SAINT PAUL VI (4) – Social action based on Populorum Progressio

– Fausto Gomez OP

“All social action involves a doctrine” (PP. 39). The two functions of the social teachings of the Church are: to enlighten the minds and to take part in action (cf. Octogesima Adveniens, 48). PP is “a solemn appeal to action” for the complete development of individuals and peoples. It is an urgent appeal: “Solidarity in action is a matter of urgency” (PP, 1), because the main cause of underdevelopment is “the lack of brotherhood among individuals and peoples” (PP, 66).


Stephen Lee, Bishop of Macau, attends a banquet hosted by the Civil Servants’ Association (Associação dos Trabalhadores da Função Pública de Macau) on the 2nd of December to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao SAR and the Christmas season. Bishop Lee also took the opportunity to thank the guests and wish them a meaningful Advent and a fruitful Christmas. (Photo: ATFPM)


On December 4th, Tuesday, USJ’s Faculty of Religious Studies celebrated its early Faculty Day at USJ’s Seminary Campus, which began with an inaugural lecture by the new Dean of the faculty, Rev. Dr. Stephen Morgan with the theme “The Word was made Flesh.” Bishop Stephen Lee, USJ’s Chancellor, celebrated the Holy Mass for the feast of St John Danascene with the whole faculty and USJ Senior Management, including the Rector, Professor Father Peter Stilwell, Vice-Rector Professor Álvaro Barbosa, Acting Vice-Rector Professor Rochelle Ge, and the Dean of the School of Business, Professor Jenny Lao-Phillips.

BIBLICAL BABEL – For real evangelization we need dialect Bibles

– Marco Carvalho 

It is considered the Chinese version of the Bible par excellence, but the translation of the Holy Scriptures made by the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum would benefit from a fresh approach to the Chinese reality. The text, published in Hong Kong fifty years ago, is mainly a good study instrument for all of those that want to deepen their knowledge of the word of God, but its role as an efficient mechanism towards evangelization needs bolstering. Father Cyril Law – who maintains that the Church should make an effort to translate the Bible into the different dialects of the Chinese language – explains why.

ASK THE LITURGIST (18) – Where to put the ciborium

– Enrico Finotti

Where to deposit the ciborium without a table?

It is not infrequent that sacristy and extraordinary ministers of the Communion complain about the lack of functionality of some tabernacles without a minimum of support to carry out decorously certain necessary operations connected to the Most Blessed Sacrament. The demand is valid, as a decent liturgical action also requires sufficient and functional spaces. If the tabernacle is on an altar in the chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament or on the same ancient high altar, its table can perform with dignity the indispensable functions for the care of the most holy Eucharist. But at other times the tabernacle is completely devoid of a shelf and only allows you to extract or bring back the ciborium, without the possibility of support. It is therefore necessary to reflect. A suitable table, covered with a tablecloth and with the possibility of spreading the corporal, is necessary before the tabernacle. On it we must be able to perform some necessary acts:

BITE-SIZE THEOLOGY (10) – What credentials does Jesus show?

– Rev José Mario O Mandía

Jesus claims to be God. How does he prove it? What credentials does he show? We can point out two: miracles and prophecies.


Jesus not only showed great wisdom. He backed his words with prodigious acts. St Mark tells us how “on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands!’” (Mark 6:2)

Surely this was no ordinary man! Nicodemus, a man of authority among the Jews, acknowledged Jesus’ authority: he “came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him’” (John 3:2).

A NEW YEAR CELEBRATION THAT GOES UNNOTICED – 2nd December 2018, 1st Sunday of Advent

Jer 33:14-16; 1 Thes 3:12- 4:2; Lk 21:25-28, 34-36

– Edmond Lo

The last liturgical year ended in the crowning of our Lord Jesus Christ as King of the Universe, which is very much in line with the ending of the history of salvation as recorded in the Bible: the Word of God emerging victorious over all forces of evil and was acclaimed as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:16). This Sunday we begin a new lectionary year by celebrating the coming of the Lord in the Season of Advent.

GREAT FIGURES OF THE MISSIONARY WORK – Bengal and the Kingdom of the Dragon (30)

– Joaquim Magalhães de Castro

The continuous succession of curves and countercurves, which allows us to reach meters in height also give right to short stops to buy bananas from a family of road vendors and, a few miles further on, fermented mare’s milk – a very refreshing drink and much of the my taste, with a Mongolian airag flavor – sold by a girl of disarmingly rustic beauty accompanied by her grandmother. The old woman doesn’t move. She just makes braids with wild vegetables.

CHURCH FATHERS (34) – Saint Ambrose

CAPTION: St Ambrose Polyptych, Bartolomeo Vivarini, Gallerie dell’Accademia

– Anastasios

When we talk of Church Fathers, we talk of people coming from every walk of life. One of the great Latin Church Fathers is Saint Ambrose (337-397). Lots of people know him only in reference to another other giant, Saint Augustine, because the Bishop Ambrose was instrumental in the conversion of Augustine. But indeed there is much more in him to be said. He was, as Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Basil, a strong opponent of Arianism, a heresy that has really rocked the Church in the first centuries.

IT’S NOT YET CHRISTMAS – What to do during Advent

– Fr Leonard E Dollentas

It was the Sunday after Christmas at St Mary’s Church.  Father John was in his usual morning routine of looking around the church. When he went inside the church, he glanced towards the altar and the nativity scene, admiring them with all devotion when he noticed that the Baby Jesus was missing from the scene. Immediately, Father John turned towards the parish office  to ask the parish staff about it. But as he was about to do so, he saw little Garry riding a new bike, and inside the small basket in front of the bike, was the little Baby Jesus.  Father John walked up to Garry and said, “Well, Garry, where did you get the Baby Jesus?” Garry replied with all honesty, “I took him from the church, Father John.”  “And why did you take him?”  With a nervous smile, Garry said, “Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to the little Lord Jesus. I told him if he would bring me a new bike for Christmas, I would give him a ride around the block with it. He just did, and I’m fulfilling my promise.”