Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thankful for 2009

The Year 2009 is the most colorful year in my life. There were so many “first time” experiences during this blessed year. I thank God from my heart for this wonderful year, and I entrust the coming year to the loving care of Our Blessed Mother.

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Great Video on the Holy Father

Also, Anthem of the Holy See….

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Some Projects (Relics & FLL)

There are a few projects going on in my life. Want to share couple of them with you and ask for your prayers.

I am currently working on Lenten expositions of holy relics for students, parishioners, prayer groups members, and participants of retreat. I am still trying to obtain a number of relics from different religious communities. I have just started to put some relics into wooden frames. We are going to form a team of volunteers from my prayer groups to write a description for each 1st class relic at the expositions.

Prayer group meeting in the presence of 16 relics (there were 12 relics inside the box!):

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Relics in my office:

 

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Just received a 1st class relic from Italy:

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Last night, I put some holy relics into a wooden frame:

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Today, I put some 2nd & 3rd class relics into another wooden frame:

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Will keep you update about my project on holy relics.

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FLL 生命恩泉

There is a new Father Anthony Ho’s corner (何庭耀神父專欄) at the Fountain of Love and Life (生命恩泉) Website.

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Right now, the corner has couple photos of me at the FLL Gala dinner on November 29, and my welcome letter for the Gala. We are planning to put more materials there in the near future.

I am now working on the talks for my next radio recording for FLL. I am planning to include more stories, and to use a style that is more lively. Hope that will work out well.

Please keep these two projects and my other pastoral works in your prayers. Thanks.

Homily for Feast of Holy Family

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

St. Patrick’s church is beautifully decorated.

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My Mid-Night Mass Sermon at St. Patrick’s:

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During the 3 PM Chinese Mass at Corpus Chirsti, I had the joy to baptize and confirm an elderly man.

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My Sermon during Chinese Mass:

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It’s always a joy to see people whom I was blessed to baptize. I baptized the two girls 3 years ago on the Feast of the Holy Family. And I baptized their mom at Easter, 2007. We had a few photos together on this holy day of Christmas.

After celebrating 4 Christmas Masses and hearing Confessions, I am feeling a bit tired now. Will go to bed early! Good night world!

Wish you all a blessed Christmas!!!

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An outline of my Sermon:

Prophet: He is not only the Messenger of God. He is the Message. By contemplating the Infant Jesus, we learn about the Love of God. Jesus was born in humiliation, poverty, and suffering to expiate the pride, covetousness, and sensuality of men.

Priest: We are born to live, but only He was born to die. I preached about the connection between the Crib and the Cross. And the connection between the Crib and the Altar.

King: the three-fold birth of Christ—eternal birth of the Word, birth as man, and birth in souls by grace. We need to choose light, not darkness.

 

Monday, December 21, 2009

Pax Sinica: 舊約中基督的預象 What is 'old' is new

舊約中基督的預象

不消很多天,將臨期要引領我們到普天同慶的聖誕節日;我們在這時段內,與舊約中的聖賢,心神合一地,準備基督的降臨。而在舊約中,記載了不同的「人」和「物」出現,作為「基督預象」的徵兆。

人物徵兆的預像

亞當Adam是人類血肉之父,耶穌是人類靈性之父。天主用肋骨創造了厄娃Eve,耶穌肋旁流出的血和水,孕立了教會。

亞伯爾Abel是牧羊人,耶穌是人靈的牧者。亞伯爾因兄弟的嫉妒而遭殺害,耶穌因族人的妒恨而蒙難。

亞巴郎Abraham是天主選民之父,耶穌是基督徒之始。聖經沒有記下耶穌預象的大祭司默基瑟德Melchizedek的族譜,而耶穌並沒有血緣的父親,沒有天主性的生母。默基瑟德獻上酒水,耶穌藉酒水的形狀,真實臨在獻祭的聖事中。

依撒格Isaac背着木柴上山,無辜地自作祭品,無罪的耶穌,背負十字架上山受釘;而依撒格的存活,象徵了耶穌真實的復活。

古聖若瑟Joseph被兄長嫉妒,耶穌是自己族人妒限的對象。古聖若瑟被兄長賣與外族商旅作奴,耶穌被猶達斯Judas以一名奴隸的身價出賣到羅馬人手中。古聖若瑟寬恕了自己的兄長,並救他們脫離飢荒之災;耶穌因其苦難死亡,從永死中救贖了祂的對頭人和一總的罪人。

梅瑟Moses領以色列人渡過紅海,脫離奴役的枷鎖,耶穌則以聖洗聖事救萬民於罪惡的枷鎖。曠野裏,天主讓梅瑟以瑪納manna和水供養選民,耶穌建立聖體聖事養育我們的靈魂,更以聖神作其教會的活水。梅瑟是以色列人的立法者,耶穌是世人的立法者。若穌厄領以色列人民進入福地,耶穌帶領我們進入天國。聖王達味David出生在白冷Bethlehem,耶穌亦誕生在白冷。

事物徵兆的預象

地堂的生命樹tree of life果實,餵養了原祖;基督豕在木架上,成為養育我們永生的果實。無殘疾的幼公羊被用作巴斯卦Paschal羔羊,耶穌是完美無瑕天主的羔羊。巴斯卦羔羊的血免除了天主選民的災害,而基督的血從罪孽中拯救了人類。進食了巴斯卦羔羊後,以色列民族開始了自由的旅程;我們領受聖體,可幫助我們在世途中克勝魔鬼。

瑪納飼養了天主的選民直至他們從曠野抵達福地,我們領洗後的教友生活,有賴領受聖體,幫助我們走如曠野的世途,安抵天鄉。聖體及瑪納都被稱為「天使神糧bread of angels」和「天上神糧bread of heaven」。

梅瑟豎起銅蛇,讓瞻望銅蛇的人得到病癒;耶穌被高懸十字架上,使普世得罪之赦。銅蛇是眾毒蛇的身像,耶穌以罪人的身像降臨、生活、受難和死亡,卻又是無罪完美的人。

舊約中的默西亞預象,切合聖奧斯定所說:「舊約中隱藏着新約,新約顯示了舊約。」

 


What is 'old' is new

During Advent we are united in spirit with the holy men and women of the Old Testament preparing for the coming of Christ. The Old Testament has a number of Messianic types: biblical people and objects, foreshadowing Christ. The types of the Old Testament can be divided into two categories: personal types of Christ (people) and symbols of Christ (things).

Personal types

Adam is the father of all according to the flesh, and Jesus is the father of all according to the spirit. God formed Eve from Adam's side, and God formed the Church from Jesus's side.

Abel was a shepherd, and Jesus is the shepherd of souls. Abel was killed by his own brother out of envy, and Jesus was killed by His own people out of envy.

Abraham is the father of the people of God, and Jesus is the father of Christians. The priest Melchizedek was without genealogy, and Jesus the high priest is on earth without father, in heaven without mother. Melchizedek offered bread and wine and Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist under the appearances of bread and wine.

Isaac, though innocent, was condemned to death and carried the wood of sacrifice. Jesus, innocence itself, was also condemned to death, and He carried His own cross. Isaac was restored to life in figure, but Jesus was restored to life in reality.

Joseph was the object of envy of his own brothers. Jesus was the object of envy and hatred of His own people. Joseph was sold as slave to foreign merchants, and Jesus was sold by Judas, abandoned to the Romans, and suffered the torment of the cross, a punishment reserved for slaves.

Joseph pardoned his brothers and saved them from famine. Jesus pardoned His executioners and saved sinners from eternal death.

Moses led the people out of Egypt through parting waters; Jesus leads people out of sin through baptism. Moses was instrumental for the manna and the spring of water; Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist and gave us the living water of the Holy Spirit.

Moses was the lawgiver for the Jews, and Jesus is the lawgiver for all people. Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, and Jesus leads us to heaven. Both Jesus and David were born in Bethlehem.

Symbols of Christ

The tree of life gave fruit to preserve the body from death. Jesus, Who died on the tree of the cross, became the fruit of eternal life for us. The paschal lamb was to be without spot, and "Jesus is the lamb unspotted and undefiled."

The blood of the paschal lamb preserved the people of God from the plague, and the blood of Christ saves all mankind from the plague of sin. After eating the paschal lamb, the chosen people were delivered from bondage. Receiving the Holy Eucharist helps us to overcome the devil and our passions.

The manna was given to the chosen people in the desert after their departure from Egypt until their entrance into the Promised Land. The Holy Eucharist is given to those who have left sin behind through baptism. They traverse this life as a desert and sing for the Promised Land of heaven. Both the Holy Eucharist and the manna are called "bread of angels" and "bread of heaven."

Moses lifted up the bronze serpent for the curing of the people. Jesus was lifted up on the cross for the forgiveness of the people. The bronze serpent resembled the poisonous serpents, and the Son of God came in the likeness of sinful flesh. He has experienced different temptations, yet is without sin.

St. Augustine reminded us of the these Messianic types when he wrote, "The New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New."

My Other Pax Sinica Articles: http://fatheranthonyho.ca/4522.html

This evening, I led a small prayer meeting for one of my prayer groups. We prayed in the presence of some sacred relics.
 

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Relics:

  • 1st century: True Cross, St. Ann, St. Mary Magdalen
  • 13th century: St. Dominic
  • 16th century: One of the Martyrs of Gorum, St. Aloysius Gonzaga
  • 19th century: Blessed Anne Mary Taigi, St. Therese the Little Flower
  • 20th century: St. Mary Goretti, St Gemma Galgani, St Pius X, Blessed Francesco Pianzola, Blessed Alberto Marvelli, Blessed Marie-Leonie Paradis

I am planning to write something about these saints and blessed at the Pax Sinica column in the future.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Silent Monks Singing Halleluia

Have seen this video around in different Catholic Blogs recently.

Here it is… it’s fun!

A Meaningful Weekend

It was a very meaningful weekend with lots of Confessions. I thank God for each and everyone Confession I was blessed to hear.

I flew to Edmonton on Friday, and stayed there for about 24 hours in order to hear Confessions for the parishioners of Mary Help of Christians Chinese Parish.

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December 18 (my mistake! I thought it was December 19!!!) was the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation.

I preached about St. John Bosco at Mass today. Below is the recording from the 3 PM Chinese Mass at Corpus Christi Parish.

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This afternoon, I had the joy to welcome a new member into the Catholic Church. Oh! She was crying while I baptized her, and took picture of her!!!

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Also presented at the ceremony of Baptism was a young girl whom I baptized 3 years ago. I also had picture with her family members.

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Very happy to hear many Confessions both at St. Patrick’s and at Corpus Christi. Wish all my penitents a blessed and holy Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pax Sinica: 青年慈父與導師 Father and teacher of youth

青年慈父與導師

十二月十九日是「慈幼會」成立一百五十週年。「慈幼會Salesian」由聖若望.鮑思高John Bosco神父創辦,其教育青年三大方法是理智、宗教和仁愛。

理智

假如我們不認識,就很難去愛;故此,聖若望.鮑思高神父相信要年青人熱愛信仰,必定要通過教授要理,讓他們認識自己的信仰。其實,早在一八四一年十二月八日,聖人已開始教導年青人:當時,他予一個未初領聖體的年幼孤兒講解要理,以教導他恭劃十字聖號作開端。不久,這孤兒又帶同了他的朋友一起學習;這樣,學習的人數漸漸增多,遂把這學習小組冠以「慶禮院Oratory」名稱。由於參與的青年日眾,鮑思高神父干脆開辦寄宿學校收容他們。團體不斷壯大之時,有些青年也跟隨聖人渡修道的生活;聖人因此在一八五九年十二月十九日成立了聖方濟.沙雷修會The Congregation of St. Francis de Sales,乃後來普認的「慈幼會」。

過去一百五十年,慈幼會會士灌輸了以千計的青年,對信仰、學術和工業技能的認識,使他們身心健康成長。

宗教

慈幼會的精神支柱是「聖體、告解和熱愛聖母」。聖若望.鮑思高神父更推崇這三大支柱,是培育和保守貞潔的良方。

方濟會會士Franciscans強調神貧的重要,道明會會士Dominicans注重聽命,聖鮑思高神父的慈幼會會Salesians士則着重貞潔之德;他們提倡「工作、祈禱和玩耍」,以保守貞潔和其它德行,也因此孕育了不少年青的聖召。

天主在很多兒童的心靈內賜下了聖召的種子,可惜很多人在青年期喪失了聖召。良好的環境和影響才能培育聖召。讓青年們藉祈禱和聖事感受到宗教的神聖是非常重要的。今日, 很多年青人都熱衷於朝拜聖體。希望在這些年青人中,能見到更多聖召得以培育。

仁愛

「臨在」是愛的表現。慈幼會其中一項特色,就是會士們與青年人為伍,看顧他們。青年們有神父臨在,除轉達天主對他們的愛以外,更能有效地幫助他們躲避犯罪的機會。移民加拿大前,我曾在慈幼會辦的中學就讀五年,神父們的臨在,對我印象甚為深刻,也推動了我嚮往做一位有聖德的神父。今天,作為一位神父,我源用「臨在」的方式,接觸我在堂區和學校所服務的青年。

慈幼會會士愛青年人: 對青年人表示欣賞和信任,對他們友善,耐心聆聽他們,同時,也和他們在運動場上一起嬉戲。聖若望.鮑思高神父努力賺得青年們的心,好能導他們向善。

但願一總的教育工作者都被聖若望.鮑思高和慈幼會的精神所啟發。

 


Father and teacher of youth

The Salesian Congregation, founded by St. John Bosco, will celebrate its 150th anniversary Dec. 19. The Salesian method of education involves reason, religion, and kindness.

Reason

St. John Bosco believed in thorough catechetical instruction for young people. In order to love our holy religion, we must know it; we cannot love what we do not know. St. John Bosco began his work for the young as a priest on Dec. 8, 1841, when he gave catechetical instruction to a young boy, an orphan who had not received his First Communion.

The first lesson St. John Bosco taught him was the Sign of the Cross. Later, this young boy brought friends to St. John Bosco for instruction; eventually the group of boys became a group called the Oratory.

The group continued to grow, and finally St. John Bosco opened a boarding school for them. When the school became too small, St. John Bosco opened other schools. Some of St. John Bosco’s students followed him into religious life, and on Dec. 19, 1859, the Congregation of St. Francis de Sales (the Salesians) was born.

In the last 150 years the Salesians have imparted religious, academic, and technical knowledge to many thousands of students, helping them to grow humanly, intellectually, and spiritually.

Religion

Holy Eucharist, confession, and devotion to Mary are the pillars of Salesian spirituality. St. John Bosco proposed these supernatural means as effective ways to safeguard and foster the virtue of chastity.

St. John Bosco valued chastity. Franciscans emphasize poverty, Dominicans emphasize obedience, and Salesians emphasize chastity. Salesians strive to provide young people with a healthy atmosphere of “work, pray, and play” to safeguard purity and to foster virtue.

Many vocations have been fostered in the Salesian environment. Many young children have the germ of a vocation, but if vocations are not fostered they can easily be lost during high school years.

Good surroundings and influences help to foster vocations. It is very important to help young people keep in touch with the holy, especially through prayer and the sacraments. It is very edifying to see that many young people today are devoted to Eucharistic adoration, and I hope that this will help to foster many vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Kindness

“Being present” is love in action. One of the characteristics of the Salesians is the apostolate of presence and watchfulness. The presence of religious priests and brothers among young boys is an effective way to prevent them from sinning. This presence is also a sign of God’s loving presence among the young.

Before I came to Canada I studied five years at a Salesian high school in Hong Kong. The language of presence of the Salesians is one of the things I remember best, prompting me to consider the holy priesthood. Now, as a priest, I strive to speak the same language to the young people entrusted to my pastoral care.

Salesians also show kindness to young people through appreciation of efforts, friendliness, patient listening to their personal concerns, and playing with them on the playground. St. John Bosco’s first care was to win the heart of the student in order to guide him effectively to goodness.

Let us pray that all Catholic educators be inspired by the life of St. John Bosco and by the works of the Salesians

My Other Pax Sinica Articles: http://fatheranthonyho.ca/4522.html

 

Photos from Yesterday

Yesterday was the 3rd Sunday of Advent. The theme was JOY.

It was a joy to baptize 2 lovely babies and to have the Rite of Acceptance for the Catechumens at Corpus Christi Parish.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pax Sinica: 富頓.殊恩主教 Bishop Fulton Sheen

Bishop Fulton Sheen

富頓.殊恩Fulton Sheen主教

十二月九日(星期三)是富頓.殊恩主教三十週年冥辰。殊恩主教是「傳媒福傳」的先驅;他熱愛聖體、熱愛人靈。

熱愛聖體

富頓.殊恩晉鐸之日,矢志每天在聖體前作「聖時祈禱」,他好不容易地持之有恆,直至他生命的終結。

有一次,他在「聖時祈禱」時瞌睡了,猛醒之恃,恰好是一個小時;心中正盤算自己究竟算是完成了聖時祈禱否,恍惚天使向他說:「耶穌山園祈禱時,宗徒們恰像你剛才一樣,做了他們首次的聖時祈禱。但你以後要避免這樣。」

有時候,殊恩在聖堂邊來回踱步,邊做「聖時祈禱」,以免打瞌睡。晉牧後工作實在太忙,殊恩主教便在清晨睡醒後,彌撤前作每天的「聖時祈禱」。他說:「就像普通人一樣,神父有兩種——有些像公雞,早上清醒,有些像貓頭鷹,夜間才活躍。」

殊恩主教認為「聖時祈禱」能加深我們與基督的接觸;他寫道:「除非能與基督曾有個別的私下接觸,否則,所擁有的神學知識,或在日常的社會工作中,不能使我們更愛祂。」的確,「聖時祈禱」強化了殊恩主教貞忠地完成聖召之路。他繼而指出,開始忽視聖體的神父,也會開始忽視善盡鐸職。

早在一九五零年,教宗碧岳十二世Pius XII明言,從「貞潔」和「敬禮聖體」,才找到良好的年青聖召。殊恩主教主持司鐸退省時,常集中鼓勵堅守「聖時祈禱」。

熱愛人靈

富頓.殊恩主教對人的靈魂抱有很大的愛情,他藉傳媒向很多的人作福傳。他運用「直接」和「間接」的福傳方法:在電台廣播中,以簡易的語句,「直接」向大眾介紹天主教教義;在電視媒體,他「間接」地藉討論公眾關心的話題,漸次導入教會的言論。他高談闊論,涵括文藝、科學、戰爭、幽默及不同的主題,吸引美國廣大的電視觀眾。超過三千萬人觀賞過他箸名「值得存活Life is worth living」的節目。

殊恩主教的「傳媒福傳」確實起到皈化的作用,很多人寫信給他,尋求指引,主教亦為他們特別舉辦相關慕道課程。

從接觸人靈的經驗中,殊恩主教作了以下的觀察結論:

1. 從前,人們因宇宙的秩序而信仰天主; 但今天,人們因生活的混亂,而尋求並相信天主。

2. 在國家內,不足十個人是憎恨天主教教會,卻有過百萬人因誤解而憎恨天主教教會的形象。

3. 很多時,人們對教會信理上的反對,事實上是對教會道德觀的反對。

4. 我們寧願研究別人言論的因由,而不去執着針對那些言論;便不難察覺到他們自圓其說或自作合理化的生活方式。

在這「司鐸年」,讓我們求主恩賜所有司鐸都具有富頓.殊恩主教一樣愛主愛靈的心!

 


Bishop Fulton Sheen pioneered evangelization

This Wednesday, Dec. 9, will be the 30th anniversary of the death of Bishop Fulton Sheen. He was a pioneer of evangelization through social communication. Bishop Sheen was a man of prayer who had tremendous love for the Holy Eucharist and for immortal souls.

Man of the Holy Eucharist

On the day of his priestly ordination, Father Fulton Sheen resolved to make a Holy Hour every day before the Blessed Sacrament. It was a resolution he kept until the day of his death, but it was not always easy for him to keep his resolution.

Bishop Sheen once began the Holy Hour and fell asleep. He woke up in exactly one hour and thought, “Have I made a Holy Hour?” Then an angel told him, “That’s the way the apostles made their first Holy Hour in the garden, but don’t do it again.”

In order to keep himself awake during the Holy Hour, Bishop Sheen would sometimes pace up and down the aisle. As he got busier in life, he preferred to make his Holy Hour early in the morning. He wrote, “Priests, like everybody else, are divided into two classes: roosters and owls. Some work better in the morning, others at night.”

Bishop Sheen pointed out that the purpose of the Holy Hour is to encourage a deep personal encounter with Christ. He wrote, “Neither theological knowledge nor social action alone is enough to keep us in love with Christ unless both are preceded by a personal encounter with Him.”

The Holy Hour helped Bishop Sheen tremendously in preserving his priestly vocation. He pointed out that a priest begins to fail his priesthood when he fails in his love of the Eucharist.

In 1950 Pope Pius XII wrote about two points that priests should look for in every young man seriously desirous of becoming a good priest: chastity and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. When Bishop Sheen was giving retreats to priests, he always focused on one general resolution, daily Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament.

Lover of souls

Bishop Sheen had a great love for souls. He reached out to many people through social communication using one of two approaches: direct and indirect. He used the direct approach on radio by presenting Catholic doctrine in plain and simple language and he used the indirect approach on television by starting with topics common to the audience and gradually proceeding to Christian topics.

He talked about art, science, war, humour, and many other themes on television, trying to reach out to the vast television audience of America. His best-known television series was called Life is Worth Living. It had over 30 million viewers.

Bishop Sheen’s usage of social communication attracted converts. Many people wrote to him asking for instruction, and he held classes for them. He made the following observations about souls:

Years ago souls were brought to a belief in God by the order of the universe. Today souls are brought to God by disorder within themselves.

There are not 10 people in the country (the U.S.) who hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate the image of the Catholic Church that they have created out of misunderstanding.

Often what appears to be a doctrinal objection to faith turns out to be a moral objection.

It is always well never to pay attention to what people say, but rather why they say it; so often it is a rationalization of the way they live.

In this Year for Priests, let us pray that all priests have the same love for God and for souls as Bishop Fulton Sheen.

My Other Pax Sinica Articles: http://fatheranthonyho.ca/4522.html

 

My Sunday Sermon Last Sunday

Given in Calgary Chinese Parish. First half in English, second half in Chinese.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

FLL Chinese Radio Program 愛的恩泉

愛的恩泉 (Fountain of Love & Life) Cantonese Radio Program will be launched in Vancouver tomorrow night (December 5) at 8 PM at AM 1470.

The B.C. Catholic news article: Airwaves unite Chinese Catholics

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Click HERE to listen to AM 1470 on-line