS — Macau honors St Francis Xavier

The Jesuit community and friends in Macau held a novena to St Francis Xavier from November 24 to December 2 at St Joseph’s Seminary Church. Throughout the nine-day devotion, many different lay persons came to share their thoughts on topics such as the family, discernment, service, vocation, education, and thanksgiving, among others.

This year, the 3rd of December, feast of St Francis, fell on a Sunday, so the celebration was moved to the following day, Monday, 4th of December.

Fr Paul Chan SJ spearheaded the novena. He had composed it several years ago, and wanted to promote it in Macau this year, hoping that lay witnesses can share their own experiences about how to face hardship and keep up their hope.

SVD GENERAL COUNCILOR IN ROME FR JOSÉ ANTUNES DA SILVA – “Our Society has been blessed with many vocations in Asia”

The Society of the Divine Word is gaining momentum in Asia with the growing number of new vocations, says the SVD General Councilor in Rome Fr José Antunes da Silva. Speaking to O CLARIM, he mentions about the establishment of missions in Myanmar and Bangladesh, the challenges the congregation faces throughout the world and the work carried out by Pope Francis in the Vatican. Macau is also a topic of conversation.



You are an SVD priest in Rome. Can you describe the nature of your role?

I am a member of the General Council of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). My role, together with the other councilors, is to help the Superior General to coordinate the Society’s work around the world, and to animate our members and our collaborators in their life and mission.


MONG HA SUNDAY SCHOOL STAFF – An Enlightening Advent Retreat

 Angela Chong

It was the feast of Christ the King on November 26, and an Advent retreat was held for the Mong Ha Sunday school staff.

Father Joey Mandia, our retreat director, inspired us greatly with useful information in relation to Christ’s kingship. With special emphasis on our need for regular confession, he explained very carefully how we should live our lives on earth in order to enter the Kingdom of God afterwards. Finally, he discussed how we become united in the kingship of Christ through baptism and how we should share in His kingly, priestly and prophetic offices in our everyday lives.

His talk initiated a lot of our thinking. And we appreciated the opportunity to ask related questions at intervals throughout the discussion. Indeed a lot of questions were raised and Father Mandia not only answered every one of them with patience and wisdom but also guided us to explore deeper into the issue being discussed.

CHURCH FATHERS (9) – Letter to Diognetus


When we speak of the Letter to Diognetus, we are dealing with another ancient document that gives us one of the first example of Christian apologetics. We don’t know who the author of this letter is. It is said that it is the “letter of Matheses to Diognetus”, but “Matheses” means simply “disciple”.

This letter, according some scholars, was found in a manuscript of the 12/14th century, in possession of Giovanni Reuchlin and then handed over to the Strasbourg Library where the manuscript will stay until 1870, when the Library was burned. Some think that this document should be attributed to Saint Justin. Indeed, in the manuscript mentioned above was contained, before this little treatise that we call “Letter to Diognetus,” one of the important works of Justin: De Monarchia. The letter was published in 1592 by Enrico Stefano, in a collection of works by Saint Justin.

BITE-SIZE PHILOSOPHY (44) – How do animals react?

Rev José Mario O Mandía


We have seen how man and animals perceive the outside world through the senses (sense knowledge). But men and animals do not only perceive — they also react to what they perceive. Let’s now take a look at how this happens.

The internal senses, in particular the estimative power or instinct, identifies every object that is known as either useful or harmful to itself. There are two built-in inclinations or tendencies (Aristotle calls this inclination “orexis” and Aquinas call it “appetitus”) that correspond to these two perceptions.

St Thomas calls the first inclination “concupiscible appetite” (the Latin verb “concupiscere” means to covet, long for, to desire eagerly or ardently). The concupiscible appetite is the tendency that men and animals have towards what is useful or suitable and away from what can hurt or harm them. The object of the concupiscible appetite are pleasurable goods, things that we like (cf Summa Theologiae I q81, a2).

HELL, PRAYER AND CONVERSION — That politically incorrect, but evangelical, message from Fatima


Vittorio Messori

Apparitions seem to resemble one other, always having an appeal to prayer and penance at the center but, at the same time, are different from each other in the emphasis on a particular aspect of faith. The aura that surrounds Lourdes is calm, so much so that it has been noticed that in no other occasion has Mary smiled so much, having even laughed on three occasions. Bernadette said, “She laughed like a little girl.” And that little saint did not know that this would have induced the austere inquisitors of the commission who doubted if she could be trusted to become even more suspicious. “Our Lady laughs! Come on, a little respect for the Queen of Heaven!” In the end, they had to accept the fact: it was just like that. Of course, let’s not forget that the One who in the cave will say that She was the Immaculate Conception will also take on a very serious attitude, repeating appeals to penance and prayer for themselves and for sinners. But there is an air of serenity, the lack of threats of punishment, which is perhaps one of the most attractive aspects that attract to the Pyrenees the crowds we know.

MARIAN APPARITIONS (47) — Guadalupe, Mexico


Juan Diego is 57 years old. He has just encountered the Virgin Mary on Tepeyac Hill, the site of a former Aztec Temple. Juan Diego is dazzled by the incredible beauty and miraculous nature of Our Lady’s appearance. She appears as a native princess to him, and her words sound more beautiful than the sweetest music ever made.

Our Lady calms the startled traveler, and assures him of who she is. She instructs Juan Diego to visit his bishop and ask that a temple be built on the site of her appearance, so that she will have a place to hear petitions and to heal the suffering of the Mexican people. “Now go and put forth your best effort,” Our Lady instructs.

Visibly shaken, Juan Diego approaches the Bishop who is initially very skeptical of his account. The Bishop patiently listens to Juan Diego’s accounts and dismisses him. The humble farmer has failed.

17 December 2017 – 3rd Sunday of Advent (B)

Is 61:1-2, 10-11; 1 Thes 5:16-24; Jn 1:6-8, 19-28


Provider of glad tidings

Edmond Lo


“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners…” (Is. 61:1).

Back in my university days when I didn’t find myself particularly attached to the Bible, I still found Isaiah’s prophetic passage above very powerful every time I heard it proclaimed. When recited by Luke in his gospel within the setting of Jesus standing in a synagogue, slowly unrolling a scroll of Isaiah, and reading it out to an enchanted and expectant congregation on Sabbath, the prophetic passage took on a new meaning of fulfilment (c.f. Luke 4:16-21) – fulfilled not only in the very person who read it, i.e. Jesus, the Anointed One, but also in me, the listener, personally.

I, a foreign student struggling to make ends meet, was the poor; not only because of corporeal deprivation but also because of spiritual destitution. I was the brokenhearted, not only because my life then was filled with hardships but also because the deepest yearnings of my young heart – for love and dignity, for justice and righteousness, for the truth – somehow just could not be satisfied. I was the captive, captive of so many unrealistic dreams, captive of my own youthful passions. I was the prisoner, chained hands and feet by sin, incarcerated body and soul by the unrelenting grip of death. I was in dire need of the Anointed One’s glad tidings, healing, liberation, and freedom.