The exhibition organized by the Parish of Mong-Ha “Seeking the Presence of God Through The Parish” was opened on 15 January, Saturday. Bishop of Macau Stephen Lee Bun-Sang, Procurator Fr. João Evangelista, Parish Priest and Vicar General Fr Pedro Chong, the Canossian Daughters of Charity, Sr. Susanna Yu, Sr. Dorothy Cheng, Sr. Evelyn Yip, parish priests, and other guests joined the opening ceremony.
Fr. Pedro Chong said that the exhibition wishes to show the Lord’s presence in the community of Mong-Ha and to explain the mission of the parish. “History is not made by man. Man is only a visitor who participates in the formation of history.”
He further explained that the theme of the exhibition was about the four characters “蘭桂騰芳”, because of the location of the church, which was previously a garden of the Tong Family, “the property of Mr. Tong Lai Chung, which was used for education purpose before and for the benefit of the community.”
“蘭桂騰芳”, the four stone carvings, are kept well in the Kindergarten of the Sacred Heart Canossian College. Fr. Chong further explained that “蘭桂騰芳 brings a blessing to future generations with the same fragrance of orchids and sweet osmanthus.”
Lastly, Fr. Chong said he hoped that this exhibition will help everyone appreciate the growth of the faith community over the past century. “It is surprise to see the presence of God in different times and space, to witness the wonderful ways in which the community of Mong-Ha benefited for over 100 years through God’s mercy. We invite everyone to join us to thank and praise God, for the good and diligence of those who have gone before us, to encourage the faithful to learn from the past and carry on preaching the gospel.”
Bishop Stephen Lee used the letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians (1 Thes 1:2-6) to highlight the words “unceasingly”, “endurance”, “labor” (see 1 Thes 1:2-3), which describes the work of the Canossian Sisters.
The Bishop also said that “history helps us to learn. How do we gain experience? No matter what age we are, when we review history, it will increase our life experience.”
Bishop further added that these experiences help us to improve ourselves. “There are some shortcomings that we can improve on, and good things that we can be grateful for.”
He also pointed out that after learning from the history and experience, everyone expects to have an identity in the parish. The Bishop emphasized that everyone who is baptized is part of the parish. “Every parish is a small Diocese, and the Diocese is part of the Universal Church, the body of Jesus, a family. It is hoped that this exhibition, through the work of the parish priests and pastoral sisters, will promote the idea that each faithful is aware of his or her own identity, not just attending Sunday mass on weekend, but as a member of a family. It is through the story of the growth of the parish that the faithful discover their identity as part of the parish.”
Finally, he prayed that God would continue to bless everyone in the parish, so that the family would continue to grow through history. He also hoped that in the future, all churches in the Diocese would review their own history and help the faithful to live their faith better. Afterwards, Bishop Lee blessed the exhibition venue and the visitors who came to see it.