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    » 04/07/2012, 00.00


    3500 adults receive baptism at Easter Vigil. Card. Tong thanks the catechists

    Annie Lam*

    There are 39 paid catechists and 1500 volunteer catechists. Evangelization a pastoral priority for Card. Tong. The story of Janet, who will be baptized tonight, along with her younger brother.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - This Easter, 3,500adult catechumens in the Hong Kong diocese will receive the Sacrament of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion) at various parishes at the Holy Saturday Vigil today, April 7.

    In his Easter Pastoral Letter 2012, Cardinal John Tong of Hong Kong specially thanks priests, deacons, sisters and laypeople to offer their time and energy in teaching catechism. The catechists "not only carry out the mission of evangelization of the Church, but also strengthen their own faith," the 72-year-old bishop said.

    According to the diocesan statistics of Aug. 31, 2011, there are 39 paid catechists and more than 1,500 voluntary catechists. Local Catholic population comprises 363,000 Chinese and 138,000 non-Chinese.

    On March 3, Card.Tong stated evangelization as one of his pastoral concerns. "Certainly, the rise in the number of Catholics is gratifying, but the quality of their faith is equally essential," he said, hoping his faithful will progress both in the quantity and the quality of faith.

    Card. Tong encouraged the new Catholics to grow in faith. He cited a middle-aged volunteer catechist who was baptized three years ago. The catechist was touched by the words of St. Augustine's words in the "Confessions": "Oh, too late have I loved thee,... too late have I loved thee." After baptism, the catechist lives a simple life, and he studied a course on catechetics and became a volunteer catechist. Now, he plans to study more to deepen his faith, the Easter message says.

    Among the 3,500 catechumens, Janet Lo, together with her younger brother, are two of them. She told AsiaNews that she finds life, love and peace in the Catholic faith and is happy to promote faith to others.

    Janet, who works in marketing field, said they have finished an 18-month catechism class and received anointment scrutiny liturgy (see photo) performed by Card. Tong and the visiting Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Esssen during Lent.

    "I especially like a phrase in the Prayer for the Year of Laity of the diocese that says: Love Life, The Gift of God," Janet said. Their search of faith was inspired by their mother's struggles with an illness some years ago. That experience brought her whole family closer to God. "My father, a Catholic, prayed hard with my mother in those difficult days. My mother got baptized and passed away peacefully."

    "The experience inspired us to thank God and to respond to His call to become Catholics, like our parents," she said. She also thanked her alma mater, a Christian school that sowed the seed of faith in her heart during her schooldays.

     * Annie Lam is a researcher at Holy Spirit Study Centre.

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    See also

    03/04/2015 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Card. Tong: Hong Kong to welcome over 3,600 new Catholics this Easter
    In his pastoral letter, the bishop of the Territory invites the faithful to be "joyful proclaimers of the Gospel" and to respond to the calls for evangelization launched by Pope Francis. The diocese "lives in a free society and can proclaim Christ, and for this we have to be happy and grateful." Two stories from mainland China, where despite difficulties the faith continues to flourish

    06/04/2010 HONG KONG
    The Church of Hong Kong welcomes 3 thousand newly baptized
    A record: usually on average there were 1500 -2 thousand new Catholics. Bishop Tong urges the new and the old faithful to be missionaries: "The mission to bring others to know Jesus is the most important Christian commitment."

    21/03/2016 13:37:00 HONG KONG
    Easter in Tai Po: seniors and children embrace Christ’s love

    Over 70 adult catechumens will be baptised in the Easter Vigil: children on Easter Sunday and seniors on the Sunday of Divine Mercy. For pastor and PIME missionary Fr Bonalumi, "The grace of the Jubilee brought many people to the faith”. The "best evangeliser" in the parish is a woman who survived suicide, and “met Jesus in hospital”. This year, some 3,200 baptisms should be performed in the diocese.

    03/04/2006 HONG KONG
    More than 2,400 catechumens to be baptized in Easter vigil

    "Being a catechumen is somewhat like going through a period of courtship. With baptism at Easter, it is like getting married to the universal Church; the Body of Christ," said the neo-cardinal Zen, bishop of Hong Kong.

    26/03/2013 HONG KONG
    Card Tong: blessed with new baptisms, we continue to grow together in faith
    The Diocese of Hong Kong celebrates 3,560 adults who chose the Catholic religion. The bishop wrote to the faithful for Holy Week. We have "good news," but we need to strengthen it "through continued study and prayer. Otherwise, we will lose the sense of mission and witness."

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