Cultural Exchange with China (CEC)
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Cultural Exchange with China

Building bridges between the Catholic churches of Britain and China

Great Wall of China

Fr. Eamonn visited  China April - May 2015. Here are some of places he went and people he met in the course of his work.

Visiting Shanxi province to meet one of our graduates from Heythrop College, University of London, now engaged in translating the Old Testament into mandarin.  A welcome break from work took us to a salt lake and a salt bath! 

Tourism to Europe, including Rome is  widely promoted in Beijing.   St Peter's/Vatican gets front page publicity on the cover of the China airlines inflight magazine.

Brocade:  a hairdresser's shop in Central Beijing, where a haircut for a man is 240 rmb.   Where I live in  South Beijing, a similar haircut is 24 rmb.

SHI JIA JUANG KIDNEY DISEASE HOSPITAL

Visiting a  priest colleague from Myanmar (Burma), where I also work,  who was undergoing traditional Chinese Medicine & Stem Cell transfusion for his kidney. The hospital atmosphere was warm & welcoming. 

A Beijing Duck lunch with Fr John to celebrate end of Stem Cell therapy.

Family Liu

A Reunion with Alan Liu, his wife Mona, and  daughter Fiona. I met Alan in 2002 in Fudan University grounds,  Shanghai,and he kindly steered me to the office of the Philosophy Professor who was working with me on an  academic dialogue between our UK delegation & Philosophy department at the university  The topic was Christianity in China and in Europe: what future?

Mass at the Shrine of our Lady of Sheishan - May '15

The month of May is dedicated to our Lady every where in the world, but especially at Sheishan, Shanghai.   Thousands come daily from all over China  to pray and make petitions.   Our Lady of Shesishan' stattue below, show Mary offering the Child Jesus to the world.  I attended the opening Mass on May Eve.

Sisters of The Presentation of Our Lady, Shanghai, preparing for the Opening celebration at Our Lady's Shrine, Sheishan.

 

Happy Easter!

 

Old fasion blackboards  and coloured chalk are often used to present the Gospel stories and Church announcements in the Churches of China.

Entrance to The Sheishan Shrine

St Ignatius Cathedral,  Xujiahui, Shanghai.

Xujiahui Catholic Church is dedicated ot the Mother of God and is named after Xu Guangqi the famous scholar who was baptised here in 1603.  Xu  Guangqi  met the Italian Missionary Matteo Ricci and became his student.  

 

After the cultural revolution, the church was officially re-opened on Nov 1, 1979 and the two spires were reset on the towers before Christmas 1982. 

 

 

Church grounds are often the setting for wedding photos of newly married couples.

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Visiting a parish church in a rural part of China where one of our staff on the Spiritual directors' programme is a parish priest.

 

After being introduduced to the parish group,  see pic below, the first question  to me was :   Father: what can you say to strengthen our  Faith?

Sr Clara Liu directs a formation center in Shanxi Province which offers renewal programmes to sisters from all over China.   We teach there somtimes and some of our graduates from  the Ist  Spiritual Directors's training programme now offer their service to the programme.  Pics from the dining room and chapel below.    Many of the sisters in training are working in very challenging situations.

Meeting with staff of Renmin University, Beijing discussing the possibility of a Sino-Celtic dialogue in the future.

May 1st 2015 saw the opening of St Augustine Gardens, a contemplative mnastery and nursing home.  The stole used at the Mass was presented to Pope Francis.

 

Below are the photos of the grave of Bishop Wang Jin of Jinzhong Diocese where St Augustine Gardens is located. Bishop Wang Jin was born in 1924 and ordianid a priest in 1951;  he served a sparish priest fro many years but was imprisoned in 1976for about 20 years, spending about ten years in solitary confinement, when he spent his time in prayer and contmeplation.  This period of time prepared him to supporth the initiation and develeopment of St Augustine Gardens.  He was selected as Bishop in 1999 at an age when most bishops are retiring.  From 1999 he generously gave his time and energy to strengthening all aspects of Dioceses work to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The map of diocese where Bishop Wang Jin carried out his mission.

I visited Bishop Wang Jin during his period of illness before death and took him a gift of book , called "Jesus" and said  ' at this satge in your life you  probably know enough about Jesus'  His reply was : " as christians, we can never know enough about Jesus".

Some pictures of St Columbans College, Dalgan Park, Navan, Ireland where I began studies in 1962.  Then, there were 190 students there preparing for Mission.   Today, there are none.  The college serves as an adminstrative centre and retirement home for our priests who have worked in thirteen countries: Australia, Britain, China,  Fiji, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan and United States.

We are aware of many transitions of great powers  during the history of our world.  We are witnessing such a transition of power today.  China, with its 5,000 years of civilization is going to play a very significant role in shaping the future of our world.

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