26 May, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 04/27/2009
CHINA
Funeral Mass for Fr. Tan Tiande, who "blesses us Chinese Catholics"
by Paul Ma
The funeral was held in the cathedral of Guangzhou, where the priest worked after his liberation following 30 years of forced labor. Testimonies about his active presence with the catechumens.

Guangzhou (AsiaNews) - The Catholics of Guangzhou today said their last goodbye to Fr. Francis Tan Tiande, who died last April 23 at the age of 93. He spent almost 30 years of his life in a prison camp in Heilongjiang. But the fame of his witness and his apostolic work is far from dead.

This morning at 7:30 (local time), the solemn funeral was held in the cathedral of Guangzhou, where the priest had worked for decades, after being set free. The last goodbyes were said in front of his coffin at the funeral home, at 10:30. Meanwhile, testimonies are coming from all over the world about the way in which Fr. Tan helped many to discover the beauty of Christianity, and then accompanied them to baptism. For many new faithful in the diocese of Guangzhou, the life of Fr. Tan, and even his imprisonment, are "a blessing for us Catholic Chinese."

Teresa, a young Catholic, was baptized in 2003. She arrived at the faith after a long journey of searching. Unlike the Catholics older than her, she has not experienced persecution, but she knows well what happened in the past, and has great respect for the confessors of the faith. Among these, Fr. Tan Tiande has a special place. In addition to meeting with him each week, Teresa also read his famous book of brief but intense recollections of his thirty years in prison. Like many other Catholics from Guangzhou, she has enormous respect for him. She considers him a priest of strong faith, who truly loved God and men.

Before receiving Baptism, Teresa went a number of times to the Mass celebrated by Fr. Tan, and was struck by his preaching, an unvarnished call to conversion.

Shortly after being set free, Fr. Tan returned to his service at the cathedral, where for years he was involved in teaching the catechumens. He stopped teaching catechesis only in the past few years, as he was growing weaker. Every Sunday, he made himself useful by greeting the many people attending Mass, talking with them, encouraging them, blessing the religious objects they had bought.

Shortly before he died, Teresa went to visit Fr. Tan in the hospital. In his room were the bishop, priests, sisters, and many others who had come to say goodbye to the elderly priest. Teresa stopped at the entrance to watch, deeply moved. Fr. Tan held his arm up in the air, constantly blessing everyone. "That gesture," Teresa says, "was his goodbye to us of the Church of Guangzhou. It was a blessing to us Catholic Chinese, so that, like him, we may remain faithful to God until the end."


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/10/2007 CHINA
Thousands are baptised in Beijing, while in Zhejiang two priests are imprisoned
by Bernardo Cervellera
03/31/2010 INDIA
Easter baptisms, a right and the life of the Church, Card Gracias says
by Nirmala Carvalho
07/14/2008 CHINA - VATICAN
Underground priest, layman in police hands for two months
01/13/2007 CHINA
Released two of the nine underground priests arrested in Hebei
03/02/2012 VIETNAM
Out of 782 catechumens, 264 will be baptised on Easter in Ho Chi Minh City

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.