POPE FRANCIS PROCLAIMS OCTOBER AS AN “EXTRAORDINARY MISSIONARY MONTH” – St Paul’s Ruins to host first Mass in fifteen years

– Marco Carvalho

The ruins of the Mater Dei Church will host the Mass once again, a decade and a half after having been the venue for the Eucharistic celebration for the last time. The information was provided to O Clarim by Father Manuel Machado, who explained that the celebration will take place on the 19th of October, the third Saturday of the “Extraordinary Missionary Month” proclaimed by Pope Francis.

The Comboni missionary, parish priest at the Church of Saint Joseph the Worker, told O Clarim in the beginning of the year that the Diocese of Macau was planning to hold liturgical activities in the Ruins of Saint Paul, as part of the celebrations of the centenary of the promulgation of the Maximum Illud, the apostolic letter that defined the missionary role of the church.

In January, Manuel Machado explained that the Diocese was dependent on the endorsement of the local authorities to conduct a Eucharistic service in the remains of the Mater Dei Church, an authorization that has recently been granted: “The Government already gave us the green light. It is already a certainty that we will have a celebration of the Eucharist in the Ruins of São Paulo. It will be held on the day before World Mission Day. I believe it will take place on the 19th. On October 19th, around 8 pm, we will have the celebration of the Eucharist. This will be announced with further detail by the Diocese in a timely manner,” the chancellor of the Diocese of Macau explained. “I am talking about an evening Mass whose main intention is to mark the Extraordinary Missionary Month. The location is very significant, in a historical sense. Many missionaries started their mission in Macau. With this celebration, we want to remember this vocation and encourage the local Church to keep its missionary vocation alive,” the minister says.

In addition to the Eucharist in the Ruins of  Saint Paul, the program of the “Extraordinary Missionary Month” also features a festival in Tap Seac Square. The event will bring together the local parishes and dozens of entities affiliated with Macau’s Catholic Church. The aim? To bring the Word of God closer to the local population: “The Diocese has programmed two activities to be held in October. The Pope asked that October be dedicated to the missio ad gentes. One of those initiatives will take place on October 6th in Tap Seac Square,” recalls Father Machado. “It will be a kind of carnival, a fair that will bring together the parishes and many of the organizations affiliated with the Church. Each will have its own stand, so that people can get to know the work they develop. We will also set up a stage for a few musical and theatrical performances,” Father Machado added.

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