04/07/2015, 00.00
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Taiwan, hundreds of new Catholics at Easter: The Gospel changes life

by Xin Yage
The Holy Family Parish in Taipei "beats" other churches: 67 baptisms during the Vigil. The "Francis" effect, the conversion of hearts and the Gospel message is that treats every human being equally is convincing more and more local people.

Taipei (AsiaNews) - The Catholic community of Taipei celebrated Easter with hundreds of baptisms. The parish of the Holy Family (聖 家 堂) exceeded its all-time record with 67 baptisms, while the other parishes in the center and suburbs had catechumens ranging from twenty to fifty in number.

But why these numbers are growing from year to year? According to Mr. Wang (王 老師), head of pastoral of catechumens at Holy Family, there are three reasons: "We realized that the witness of Catholics of the city is the most important thing: baptism is something that changes your life, which leaves a special mark in the family and in the workplace". This is confirmed by the words of the newly baptized in conversations held during  Lent: they all admit that being part of the community and following the path marked out by the Gospel offers something different and extraordinary.

"Another reason - continues Mr. Wang - is what we call 'Francis effect'. The Pope is so popular and well known that he attracts people from the most unexpected places. Last Sunday the Sacred Heart Parish (聖 心 堂) launched a campaign to raise funds for a television program about him, an initiative that will expand to other parishes: the reaction has been overwhelming to say the least because the Pope has a special charisma. When you talk about leadership and see how he behaves, you know immediately what this word means. "

"Being a Christian - says Mr. Wang - allows you to integrate, even with strangers. The Gospel sees all people as brothers and sisters, without distinctions. Even when media report only denigrating news against immigrants and migrant workers, without offering solutions or just superficial ones. The Gospel and the message of the Church speak instead of integration and collaboration. It is the only possible answer, people are not stupid and understands these values. So it is not surprising then that each year the number of baptisms is growing. Conversion is always a mystery, but for those who deal with this type of ministry it is no longer surprising that many people approach it with curiosity and conviction. Happy Easter everyone! ".

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