SAINT PAUL VI (3) – Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio

– FAUSTO GOMEZ OP

The role of the Social Doctrine of the Church is to shed the light of the Gospel with the help of reason on the relevant social problems of the times. The huge chasm between rich and poor countries, or between developed and underdeveloped countries was a big problem in the second half of the twentieth century. Pope Paul VI addressed the problem in his pace-setting Encyclical Populorum Progressio (PP), On the Development of Peoples, which was issued on March 26, 1967, two years after Vatican II. The encyclical is addressed not only to Catholics, but to all peoples: “to all men of good will.”

MUSIC AS AN EVANGELIZING SOURCE, PLACE OF WORSHIP AND PRAYER – Hymns of praise

PHOTO CAPTION: In Macau, the Social Communication Centre of the Diocese (Centro Diocesano dos Meios de Comunicação Social) held its first Catholic Cantonese Sacred Song Composition Contest this year. The awarding ceremony was held last Saturday 24 November. There were 18 songs composed by different people with different religious backgrounds.

– Miguel Augusto

Music occupies a privileged place in our day to day life, transporting us often in time; connecting us to moments that awaken nostalgic and striking memories in our lives. Music is a real stage of emotions – joy, sadness, peace… In the spiritual field, music can elevate us, transform our prayer, and extend our love for God. When we praise God by singing and by music, we always praise with emotion, and as St Augustine said: “He who sings, pray twice.”

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH IAN JOHNSON ON THE RETURN OF RELIGION AFTER MAO – The souls of China

– Aurelio Porfiri

The topic of China and religion has been very much in the news in recent months, also thanks to the developments in relations between the same China and the Holy See. There are many voices commenting on that provisional agreement, in favor or against.

Looking at the issue on a more general way, we need to recognize that there are several scholars that have devoted their attention to look at the “religious phenomenon” in mainland China. We might regard the country as being completely materialistic and certainly there is a strong materialistic component. But it would be wrong to think of the country only in this way.  Indeed, the Chinese people have shown a strong religious dimension throughout their troubled history. For those who want to explore this religious dimension in China, there is a book not to be missed: The Souls of China. The Return of Religion After Mao (2017 Vintage Books). The author of the book is Ian Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize winning author for his investigative journalism. So from these premises you can be sure that the book is not only interesting for its content, but also makes for good reading because of the engaging writing of the writer. The book puts religion, in a quite broad sense, in the spotlight. So we can see Buddhism, Protestantism, Taoism and their challenges. What I think is the most significant claim in the book of Ian Johnson is that, despite the difficulties, Chinese people have a strong religious spirit and this spirit is not doomed even amidst strong restrictions regarding their faith. The book was well received by the press.

MARIAN APPARITIONS (92) – Steinfeld, Germany

“Little Herman from his earliest years, manifested a most tender devotion to the Mother of God, and almost as soon as he could speak, he begged his mother to teach him how to honor her. His parents were very poor, but they taught him to confide in Jesus and Mary and he would, in all simplicity, tell Them of all his childish wants. He often had to go barefoot in the coldest weather, and one day he came to pray before the statue of Mary, with his feet all blue with cold.

“Herman,” said Our Lady, “why do you go barefoot when it is so cold?”

NEWS BRIEFS

– Tej Francis

KETAPANG

IN A WEEK, CATHOLICS CELEBRATED 20 ORDINATIONS IN LAMPUNG, CENTRAL JAVA AND KALIMANTAN

(AsiaNews)  In just one week, the Catholic Church of Indonesia celebrated 20 priestly ordinations: five in Tanjung Karang (Lampung), 12 in Yogyakarta (province of Central Java), two at the Trappist monastery of St Mary in Rawaseneng (Central Java), and one in Air Upas, diocese of Ketapang (West Kalimantan).

Last week, the bishop of Tanjung Karang, Mgr Yohanes Harun Yuwono, ordained five new priests in his diocese. Yesterday, Mgr Robertus Rubiyatmoko, archbishop of Semarang, officiated the consecration ceremony of 11 diocesan priests and a Xaverian father, at the St Paul Major Seminary in Yogyakarta.

A SPIRITUAL RETREAT IN HONG KONG – Learn to see and appreciate beauty

PHOTO BY: Angela Chong

– Angela Chong

I was in Hong Kong attending a spiritual retreat organized by the Macau Biblical Association over the past weekend. Prior to that, we had been assigned a few paragraphs in Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter “On Care of Our Common Home” for our reading. We thus went with the expectation for a message from God through our contact with Nature.

FAMILY AND FAITH – Never Doubt God’s Love

– Fr Rodrigo Lynce de Faria

The biggest difference between humans and animals is that a human being is not “something” but “someone”: he has the dignity of being a human person.

This means that a human being is capable of possessing himself through his will, and capable of understanding himself through intelligence.

He is a being who has the capacity to recognize that he does not give himself existence, and therefore can open himself to the infinity of his Creator.

In our personal encounter with Jesus Christ we discover who we really are: children of God, who are recipients of an infinite Love.

COUPLES FOR CHRIST – Growth in the Mainland

– Danilo Ngo

Couples for Christ (CFC) Macau was very glad to host the 5th CFC China Chapter Leaders Training and Council Training at Choc Van Conference Center last October 2018. The China leaders from Manila and different provinces of China had an an audience with Bishop Stephen Lee of the Diocese of Macau. Bishop Stephen Lee had made it possible for the community to be registered and recognized in the Diocese of Macau as a renewal Catholic group, in addition to its registration in the Macau government as a non-profit organization under the name of CFCMA (Couples for Christ Macau Association).

CANTATA MACAU 2018

The third edition of  the International Choir Festival of Macau (MIC) known as Cantata Macau 2018 is at hand.  This year the event will be held from December 6 to 9. In the past the Festival has been able to capture the imagination of many reputed choirs of the international circuits. On the third year the Festival gathers over 400 vocalists of 14 choirs from 8 different countries. This is the largest of the Festival so far.

The Festival is envisaged to recapture the spiritual patrimony of Macau and to highlight Macau as a destination for spiritual journeys and an experience of harmony during the festival days.

All are cordially invited to this unique  experience of cultural and spiritual confluence.

USJ & MACAU INSTITUTE OF CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION OF CULTURAL RELICS

Course in conservation of iron gall ink objects organized

Co-organised by the University of Saint Joseph and the Macau Institute of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Relics, a “Course in Conservation of Iron Gall Ink Objects” will be held from December 8th to 18th, 2018, at the USJ Library. It will be facilitated by renowned German paper and book conservator, Ms Barbara Hassel, and it will focus on the history, techniques, aging features and evaluation of iron gall ink, as well as on its conservation on experimental samples and practicum.