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I want to start our weblog with words of thanks to God for all the gifts we have received since the publication of the last issue, and once again our thanks to all those who have accompanied us in our journey as a Delegation. I especially remember such a great gift given us with the profession and ordination of some of our Korean brothers and the first profession of our novice from Mainland China, John Xueruijin.

In the following articles you will find some of the recent events that have marked our journey as a Delegation in these past months. I would like to briefly recall three of these events that I had personally been part of, and are also very important for the whole Delegation.
First, let me refer to the canonical visitation I did in September 2007, which left me with the impression of the strong missionary zeal all our communities have. It is wonderful to see everyone’s wholehearted dedication in responsibly carrying out the apostolic work entrusted to us. May the Lord and our Mother always accompany us that we may bring to completion according to the spirit of Claret the mission entrusted to us as a missionary community.

The second extraordinary event I want to mention is the solemn opening celebration of the bicentennial of Claret’s birth in Sallent and Vic on October 20 and 21. I was there with Fr. Shinji Takenobu. It was a real blessing to be able to witness in the very place Claret was born 200 years ago the universality of our Congregation today. I hope that this Bicentennial Year will be a year of grace for all of us, and also a time of renewal for our Delegation.

The third event is the one we have just celebrated here in Brazil, where I am writing these words to you: the Major Superiors Meeting in preparation of the next General Chapter of the Congregation in 2009. Here, in Sao Paolo, we experience the beauty of the multicultural face of our Congregation. Such multiculturality in which we find ourselves in our present world, besides its human and spiritual richness, also brings with it great challenges for each of us as Claretian missionaries and for the whole Congregation if we want to bring to completion the universal mission entrusted to us. During these days when we gather as a Congregation, we realized that we need to deepen our understanding of and to live our Claretian identity in order to respond to these great challenges.

May our Father Founder, especially during this bicentennial year, help us in this process of renewal and revitalization as we prepare for the coming General Chapter.

“Born to Evangelize” – this is the motto of the bicentenary. May this become for every member of our Delegation a call for greater realization of our Claretian missionary vocation. Therefore, I wish all of you a year full of the spirit of St. Anthony M. Claret!

As our Delegation celebrates this year in every country where we are, may our celebration help us not only to know Father Claret better but also to live more intensely his missionary spirit today.

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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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To celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of St. Anthony Mary Claret, the founder of the Claretians, a series of activities had been planned for this year. Upon the suggestion and encouragement of our pastor, Fr. Mario Bonfaini, our Christian community held the first charity bazaar at Sacred Heart Church in Keelung, Taiwan, since the church was founded, with the proceeds for the people most in need.

Without any experience in holding a bazaar, every member of the parish shared in planning and setting up the bazaar by offering one’s money, time or talent. Teachers and students of Sacred Heart Elementary School donated generously, even as our non-Christian friends also contributed enthusiastically for this cause of helping the poor in other parts of the world. Special mention goes to our dear Fr. Yao, who founded the Sacred Heart of Jesus parish, for his financial assistance and the many religious items he gave to the bazaar, besides his encouragement and prayers.

“2007–Claretian Mission Day–2008” helped us to understand better the meaning of Jesus’ words, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers (sisters) of mine, you did for me.” We were really impressed by all who generously contributed in this fund-raising, Christians and non-Christians alike, united in helping those in need and sharing with them what they have. We believe that this was also what made Claret’s heart burn with zeal for the mission, which he expressed beautifully in these words, “My mission is to evangelize and let all peoples know that you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

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This year our Congregation is celebrating the 200th anniversary of St. Anthony Mary Claret’s birthday. In such a time of grace I want to remember the apostolic work I’ve being carrying out from the time when I first went to China in 1994. Since then I have been appointed many times by my community to come to China and visit some Christian communities, mainly in Heilongjiang province and diocese. Sometimes I was there for three months, sometimes just 20 days, but always experiencing the missionary zeal and impetus that moved Claret to go into the world and preach the Gospel. No fear or danger could put Claret off in his missionary trips even as he accepted all hardships for the sake of announcing the Gospel, which was foremost in his work as a missionary. Finally, his apostolic spirit is now present in this vast Chinese land. Our Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate of Mary with the aim of giving a living witness to God’s love in China is already present in Beijing, Harbin and Macau. Luis, a Korean Claretian priest, and I, Paolo, live in Harbin. Actually, our most noticeable ministry, apart from studying the language, is to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist with the large Korean-speaking community (China’s Chaoxian minority group and Korean nationals) in Harbin Cathedral. We also visit and support many Christian communities scattered over a 300-km radius around Harbin in different small villages and rural communities.
As a way of celebrating the 200th anniversary of our Founder I decided to pay him homage by imitating his apostolic mission. I again visited those places I had visited the first time I came to China. It was a two-week missionary trip. I went to Dudanjiang, Dongning, and Heping. Dudanjiang is located 400 km away from Harbin. There is a church there used by the local Chaoxian minority to celebrate the Eucharist. They are about 200 Catholics; in the last 14 years there has not been any increase in their number since many have migrated to South Korea for better economic opportunity. There is also a Han Chinese community in that parish composed of about 200 people. I was in Dudanjiang for 2 to 3 days proclaiming the Word, instructing in the faith and guiding a retreat.
After 11 hours on the train we arrived at Dongning. That morning we went to Suifenhe. Seventeen years ago Suifenhe had only 17 Catholics; today there are 140. This is the first time the parish priest is visiting this parish this year. Apart from Suifenhe he also takes care of Dongning, Heping, and Daohua parishes and other 16 villages without a church.
The distance between these parishes and communities is from 40 minutes to more than three hours by car. I also had a special opportunity in Suifenhe to instruct the community when the priest asked me to say the homily during the Mass. The next day the parish priest and I went to Dongning parish. Many people, about 550, came to celebrate the Eucharist. The church there was built just 12 years ago; many people came for the Mass and a lot of them had to stand outside the church, which was too small to accommodate so many people. Even though the number of Christians had grown over the years, most of them are very poor and do not have the means to build a new church.
From Dongning we went to Heping parish, a Christian community of about130 people.
The parishioners there have strong faith with a number of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. Such a small parish has already a priest and two religious sisters. After Heping we moved to Daohua. This place has special significance for me. There were only 130 Christians the first time I came here in 1995. The next year a new church was built with donations from Catholics in Korea.
After ten years, we celebrated the 10th anniversary Mass in this parish in 2006. The patron of this church is our Founder, St. Anthony Mary Claret. Today there are about 390 Catholics and vocations are flourishing with two priests, 13 sisters and 2 seminarians of the diocese from this parish, and there are 3 candidates preparing to start their formation for the priesthood. The number of Christians has also steadily increased during the years. I experienced, first hand, God’s blessing and providential care for the Chinese Church.

Through this entire apostolic trip I was able to realize something very important, that is, the toil of the apostolic missionary amounts to nothing – everything is God’s grace. The apostolic missionary announces the Gospel for the greater glory of God, that’s all: he, as a good servant and useful tool in the hands of God, tries his best to make the Kingdom of God present in the midst of our world. I think Claret will also agree with this thinking. – Br. Joo Paul cmf.

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Born to Evangelize

It is a milestone in our history as missionary sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary as we celebrate the Bicentenary Birth of our founder Saint Anthony Mary Claret on September 24, 2007. It is a solemn moment for all of the members to reflect and to look at the great deeds and the beautiful memories that our founder St. Anthony Claret had shared to us. The celebration of his Bicentenary brings us close to the life of our founder and especially it will revitalize all member of the Claretian Family so that we may follow his example faithfully to evangelize widespread as he said “The Love of Christ urges Us On.” We are invited to re-read the life of our founder with intensive attention.
“My God and my Father, may I know you and make you known; love you and make you loved; serve you and make you served; praise you and make all creatures praise you.” (Auto. N 233). How deep this word inspires us to continually carry out our mission.Our founder Anthony Claret proclaims the Good News with faithfulness established a good example for us. As a child he felt the call to be the witness of God. He used to go to Church to attend the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist with his father and keep reading some stories of Saint. Mary is his beloved Mother to be his best example to emulate in his life. In 1826, Saint was in Barcelona accidentally fall down in sea. He cried out Mother Mary’s name, and then he was miraculously saved from the danger of death. Saint kept the warmth of piety and devotion reciting the Rosary wherever he goes with the intention peace, justice, and with the solidarity in ecumenical church. A spiritual heart was enkindled in the light of the Holy Spirit.

Time past, on June 8, 1885, our founder St. Anthony Mary Claret overcome all the difficulties eventually he was ordained a priest as well as a servant of God delightedly and passionately works inside of the garden of the Lord. Oftentimes he felt the impetus of fulfilling the mission the Lord has entrusted to him, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Mt 9:37-38)

In 1848, it was a remarkable day that “the Congregation Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” was born through the prayer and providence of God, the same year our founder was inaugurated as an archbishop in Vich. He endured a lot of trails and hardships to work in Cuba especially due to the state of slavery, people suffer discrimination, injustice and poverty etc. Saint tried to build schools, hospitals and orphanages in order to response the need of people in Cuba.

The virtue of obedience, poverty, humility, prudence, self-control, and kindness embody our founder Claret as a real missionary to continually carry out the mission in order to fulfill his apostolic vocation. Timely, urgently and effectively would be always the motto of our Founder.

Today it is a special day for all of our members to celebrate the 2nd Bicentennial. As a son of Immaculate Heart of Mary, our founder’s words and act will be our reminder and example for us to follow and emulate that we ought to be good as well as our founder working inside of the garden of the Lord to reap the fruit.

Up to now, over the world our members are around 3000 plus spreading in different continents. “The Congregation Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” is called to follow footstep of our founder Saint Anthony Mary Claret to evangelize and bring the love of God widespread. Just as our General Superior Fr. Josep Maria Abella, CMF in his Circular Letter “From Remembrance to commitment” addresses that the world has changed, and so has the Church. We are invited to re-read our Founder’s life with the hope, love and inspiration to be able live today with the same spiritual density and missionary dynamism that he lived.

Today the message to us just as Fr. Josep Maria Abella said “your Word of life, were at the service of the Word of life, because you realized that what people need were not words but the Word of life, which opens hearts to experience the Father’s love and strengthen their commitment to Christ and the values, implied in following him.

The passion of Christ of our Founder encourages us to go beyond our missionary territory, trace the goal of building the kingdom of God.

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Japan:
Tokyo Community
Marcel.lí Fonts
Br. Yoon, Sang Ho Johan Leonardo (DDK)
Imaichi Community
– Imaichi Parish-Kindergarten:
Félix Martinez
Josep Llamas
Nobuo Masakawa
Shinji Takenobu

– Kamagasaki:
Fujio Masakawa

Hirakata Community
– Hirakata Parish:
Jordi Guitart
Julio César Torres

– Hirakata Residence
Jordi Franquesa
Takaichi Umezaki-

Nagoya Parish
Andoni María Fradera

Taiwan:
– Taishan Residence:
Arturo Morales: Superior – Econome

– Keelung Sacred Heart Parish: 
Mario Bonfaini

China-Beijing:
Francisco Carín García: Superior
Desiderio Ching (Phil.Pr. Temp. prof.) Econome

Outside the Delegation:
Peter Chao: Macao (Philippine Province)
John Xue: Manila (Theol., Temp. prof.) 
Jaime Cisneros: Mexico (From Easter, Exp.Year)
Josep Abella (General Government)

Dependent Delegation of Korea
Seoul Community 
Fr. Choi Sung Chang Bartolomeo: Superior
Br. Ju Nak Gil Paolo: Econome
Fr. Ezhaparampil Manuel: residence
Fr. Kim In Hwan Vianney: DDK Sec., CMC dir. 
Fr. Kim Young Hun Francisco
Puchon Residence
Fr. Rhee Soun Seong Peter: moderator

Nampyong Community 
Fr. Kim, Sung Woong Pedro: Superior, formator 
Fr. Kim, Hee Jun Andrea: voc. prom. 
Fr. Jose Peediyaparampil 
Fr. Lee Moon Soo Gabriel
Br. Choi Ji Hoon StephanoWantong Residence 
Fr. Kim Byeong Jin Gabriel: Superior
Fr. Lee Hwe Jin Vincent

China-Harbin Residence
Fr. Bang Kee Tae Luis: moderator
Fr. Yeo Kyeng Soo Fco. Javier: Ec. & DDK Ec.
Abroad assignment or other 
Br. Yoon, Sang Ho Johan Leonardo (Tokyo) 
Fr. Angulo Díaz Francisco Javier

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Brief News

ORDINATION. (Korea)

On January 15, 2008 our Korean brother Munsu Gabriel Lee re-ceived the ordina-tion to the priest-hood in Myoung Dong Cathedral of Seoul Archdio-cese through the hands of Bishop Luca Kim. Born in Seoul in  he first professed in the congregation in 00 and per-petually in 00.
FRANCISCO CARIN TEACHING IN ICLA. (Beijing-Philippines)

Francisco Carin, currently assigned in Beijing, taught a course on Eco-Theology at the Institute of Consecrated Life in Asia (ICLA) from November to December 2007. This is the second time he teaches there. This is a great opportunity to get in touch with stu-dents of many nationalities who study there; specially interesting is the contact with the many Chi-nese priests and sisters from all over China who converge in ICLA for spe-cialized stud-ies.
NOT COLD IF THE HEART IS WARM ENOUGH. (Beijing)

During the month of November Mr. Ian Da-cayanan who works at Claretian Publications, Macao, fulfilled the invi-tation long ago offered by the Beijing commu-nity to visit them. Even though it was quite cold for a Pinoy, Ian managed quite well the below zero average December tem-peratures in Beijing. During his stay at the National Semi-nary he helped the seminarians to develop a website for the National Seminary and taughtweb deign.
VISITS. (Beijing)

Frs. John and Johannes Chen, respectively the Rector and the Dean of the Chinese National Seminary (where Sid and Francisco are working), received an invitation from Alberto Rossa to visit the Philippines in February dur-ing the winter vacation. Let’s hope they enjoy the warmer weather and beautiful people down south and get a closer knowledge of our congregation’s work and charism.
KEIKO GAKUEN. (Japan)

In October 00 after celebrating the 0th anniversary of the school, the Claretian Keiko Gakuen merged with a local university. The school changed its name to Josho Keiko, keeping the original name it had (“Keiko” Light of Knowl-edge) while under Claretian management. After so many years, it has been a heartbreaking separation, neverthe-less, it had become very difficult for the East Asia Delega-tion to provide Claretian personnel to manage the school. We wish the best to our former school in this new phase.

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