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In the footsteps of Claret

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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20071024日是一个光荣而引人瞩目时刻,今天“圣母圣心爱子会”隆重庆祝会祖安多尼柯乐仁诞生二百周年纪念。他一生的光荣圣绩是所有会士的焦点和动力,大家必须将会祖圣人的生平事迹作为奉献生活的标准加以反省和实践“主的爱在不断鞭策我们去传福音”(The love of Christ urges us on)所以对每一位会士来讲是重温会祖圣传的时机。  安多尼柯乐仁在自传中曾写道,“我的天父,我的父亲我想知道你也想让众人认识你,我爱慕你也愿意众人去爱慕你,我想全心侍奉你,也愿意让众人侍奉你,我全心赞美你也想让所有的创造物赞美你。”Auto 233)   会祖的一生以一颗热忱为主作见证的心传播主的福音。他在幼小的时候就感受到主的召唤并以一颗喜悦的心情去回应并以不同的方式去作主的见证。在他懂事的时候他通常和他的父亲去参礼弥撒, 他总是怀着一颗虔诚的心去敬拜圣体和阅读圣经及一些圣人传记。圣母玛利亚是他最钟爱的母亲和榜样。 最值得回忆的是在1826年当他在巴塞罗纳的时候他掉进河里圣人呼求圣母的援助之后他奇迹般的脱险。玫瑰经是他最钟爱的祈祷经,不论在家在外他总是祈祷玫瑰经 就在这样的一个环境下一颗纯真的心逐渐成长和熏陶在主的怀抱里。  时光流逝,圣人克服种种的困难挫折他成为主的仆人。在1835年他终于在圣伸的感动下祝圣为神父。他以一颗喜悦的心情在主的葡萄园里耕种。在这期间他感觉主在不断的催促他去完成一个更大的使命“庄稼多工人少.求主派遣他的工人收割他的庄稼”( 玛窦9:3738)1849年圣母圣心爱子会诞生,同年他被祝圣主教为在Santiago de Cuba作总主教。他多次遭受迫害还有天然的灾难,尤其当他被派往古巴作福传工作当时那种恶劣的环境下,奴隶等级制度还有大批的穷人他开始艰难的工作,建立学校,诊所,孤儿院等等。  日历万机的他辛勤的为主工作着,会祖怀着一个虔诚敬拜的心去福传把主的爱带给所有渴求耶稣的人。神贫,服从,听命,谦虚,谨慎,节制和良善…这真正体现了一名传教士的精神。在他的心中耶稣和玛利亚是他的护盾和灵修泉源。今天是辉煌而又隆重的日子,我们每一位“爱子”在今天欢聚庆贺会祖诞辰二百周年纪念。作为主的爱子我们应以一颗感恩的心去重温会祖柯乐仁的生平事迹。

到目前为止“圣母圣心爱子会”成员约3000多名,他们遍布世界各地不断的回应主的召唤,把会祖的精神和天主的爱传遍每个角落,修会总会长Fr. Josep Maria Abella, cmf 在他的信“From Remembrance to Commitment”提倡每一位会员继续不断的认识和理解会祖柯乐仁的神恩和传教精神。追求,福传, 奉献,刻苦对圣柯乐仁是永恒的信念,这些精神就像一棵棵根深蒂固大树深深扎根在主的爱里,当面对狂风暴雨般的袭击时虽然摇摇欲坠,却从不会倒下。闪烁的烛光是如此的微弱, 弹指的泼动足以将其熄灭, 但火烛般的蜡油仍让它继续燃烧因为理想中的追求是自己不变的诺言。靠着精神的支撑,那双坚强的腿让它顶天立地。圣人不朽的传教精神和他那颗永恒传教的心不断鼓舞着我们,最终成为今天修会前进的方向和福传的动力。
– Brother John CMF

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.

Durante la reunión Claretiana sobre China que se celebró en Macao en Abril 2007 uno de los temas que discernimos fue la necesidad de conseguir el adecuado apoyo económico para el desarrollo de nuestra misión en China. La misión claretiana en China es, ya en su estructura, muy peculiar. Está bajo la animación de dos Organismos mayores, la Provincia de Filipinas (Macao – Zhuhai) y la Delegación de Asia Oriental (Beijing) de la que depende la Delegación de Corea que es la responsable inmediata de la animación de la tercera posición (Harbin); además está la zona de Huangshan (nuestra antigua misión en China) de la que cuida especialmente la comunidad de Taiwán (Asia Oriental) desde hace ya más de 13 años. Ante tanta complejidad vimos la necesidad de unificar esfuerzos para tratar que el apoyo a nuestra misión en China sea lo más coordinado posible. Se decidió, pues, establecer el centro de la Procura de China en Macao por su conveniencia geográfica –estar en China sin “ser” China. Desde Macao se coordinarían las diferentes líneas de acción de nuestro esfuerzo misionero, especialmente lo referente a la promoción de proyectos de desarrollo y apoyo a la Iglesia Local.

El otro aspecto peculiar de nuestra misión en China es que nosotros como Claretianos no podemos realizar directamente actividades evangelizadoras en China debido a las limitaciones establecidas por el gobierno:

Articulo 4: Todas las religiones deben mantener el principio de independencia y autonomía. Los grupos religiosos, lugares de actividad religiosa y los asuntos religiosos no deben estar bajo el control de un poder extranjero. (Ley del Consejo de Estado de la República Popular China (Nº 426). Fue aprobada el 7 de Julio de 2004 en la Sesion 57ª del Consejo de Estado. Efectiva desde el 1 de Marzo de 2005.)

De este modo, nuestra labor de animación eclesial se realiza siempre (o casi siempre) a través de terceros, lo que no deja de ser un matiz muy claretiano: no somos evangelizadores sin más, sino promotores de evangelizadores, misión compartida; el quid no es tanto el que seamos nosotros los que anunciemos, sino que la Palabra, la Buena Nueva de Jesús sea anunciada… y en esa cadena anunciadora nosotros somos eslabón.

Los meses pasaron y la necesidad de concretar lo que en Macao fue simplemente una idea general se hacía cada vez más acuciante; algunos proyectos necesitaban urgentemente ser evaluados y apoyados económicamente para llevarse a cabo… y aunque la idea de una nueva configuración para la Procura estaba clara, aún no nos habíamos puesto a ejecutarla en sus pormenores.

Para ello –y con la vehemencia de un Tifón que pasó por el país dos días antes de empezar la reunión- decidimos tener una reunión en Taiwán de unos dos o tres días para poner en claro lo que es una procura misionera y como animarla. Fue de innegable valor la asistencia prestada por Santiago González, que puso a nuestra disposición su tiempo y experiencia para aclararnos qué es una Procura Misionera Claretiana, cómo se organiza, cómo se solicitan ayudas, qué problemas podemos encontrar, cómo hacer proyectos y su posterior seguimiento… En la reunión descubrimos que aunque todos hablábamos de Procura Misionera, este término tenía un significado bien distinto para cada uno de los presentes. Compartir las ideas preconcebidas que traíamos fue una buena forma de aclarar términos, establecer objetivos y encaminar la futura coordinación en la elaboración, desarrollo y seguimiento de proyectos.

Como resultado tangible de esta reunión ya están en marcha la asistencia a varias Iglesias Locales de China que nos solicitaron ayuda. De momento piden ayuda para reconstruir templos derruidos o en estado casi ruinoso: esperemos que en un futuro próximo seamos capaces de animarles a emprender proyectos de promoción social y desarrollo; de momento a la Iglesia China, cual iglesia que sale de las catacumbas cegada por la luz del día, le cuesta ver más allá de sí misma, de entender el alcance social y liberador del mensaje que, aunque sea en vasijas de barro, ha sido encomendada a anunciar: Dios está aquí, ha plantado su tienda entre nosotros y no tiene intención de levantarla… es más, esa tienda es amplia y acoge a todos los que quieran entrar en ella.

Esperemos que seamos capaces como comunidad misionera Claretiana de llevar a cabo con sabiduría y diligencia este renovado camino de la Procura Claretiana de China.

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

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.

En la mañana del 21 de octubre del 2007 en la iglesia parroquial de Sallent tenia lugar la celebración de la Misa Conmemorativa del Bicentenario del Nacimiento de S. Antonio María Claret. La iglesia estaba abarrotada de gente e incluso la mayoría de los sacerdotes concel-ebrantes tuvieron que permanecer de pie toda la Misa. Durante la Eucaristía yo estuve orando por el P. Abella, nuestro superior general; pedía que fuera símbolo de unidad para todos los claretianos.

Como el sermón fue en español, yo no entendí ni una palabra, pero sí pude darme cuenta de que la gente le escuchaba con suma atención. Yo por mi parte, y en mi corazón, gritaba vivas a Claret y al P. Abella. Yo no había traído ni alba ni estola. Pero el P. Abella, que se había dado cuenta de mi apuro antes de empezar la Misa, me dijo: “ponte esto” a la vez que me ofrecía el alba y la estola que él había traído de Roma para uso personal. Con ese gesto comprendí que el superior general era heredero del espíritu atento y generoso de nuestro funda-dor.

Cuando yo todavía era seminarista me quedé una noche en la residencia de Hirakata, donde residía el P. Abella, entonces todavía superior provincial. Cuando a la mañana siguiente bajé al comedor para desayunar, vi que estaba fregando los cacharros de la fiesta de la noche an-terior. Me acerqué  y al saludarle me respondió diciendo: “la labor del provincial son estos pequeños quehaceres”.

Me siento orgulloso de que el P. Abella, que como superior general recorre el mundo, esté dispuesto a aceptar estas pequeñas y calladas labores en nuestra congregación claretiana. Fr. Shinji Takenobu