05/26/2016, 16.45
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Our Lady of Sheshan "helps Chinese Catholics “see hope in the dark"

by Eugenia Cheung

Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai, secretary of Propaganda Fide, celebrated Mass in Hong Kong’s St Jude Church on the Solemnity of Mary Help of Christians. During the service, he mentioned Fr Peter Yu Heping, who died in mysterious circumstances in 2015, but had great faith in the future of the Church in China.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Archbishop Savio Hon, secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples of the Holy See, prayed with Hong Kong Catholics on 24 May, the day of Prayer for the Church in China and feast day of Mary Help to Christian.

The prelate replaced Card Joseph Zen to lead the solemn Mass in St Jude Church, but the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, parish priest Fr Paul Kim, and Maryknoll Fr Peter Barry concelebrated the service.

In his homily, Mgr Hon encouraged Chinese Catholics to pray to the Blessed Mother so that they may see hope in the dark and be brave enough to walk always along the path of truth.

After expressing his thoughts about the prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, Mother of Hope, who suffered under the cross on Mt Calvary, the archbishop asked those present to pray to the Mother "that the Son may always be with us."

In his address, the prelate also mentioned his first visit to Sheshan, during the days when he taught in the local seminary.

At that time "the basilica did not have on top the statue of Our Lady holding high the baby because it had been destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Yet I could see the undamaged base of the statue as a sign of hope in the darkness. "

The Mass and the meeting that preceded the liturgy were part of a series of activities organised by the Holy Spirit Study Centre and the Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace to mark the Day of Prayer for the Church in China.

The common theme of the gathering, which took place between 22 and 24 May 24, was "the communion of the Church in China". Hundreds of Catholics participated.

Archbishop Hon took advantage of the occasion to mention a meeting he had with Fr Peter Yu Heping of Ningxia, who died last year in mysterious circumstances.

He remembered meeting the clergyman in Spain, where the latter was studying. On that occasion, Fr Yu had expressed hope for the future of the Church in China.

On 22 May, Cardinal Zen, in a prayer gathering for the Church in China, urged Catholics in Hong Kong to continue to care for and understand the Church in China, where it is still in difficulty.

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