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Since the beginning of our apostolic service in the parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Keelung (Taiwan), we have always tried to emphasize the Claretian feasts throughout the liturgical year. Those days, like the novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Founder’s day, and Barbastro Martyrs’, were cherished springboards to present Claret and his beloved Congregation to a public that mostly were unfamiliar with the life and charism of Claret and the Claretians. We also promoted the publication of a small booklet about St. Anthony Mary Claret and the Martyrs of Barbastro, and some Claretian prayers for personal devotion. As a matter of fact the “Apostolic Prayer” of our Founder has become a “sought-after prayer” in Taiwan parishes.Throughout these ten years the faithful have gained a comprehensive understanding of Claret’s life and charism, and that’s something we should rejoice about. This year’s celebration aimed for a better understanding of Claret’s apostolic mission, both through his life and the life of the Congregation and other groups that today form the Claretian Family
In a few and simple words, this is what our small Christian community has been doing during the year to commemorate his anniversary:1) A week of prayer centered in Claret, which ended on October 21, World Mission Day that was celebrated under the theme 2007–Universal Claretian Missionary Day–2008 (with the involvement of Caritas Taipei).2) Publication of the 2nd edition in Chinese of the booklet St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop and Apostolic Missionary. One thousand copies were distributed not only among the parishioners, but also in Keelung’s nearby parishes and among the priests who were present in the Taipei Diocese monthly retreat.3) Celebration of a parish festival, “Colorful and Joyful Day,” open to all, close and afar, Taiwanese or foreigner, highlights of which were the charity sale and the open market. The parish festival was blessed by the Lord with a wonderful sunny day (something not so common in Keelung) and with the presence of many friends, which was a perfect and joyful family day imbued with Claret’s spirit. Pooling our resources and spiritual blessings in fraternal cooperation, and sharing our living faith with those around us and to the ends of the world, we collected USD 3,000 in total. In an open letter to our General Superior, the President of the Parish Council conveyed our common desire: that this amount of money be used to sponsor the construction of a novitiate in Africa, helping in this way in the formation of new missionaries in the style of Claret.Let’s bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
– Mario Bonfaini
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