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.

Around 160 people attended the Mass which was celebrated by Bishop Stephen Lee with over 16 priests concelebrating.

In the homily, the Bishop said that the novena is just like our life, which is a pilgrimage towards the kingdom of God. When we meditate on the life of St Francis Xavier, we have to ask whether we have the same passion like St Francis, in order to continue our God-given mission to spread the Good News.

However, spreading the Good News requires love for God. If we do not have this love as basis, we can never spread the Good News. If someone says he can do it without loving Our Lord, he/she is just spreading himself/herself, but not God. It is a proud and selfish attitude.

He said, moreover, that we have to feel that it is an honor to have been chosen by God for this mission.

God asked St Francis three questions, which we can ask ourselves too: After so many years as a Christian, what have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What shall I do for Christ?


Jasmin Yiu




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