Saturday, July 31, 2010

FLL Radio Program 愛的恩泉電台節目(July 31)

July 31, 2010 (Saturday)

  • Toronto 6 PM @ AM 1430
  • Vancouver 8 PM @ AM 1470

I am going to talk about St. Joseph Cafasso.

For more information, please read my article for the Pax Sinica column on the BC Catholic newspaper (June 21, 2010).

You may contact me by email: fatheranthonyho@gmail.com

Please visit FLL website: http://fll.cc/

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Good Local News about Christian Unity.

Canadian Anglican Catholic group votes to unite with Rome

Please click HERE for the news

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It’s Thoughts Provoking!!!

This thoughts provoking video is about the use of internet by lay people.

Very interesting points…..

Please click HERE for the scripts.

Thanks Michael Voris and RealCatholicTV.Com

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Chinese Audio Talk on Human Act

This morning, I led prayer meeting for one of my prayer groups. I gave a talk (in Cantonese) on human act (voluntariness & Circumstances) according to the Summa Theologica.

Please click HERE to download my audio talk (in Catnonese).

Please refer to my precious post for the outline of the talk.

Australians await canonization of new saint 澳洲聖女——苦架瑪利亞

In the last two weeks we have looked at the lives of Blessed Assunta of China and St. Alphonsa of India. This week let us go further south to Australia and look at the life of Blessed Mary MacKillop (1842-1909). Her feast day will be celebrated in Australia on Aug. 8, and she will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17.

Foundress of Australian order

Mary MacKillop was born on Jan. 15, 1842, in Melbourne, Australia. She was the eldest of eight children. Her father was good and devout, but he was not a good provider. His failures in business made it necessary for Mary to work to support the family. She worked as a governess, shop assistant, and schoolteacher.

While teaching in Penola, Mary met the parish priest, Father Julian Tenison Woods. Both Father Woods and Mary felt the need to provide education for poor children and to have a religious order of Australian sisters. In 1866 they founded the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, also called the Josephites.

The sisters willingly shared the poverty of the people. Since the people in Australia were scattered, the sisters lived in small groups out in the country. At that time Australia was filled with prejudice, and the Josephites gently fought against it with justice and equality. The European religious sisters were divided into choir nuns (from upper-class families) and lay sisters (from lower-class families), but the Josephites had no such distinction.

The Josephites engaged in the work of education. They also visited the sick and the prisoners, and gave a home to the elderly and the homeless.

Under the leadership of Mary, the order expanded to different parts of Australia. By the end of 1869 there were 72 sisters operating 21 schools.

Mary wrote regularly to each new sister in order to encourage her in her vocation, and to help her adjust to a new lifestyle.

Patience and forgiveness

In religious life Mary took the name "Mary of the Cross." Her life was to be filled with crosses. She had to suffer greatly from the people around her and from poor health.

Father Woods was an intelligent and creative young priest, but he also had faults which caused problems for Mary and for the Josephites. He often disagreed with Mary and acted against her wishes. But in spite of her negative experiences with him, she always acknowledged the good in Father Woods. She visited and comforted him in his final illness, and after his death she wrote a biography of him, highlighting the best of his qualities.

Some people did not like the new way of life of the Josephites. They denounced the sisters to Bishop Sheil of Adelaide, who changed the rule of the sisters, and put himself in charge. Mary resisted his interference, and in response, the bishop unjustly excommunicated her in September 1871.

For the next five months Mary waited patiently. She didn't say or write anything to defend herself. She even defended Bishop Sheil: asking people not to blame him, saying that she felt that he had been misguided by others. A few days before his own death, Bishop Sheil lifted the excommunication.

Throughout her life Mary had to endure numerous occasions of opposition and false accusations from people within the Church. She combated these difficulties with charity and patience.

Mary also had numerous health problems. Stress and a rigorous travel schedule worsened her health. In 1902 she suffered a stroke, and for the next seven years she was in a wheelchair while her health gradually deteriorated.

In the last 18 months of her life Mary was bedridden. She suffered without complaint. She died calmly and quietly on August 8, 1909. Mary MacKillop was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1995.

These last three weeks we have looked at the lives of holy nuns of the 20th century. May we be inspired by their dedication, purity of intention, and patience. After the summer break there will be a series of articles on the lives and teachings of the early Church Fathers.

我們探索過獻身中國傳教事業的真福亞松大Bl. Assunta修女,和印度小花——聖雅芳莎St. Alphonsa修女。今天,我們遠渡重洋,來到澳大利亞,一談真福瑪利亞.麥琦珞Bl. Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) ;當地奉八月八日為她的慶日,而教宗本篤十六世將於本年十月十七日把她宣聖。

澳洲女修會的鼻祖

一八四二年一月十五日,瑪利亞.麥琦珞出生於澳大利亞的墨爾本Melbourne,父親熱心、良善,育有八名子女。由於家境中落,瑪利亞作為長女,需要工作以幫補家計,曾當家庭女教師、店務作理員和學校老師。

在顰諾拿Penola教學時,巧遇儒利安.桓達信Fr. Julian Tenison Woods神父,兩人不謀而合地認為,應該在當地為貧童提供教育,與及創辦一個女修會。一八六六年,他們合作籌創了名為「聖心的聖匠女修會」Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart,簡稱「聖匠修女Josephites」。

修女們與大眾一起過着清貧的生活。澳大利亞人口散居,聖匠修女們於是分散成小組,群居各處。為消弭當時社會普遍性的偏見,修女們努力爭取公義平等。在修會內則人人平等,有別於歐洲分等級的女修會(「歌詠修女choir nuns」來自富裕家庭,「平民修女lay sisters」來自低下階層)。

另外,聖匠修女們提供教育、探訪病弱和囚犯,為耆英和流浪者供給食宿。

在真福瑪利亞領導下,一八六九年終,修會有七十二名修女,承辦着二十一所學校;而作為會祖,瑪利亞經常與她的修女們通信,鼓勵她們的聖召,誘導她們如何切合修會的生活。

忍耐和寬恕

瑪利亞的道名為「苦架瑪利亞Mary of the Cross」,她的生命果真佈滿十字架,來自周圍的人脈和自己潺弱的身體,給她很大的考驗。

桓達信神父雖年青、聰明和有創意,畢竟逃不過人性的謬誤,為瑪利亞和修女們增添了不少麻煩。面對桓神父的異見及對立,真福常為他說好話。桓神父臨終前,瑪利亞修女探望和安慰他,更在他死後,為他寫傳記,標榜他的優點。

有人不贊同聖匠修女們的生活方式,向亞狄乃Adelaide主教舒鄂Bishop Sheil投訴。主教出手干預: 修改會規並將修會完全放在自己權力之下。瑪利亞反對主教對修會不公平的干預,主教便在一八七一年九月,不義地把她開除教籍。

往後的五個月,瑪利亞耐性地等待,沉默、不自辯,且勸人不要責怪主教,只因他被人誤導。舒鄂主教病逝前數天,取消了開除瑪利亞教籍的頒令。

其實,真福瑪利亞在教會內,面對很多不公平的反對和妄斷,然她以愛德和含忍去應付。生活的壓力,勞累的奔波,進一步摧殘聖人體弱多病的身軀;一九零二年,聖人中風,臥在病榻七年,出入需依坐輪椅,健康更形惡化。生命最後的十八個月,她身不離床,但對苦痛從無怨言。一九零九年八月八日,聖人安詳而逝。一九九五年,先教宗若望保祿二世把她宣福。

最近三個星期, 我們探索過三位二十世紀的神聖修女。她們一心的奉獻、純潔的意向及忍耐的精神,確實給了我們良好的表樣。暑假過後,我們將會有一系列的文章來探索早期聖教會教父們的生平和教導。

Published at Pax Sinica column (July 26) of The B.C . Catholic newspaper

Sunday Sermon & Baptism (July 25, 2010)

  • We should not take it for granted that God is our loving Father.
  • We address God “Our Father”. If we pray for our own salvation persistently and piously, our prayer would be infallible.
  • We should behave as children of God: appreciating the fact that human beings can share the Fatherhood of God in the works of Creation and Redemption.
  • We should not let the devil to reduce us from children to slaves, but pray for the world against the culture of dead.

Please click HERE to download the audio of my sermon

This good lay man brought out a good point which I touched on during my sermon.

1:30 PM Baptism of 2 lovely baby boys

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Protect the Pope

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Website launched by Catholic deacon to protect the Holy Father’s reputation and the truth of the Catholic Church.

http://protectthepope.com/

Click HERE for CNA news regarding the new site.

FLL Radio Program 愛的恩泉電台節目(July 24)

July 24, 2010 (Saturday)

  • Toronto 6 PM @ AM 1430
  • Vancouver 8 PM @ AM 1470

I am going to talk about St. Germaine.

For more information, please read my article for the Pax Sinica column on the BC Catholic newspaper (June 14, 2010).

You may contact me by email: fatheranthonyho@gmail.com

Please visit FLL website: http://fll.cc/

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Talks @ Prayer Groups

Recently, I gave talks to my prayer groups on the voluntariness and circumstances of human acts from the Summa Theologica.

Voluntariness

  • Human act is any thought, word, deed, desire, or omission which comes from a man by his free, knowing, and deliberate choice. Hence human act is voluntary.
  • Animals lack intellect and will, and can only be guided by sense knowledge
  • Violence (or force from outside) cannot directly affect the human will. The will has 2 kinds of acts: elicited acts which completed within the will itself (e.g. loving, hating, desiring, intending), and commanded acts which are completed by other powers (e.g. walking, reading, studying). Violence cannot directly affect elicited acts, but can hamper or prevent commanded acts.
  • When a person acts through fear and/or  concupiscence, the will is still voluntary, thoguh voluntariness might be lessoned by them.
  • Ignorance can be consequent or antecedent.
    • consequent ignorance: ignorance is voluntary
    • antecedent ignorance: it is not voluntary, and yet it is the cause of man’s willing what he would not will otherwise

Circumstances

  • Circumstances--- the particular conditions of each act
  • 7 circumstances: who, what, where, by what aids, why, how, and when
    1. Circumstances touch the act itself: when (time), where (place), how (mode of acting)
    2. Circumstances touch the cause of the act: why (final cause), who (principal efficient cause), by what aids (instrumental efficient cause)
    3. Circumstance touches the effect of the act: what
  • “The most important circumstances are why it is done and what is done.”---St. Gregory of Nyssa
    1. Why: the motive and object of the will (the end)
    2. What: touches the very substance of the act

Information of my 3 prayer groups:

Hearts of Jesus and Mary Prayer Group (around 40-50 people)

  • In Cantonese
  • Every 1st & 3 rd Sunday
  • 7 PM to 9 PM
  • Corpus Christi Parish, Vancouver

Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group (around 20 people)

  • In English
  • Every 1st & 3rd Monday
  • 7 PM to 9 PM
  • St. Patrick’s Parish, Vancouver

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Prayer Group (around 15 to 20 people)

  • In Cantonese
  • Every 2nd & 4th Monday
  • 9:45 AM to 11 AM
  • At a private home (SE Vancouver, close to Burnaby)

Our Meetings:

Rosary with guided meditations (Evening groups have Night Prayer & Benediction as well).

Talk on Summa Theologica & Lives of the Saints.

Pray Litany of Loreto before holy relics. Blessing of Mary, Help of Christians. Individual blessing with holy relics.

The Little Flower of India 印度小花

Last week I wrote about Blessed Assunta of China. This week, let us travel southward in spirit to India and look at the life of another holy nun, St. Alphonsa Muttathupadathu (1910-1946). The faithful in India will celebrate her feast day on July 28, and August 19 will be the 100th anniversary of her birth.

Path to the convent

St. Alphonsa was born on Aug. 19, 1910, at a rural village in Kerala, India. Her baptismal name was Anna, and her family called her Annakutty. She lost her mother while still an infant and her aunt, Annamma, became her "second mother."

Annamma was very strict with Annakutty, but she also loved Annakutty as her own daughter, and wished to arrange a good marriage for her. She chose a young man from a well-to-do family. When Annakutty learnt about the plan she was very upset, for she desired to become a nun.

Remembering some of the saints had marred their beauty to prevent marriage, Annakutty decided to cause herself physical injury so that she would not be able to go to church for the betrothal.

Annakutty intended to put one foot into an active fire pit behind her home, but she slipped and fell into the pit. Both her feet and legs, her skirt, and the ends of hair were burned. She managed to escape from the pit but fainted on her way to the house. The burn was serious and it was only after three months that she could walk about again.

Later, when Annakutty confessed this action to her spiritual director, he scolded her, and with childlike simplicity she said, "I didn't know there was so much fire!"

Annakutty's aunt, however, had not given up the plan for a good marriage. Annakutty, therefore, pleaded desperately with her uncle, telling him that she would rather die than marry. Finally her uncle gave in and let her enter the Clarist Sisters of Malabar in May 1927. In religious life Annakutty took the name Sister Alphonsa.

Path of suffering

As a young religious, Sister Alphonsa taught elementary school, but she was often sick and had to give up teaching. Sister Alphonsa continued to suffer from poor health. One time St. Therese of Lisieux appeared to her saying, "You are cured of your fever, you will never suffer from any contagious disease, but you will be tried unto death itself by other sickness."

On Oct. 18, 1940, a thief broke into Sister Alphonsa's room. The man was frightened by her screams and ran away, but the shock caused Sister Alphonsa to lose her memory temporarily, and she also lost her ability to read for 11 months.

Before long, Sister Alphonsa developed swelling in both legs which turned into leg ulcers. She received the last rites, but didn't die. Her health improved and she enjoyed three years of relatively good health. In July 1945 she developed stomach convulsions and vomiting that led to her death on July 28, 1946.

Sister Alphonsa suffered for souls willingly and quietly. In the midst of great suffering she attempted to smile and to speak cheerful words. There was great serenity on her suffering face.

Devotion of children

Sister Alphonsa was loved by children. She was their good friend, and they sensed her great love for them. When she was bedridden, they considered it a great honour to assist her, and they often asked her for advice and prayers to help them in their small trials of childhood.

After her death the children missed her. They visited her tomb and asked her prayers. When their prayers were answered, the children were vocal in their gratitude. Gradually the adults also asked her prayers. People began to lights candles at her tomb.

Eventually the Church began to study the life of Sister Alphonsa. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1986 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. People called her the "Little Flower" of India.

我上週提及獻身中國傳教事業的真福亞松大Bl. Assunta修女。本週,讓我們南下到印度,探索另一位聖人——聖雅芳莎.梅達樸St. Alphonsa Muttathupadathu (1910-1946) 修女。在印度,她的慶日在七月二十八日,而本年八月十九日是這位聖人的百歲冥壽。

步入修院

一九一零年八月十九日,聖雅芳莎出生於印度一條名為喀咯拉Kerala的偏僻小村,取聖名亞納Anna,家人慣稱她為小亞納Annakutty。聖人嬰齡喪母,由姨母安納姆Annamma養育,成了她的「第二母親」。

事實上,安納姆非常疼愛小亞納,視為己出,然對她管教甚嚴。小亞納及笄之歲,安納姆替她安排與一位家道富有的青年訂親。但小亞納卻有守貞修道之意, 因此甚為苦惱,想起曾有聖者自毁絹容以避婚嫁,遂想到要弄傷自己的脚,以期錯失訂婚之禮。

祇見小亞納走到屋後不遠烘烘的火堆,本想把一隻脚放到火中,誰知一個不小心,整個人滑跌到火裡去;頓時,她的雙腿、頭髮和衣裳都在燃燒。雖然她能奮力逃出火堆,但跑返家前不支暈倒。炙燒的傷,使她在三個月後才能重新走路。

她向神師私下透露實情,被他責備。小亞納天真地說:「我不知道那裡有那麽多火啊!」

可惜姨母配婚之意未減,小亞納惟有向姨父說明守貞修道的心意,甚至說明她寧死也不願出嫁,姨父最後拗不過她的堅持,一九二七年五月,讓她入瑪咯笆Malabar的加辣女修院Clarist Sisters,取名「雅芳莎修女Sister Alphonsa」。

受苦世途

年青的雅芳莎修女執教小學生,但因常生病缺課而被逼放棄放學。有一次,聖女小德蘭St. Therese of Lisieux顯現給體弱多病的她,說:「你的高燒將要減退,你亦不會再被傳染病感染,但你仍會因其它病痛纒身而導致生命的終結。」

一九四零年十月十八日,小偷進入雅芳莎的住房,把她嚇得死去活來。小偷因她的驚叫,抱頭而竄,她卻驚怕得短暫失憶,並失去閱讀能力; 十一個月後始恢復閱讀能力。又過了不久,雅芳莎修女雙腿腫脹,甚至潰爛,在領受病人聖事後,卻漸漸恢復健康,且維持了三年。一九四五年七月,她胃部抽搐,嘔吐不已,如是延至翌年七月二十八日去世。

聖雅芳莎修女甘心為眾靈魂默默受苦做補贖。在極苦中,她保持微笑,談笑自若;在她含忍苦痛的臉上,常帶詳和之面容。

疼愛孩童

孩童們十分喜愛雅芳莎修女,因為他們感受到修女的摯愛,是他們的好朋友。當修女卧病在床,能服侍修女變成他們的榮幸;他們喜歡聆聽修女的意見,遇有困難挑戰,他們特別要修女為他們祈禱。在聖雅芳莎修女離世後,孩童們十分懷念她:到她墳前,請她代禱;一旦得償,便歡欣致謝,漸漸成人們均為所動,效法孩童們請修女代禱,在她墳前燃點燭光。終於教廷查審雅芳莎修女的生平;一九八六年,教宗若望保祿二世把她宣福;二零零八年,教宗本篤十六世把她宣聖。眾人譽她為「印度的小花」。

Published at Pax Sinica column (July 19) of The B.C . Catholic newspaper

Sunday Sermon & Baptism (July 18, 2010)

Some main points of my Sunday sermon:

  • Both 1st Reading & Gospel is about hospitality
  • Jesus is our guest but not everyone accept Him
  • If we welcome Him as guest, He also becomes our Master.
  • Jesus becomes the guest of our Church’s communities when we:
    1. Pray together
    2. Listen to the Word of God
    3. Celebrate the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist
  • Jesus becomes the welcome guest of our families when we:
    1. Pray as a family
    2. Not allow sin to take root
  • Jesus becomes the guest of our soul by Baptism and Holy Eucharist
    • We should not exclude Him by sin
    • If we have sinned, we should clean the house of our heart by Contrition and Confession.
  • We should welcome Jesus into our work, prayer, and suffering
  • It is very important not to lose our orientation and direction in the midst of our works
  • Sunday Mass and prayer help us to focus on Christ
  • Martha represents the active life, while Mary represents the contemplative life
  • In the past, this Gospel was read on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady who, in the fulfillment of her maternal office toward her Son, played the part of Martha as well as that of Mary
  • Christ is close to us in suffering
  • St. Paul suffered becuase of his inabiliby to go around preaching the Gospel as he had done for years. He also heard about the troubles in the various Christian communities.
  • However, St. Paul united his sufferings with that of Christ’s.
  • Christ won the grace of salvation for all of us on the Cross, but our sufferings help to apply His saving grace to souls.

Baptism of baby boy last Sunday.

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Reception to the Catholic Church

Last Friday, July 16, was the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I had the great joy to welcome a Chinese lady (Christian name: Teresa Carmen) to the Catholic Church.

She was referred to me for catechetical instruction by a retire priest, Father Benno Burghardt. Fr. Benno was one of the godparents at the ceremony. 

Teresa Carmen was conditionally baptized. She also received the Sacrament of Confirmation and First Communion.

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Father Benno does look at Pope Benedict, isn’t he? 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

FLL Radio Program 愛的恩泉電台節目(July 17)

 

jesus-king.jpg Jesus King image by gts_02[image[8].png]

July 17, 2010 (Saturday)

  • Toronto 6 PM @ AM 1430
  • Vancouver 8 PM @ AM 1470

I am going to talk about Blessed Maria of the Divine Heart.

For more information, please read my article for the Pax Sinica column on the BC Catholic newspaper (June 7, 2010).

You may contact me by email: fatheranthonyho@gmail.com

Please visit FLL website: http://fll.cc/

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Abortion Mill Chainsaw

I like this story from Prolifecorner.com.

Rockford Abortion Mill Attempt To Silence Pro-Lifers Backfires - BIGTIME! Abortion mill landlord responds to local D.J.'s pro-life message with a chainsaw!

Rockford IL, July 9, 2010 - The Rockford abortion mill, that has for weeks been blaring a radio in an attempt to silence pro-lifers who offer help to mothers in need as they cross the parking-lot of the Northern Illinois Women's Center, received a very big surprise Friday morning.

A little after 7:00am WNTA, the radio station the clinic plays over its amplified public address sound system , that can be heard blocks away, opened up its phone lines to callers.  The first caller they took, live on the air, was a pro-lifer who was standing at the driveway of the Rockford abortion mill that is nationally known for its signs mocking God and celebrating the number of children they have killed.

The local pro-life activist was able to clearly explain, on-air, to D.J. Doug McDuff that the Rockford abortion mill is using WNTA in an attempt to silence offers of help to mothers in need at the abortion mill.

Just at that moment one of the abortion mill workers got out of her car to walk into the mill. The mill landlord who puts up the signs mocking God was also listening in.

When D.J. Doug McDuff heard what was happening he began calling out live over the radio in a very, very loud voice,"God bless pro-lifers, God bless pro-lifers, God bless pro-lifers!"

Appearing completely shocked, the abortion mill nurse who heard this began waving her arms around her head like she couldn't believe what was being broadcast over the abortion mill public address system.  The look of almost terror and confusion on her face was priceless as she scrambled into the mill.

D.J. Doug McDuff allowed the pro-lifer who was standing at the mill driveway to explain on air to the people of Rockford and all those both inside and out of the mill that Christians come to the Rockford abortion mill to offer love, help, and hope to mothers in need.

The conversation was closed with a request to the people of Rockford to pray for mothers in need and an end to abortion.

The enthusiastic D.J. closed the live on air conversation repeating his rallying cry of "God bless pro-lifers."

The abortion mill landlord seemed so infuriated that his own public address system was used to loudly and boldly proclaim the pro-life message of love and hope in his own abortion mill that he came charging out of the abortion mill with a chainsaw!

This is the same person who has claimed responsibility for placing a rubber chicken over the body of Christ on a Crucifix, perverted signs attacking Christians, and putting up a sign that claims the 50,000 children that have been killed by abortion in his building, the Northern Illinois Women Centers, is their victory over Jesus Christ.

He stood by his loud speakers all morning with a chainsaw running just in case another pro-lifer spoke about the love and help that is offered to any mother in need.

Later that morning one mother who possibly heard the message of love and hope broadcast over the Rockford abortion mills own speakers left the mill with her baby alive and well and did not return.  A LIFE WAS SAVED!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Little Flower of China 中國小花

 

My article last week was about the seven martyrs of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary; their feast day was celebrated on July 9.

The example of these martyrs inspired a young nun, Sister Maria Assunta Pallotta (1878-1905) to give her life to the mission in China. She wrote to her superior, Blessed Mary of the Passion, requesting to be sent to China. The obedience of Jesus, the willingness of Mary, and the humility of Francis of Assisi are the three traits very dear to Assunta.

A brief but intense life

Blessed Assunta was born on August 20, 1878, in Italy. She was the eldest of five children of a poor family. Assunta supported her family through physical labour and housework. She was remembered as a solemn and quiet girl. She combined work with prayer in her daily life and led an austere life of fasting and mortification. Though poor herself, she had great charity towards other poor people.

In her late teens Assunta experienced the call to religious life. In 1898 she left all and entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Rome. Her smile and serenity brought joy to those around her.

In March 1904 Sister Assunta was sent to China. She arrived there on June 18. She was assigned to the humble task of working in the kitchen. Sister Assunta gave humble and hidden service to her community.

A few months later an epidemic of typhus broke out. Some nuns and many children were sick. Sister Assunta nursed the sick with selfless dedication, and in March 1905 she too fell ill. She requested to receive the Last Sacraments. Towards the end of her life she begged repeatedly for Holy Communion, but she was unable to receive because she could not swallow.

In her last hours Sister Assunta often repeated the names of Jesus and Mary. Her desire for Holy Communion was expressed in her last spoken word, “Centi! Centi!” (Chinese for Holy Communion). She died on April 7, 1905.

At her death, those praying in Sister Assunta’s room noticed a delightful fragrance, which lasted for three days. Eight years later, when her body was transferred, it was discovered to be incorrupt. Sister Assunta was beatified by Pope Pius XII on November 7, 1954.

Purity of intention

In January 1904, Blessed Assunta wrote to her parents about her life program: “I ask the Lord for the grace to make known to the world purity of intention, which consists in doing everything for the love of God, even the most ordinary actions.”

Assunta formed some very beautiful resolutions:

“I came to the convent to become a saint: to what purpose would I live a long time if I did not attain my goal? I will therefore not pass up anything profitable for my soul, though the whole world be given me in exchange.”

“Never will I excuse myself, never speak of myself, imitating the Most Blessed Virgin in humility and charity toward God and neighbour.”

“To do all for the love of God: I would like to write it in my blood.”

A spiritual writer, Adolphe Tanquerey, pointed out that intention is the principal element in our actions. Intention is the eye that sheds light and directs our actions. It is also the soul that animates our actions. The following three elements help to give special value to our intentions:

1. Strive to do all things out of love for God and others, for charity is the queen and the soul of all virtues.

2. It is useful to propose to ourselves several supernatural motives, and thus exercise a number of virtues at the same time. For example, an act of obedience to a parent is prompted by both charity and obedience. Another example is to pray an Act of Contrition out of love for God, a spirit of penance, and humility.

3. We must form and renew frequently our supernatural intention. In the morning we recite the Morning Offering to offer all actions to God. During the day, we should renew this intention frequently.

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上週,我提及七月九日慶祝瑪利亞方濟傳教修女會Franciscan Missionaries of Mary在華夏山西省為主殉道的七位修女,而她們英烈的精神,感動了另一位同門年輕的修女,就是真福瑪利亞.亞松大.伯樂達Bl. Maria Assunta Pallotta (1878-1905)修女。她去信修會會祖真福苦難瑪利亞Bl. Mary of the Passion,要求被派遣到中國傳教。她最喜愛的是三個效法:效法耶穌的聽命、效法聖母的樂於服務、效法聖五傷方濟各的謙遜。

短暫但熱切的生命

一八七八年八月二十日,真福亞松大生於意大利的貧窮家庭。作為五名孩子的長女,亞松大以苦工和家務支援家 計。她沉默嚴肅,寓工作於祈禱,渡齋戒和克己的樸素生活。她的清貧,並沒有減弱對貧苦大眾的愛心。及笄年華,感到修道的召叫,遂於一八九八年,毅然放下一 切,進入羅馬的瑪利亞方濟傳教修女會。她祥和的微笑,使與她共處的人感到喜悅。

一九零四年六月十八日,亞松大被派遣抵達中國,專注在廚房幹着火炊的工作,謙卑地為各方備膳燒飯。數月後, 傷寒病爆發,一些修女和很多兒童染病,亞松大修女全心照料患者,至翌年三月,自己終受傳染而病倒。病榻中,她要求領受病人聖事。彌留期間,多次要求領聖 體,可惜因病不能吞嚥而不被批准;死前頻呼耶穌、瑪利亞之聖名; 她最後的說話是用中文說: 「聖體! 聖體!」----- 顯示了她對耶穌聖體的渴望和熱愛。她於一九零五年四月七日逝世。

真福亞松大死時,滿室芬香了三天;八年後移葬其遺骸時,被發現並未腐爛。一九五四年十一月七日,教宗庇護十 二世,立她為真福品。

純真的意向

一九零四年一月,亞松大曾去信雙親寫道:「我祈求天主賞我聖寵去幫助普世眾生明白純真的意向,即為愛天主而 做一切事(包括最平凡的事)。」

真福亞松大有幾句名言:

「我進入修院是為了成聖。如果我不能成聖,長壽又有什麼意義呢?所以,我不會為了得到整個世界,而以任何裨 益靈魂的事作為交換。」

「我不會為自己設任何藉口、或為自己作任何吹噓,我要效法至聖童貞,以謙遜和愛德,對待天主和近人。」

「我願意用我的血寫下:為愛天主而做所有事情!」

靈修作家亞道夫.鄧奎利Adolphe Tanquerey指出,「意向」是我們行為的主導。「意向」是行為的「眼目」和「靈魂」, 它指引並推動行為。有三個要素能使我們的「意向」增值:

1. 力求所有事情都是為愛天主和愛人而作——皆因愛德是諸聖德的皇后和靈魂。

2. 作善事時, 嘗試在心內激發多個超性的動機,因而引發遜守其它德行。例如服從父母,源於愛和聽命之德。又如唸痛悔經時, 發出愛天主、悔改、和謙遜之德。

3. 我們要經常更新或重定超性的意向——我們在早上唸「每日奉獻誦」, 把一天的思、言、行為獻給天主; 在日間則要經常重新自己奉獻的意向。

Published at Pax Sinica column (July 12) of The B.C . Catholic newspaper

Sunday Sermon & Baptism

Here are some ideas of my Sunday Sermon:

  • Today’s Readings give answers to the question—What must I do to have eternal salvation?
  • 1st Reading: Keep the Commandments.
    • The Commandments are not far from us, and God is always ready to help us with His grace; so, if we will, we can keep the Commandments.
  • 2nd Reading: Be united with Christ.
    • Some Colossians thought that they should worship spirits. Hence Paul corrected them by telling them Jesus Christ is above all creatures (including all spirits). All creatures are created by Him, for Him and in Him.
  • The response of Jesus in the Gospel fulfils both the 1st & 2nd Readings.
  • The lawyer asked Jesus 2 questions: “Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Who is my neighbor?”
  • Allegorical meaning of the parable of the Good Samaritan: “The man that fell among robbers, represents Adam and his posterity; Jerusalem, the state of peace and innocence, which man leaves by going down to Jericho, which means the moon, the state of trouble and sin: the robbers represent the devil, who stripped him of his supernatural gifts, and wounded him in his faculties: the priest and Levite represent the old law: the Samaritan, Christ; and the beast, his humanity. The inn means the Church; wine, the blood of Christ; oil, his mercy; whilst the host signifies S. Peter and his successors, the bishops and priests of the Church.” (Haydock’s Catholic Family Bible and Commentary)
  • In light of the parable, let us ask ourselves 3 questions:
    • Do I love all people, or do I only love those I like?
    • When I do good to others, am I expect to get something back from them in return?
    • Have I done the best to help others?

Today I had the great joy to baptize 3 lovely babies.

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Last Sunday was the last time I said Chinese Mass @ Corpus Christi. After my “retirement”, I am using the extra time on Sunday afternoon for a Chinese Catechism class here at St. Patrick’s.

I invited the non-Catholics members of my prayer groups to learn about the Catholic Faith and to become Catholics. Some other Catholics and non-Catholics also come to learn about the Faith. I am very glad that we had a very good class this afternoon. Please pray for the success of this new class.

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Mariapolis

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Yesterday (July 10), I was invited to say Mass @ the Mariapolis, a summer gathering of the Focolare Movement. I offered the votive Mass of Our Lady. And here are some main points of my sermon:

  • In the 1st Reading, the prophet Isaiah saw Seraphim, “each of them had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet, and with two they hovered aloft.”
    • “veiled their faces”--- symbol of worship
    • “veiled their feet”---symbol of humility
    • “hovered aloft” --- symbol of doing the Will of God swiftly
  • Our Lady is the model in these 3 areas:
    • Worship
      • she was a woman of prayer on earth, and she is now interceding for us.
      • In the O.T., the majesty of God inspired fear, wonder and awe in the hearts of people
      • In the N.T., love of God (manifested on the Cross) moved the hearts of the people
      • The Mass is the fulfillment of both O.T. & N.T.
      • The reverence and love we experience at Mass should draw us closer to God.
      • Hence the Mass brings unity of hearts among the people by turning them to God
    • Humility
      • Our Lady, like St. Francis and St. Clare, contemplate the humility of Christ in the 3 C’s--- Crib, Cross, and Cribiborium. Jesus as a baby, as a dying man, and in the Holy Eucharist.
      • Pride is the root of division, whereas humility is the foundation of unity.
      • We should think less about our own selves and think more about God and others.
    • Doing the Will of God
      • Our Lady said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according the your word”.
      • The Will of God is the source of unity.
      • We all have different ideas and preferences, but when we are doing things, we should ask ourselves what is the Will of God.
      • The Will of God is the best for each community and individual.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

FLL Radio Program 愛的恩泉電台節目(July 10)

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July 10, 2010 (Saturday)

  • Toronto 6 PM @ AM 1430
  • Vancouver 8 PM @ AM 1470

I am going to talk about Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity.

For more information, please read my article for the Pax Sinica column on the BC Catholic newspaper (May 31, 2010).

You may contact me by email: fatheranthonyho@gmail.com

Please visit FLL website: http://fll.cc/

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summa Theologica—Happiness

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I have started something new for my 3 prayer groups. I am teaching St. Thomas’s Summa Theologica. We begun with the moral life. So, it is 2nd volume in the English translation. During two meetings, we talked about Happiness.

Here are some important ideas:

  • Men has always an end in view when he acts, that is when he acts as man (human act) and not by impulse, or by reason which is purely physical or instinctive (act of man).
  • Man under the higher action of God and dependently upon this action, can fix for himself the end for which he acts; whereas other creatures of the material world put into execution blindly, naturally, or instinctively the end fixed to their action by God.

Where Happiness Is Found

  • True happiness is not in wealth, honors, fame, glory, power, bodily goods, nor pleasures. Bodily things cannot be man’s perfect fulfillment.
  • The objective ultimate happiness fulfils the soul but is something outside the soul, which the soul attains to.
  • No created good can give man perfect happiness. Only the uncreated good can be the ultimate end of man. And this uncreated good is God.

What Happiness Is

  • Ultimate subjective happiness is the state of fulfillment and satisfaction in a person who has obtained the end for which he is made.
  • Ultimate objective happiness is the reality which, when possessed, will render the possessor subjectively happy. God is man’s objective happiness.
  • Man’s subjective happiness is both a state and an operation. As a state--- permanent possession of fulfillment. As an operation--- an act by which man lays hold of, and possesses, the object which renders him happy.
  • Operation in perfect happiness--- an act of intellect rather than will; speculative rather than practical.

Requirements For Happiness

  • These three must concur in Happiness; to wit, vision, which is perfect knowledge of the intelligible end; comprehension, which implies presence of the end; and delight or enjoyment, which implies repose of the lover in the object beloved.
  • Rightness or rectitude of the will is necessary for happiness.
  • In the present life, we need the body, external goods (in due measure), and fellowship of friends for earthly happiness. But these are NOT essential to man’s ultimate happiness.

The Attainment Of Happiness

  • All men have the desire for their own fulfillment and happiness. But not all have the right notion of happiness.
  • In the present earthly life man may attain a degree of happiness, but cannot have perfect happiness. On earth limitations and drawbacks are associated with happiness. Only God possessed in beatific vision can make man perfectly happy, and this vision cannot be had in earthly life.
  • Once perfect happiness has been attained, it cannot be lost.
  • In heaven, the objective happiness of man is God, and hence the happiness of heaven is objectively one. But subjectively one man can be happier than another in heaven, for one man may have a greater capacity of the happiness of heaven.
  • Man’s natural power cannot bring him perfect happiness, which is supernatural. To attain perfect happiness, we need grace here on earth, and to posses perfect happiness, we need the light of glory in heaven.

Here are some photos from the English group meeting this evening:

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Information of my 3 prayer groups:

Hearts of Jesus and Mary Prayer Group (around 40-50 people)

  • In Cantonese
  • Every 1st & 3 rd Sunday
  • 7 PM to 9 PM
  • Corpus Christi Parish, Vancouver

Our Lady of Fatima Prayer Group (around 20 people)

  • In English
  • Every 1st & 3rd Monday
  • 7 PM to 9 PM
  • St. Patrick’s Parish, Vancouver

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Prayer Group (around 15 to 20 people)

  • In Cantonese
  • Every 2nd & 4th Monday
  • 9:45 AM to 11 AM
  • At a private home (SE Vancouver, close to Burnaby)

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Our Meetings:

Rosary with guided meditations (Evening groups have Night Prayer & Benediction as well).

Talk on Summa Theologica & Lives of the Saints.

Pray Litany of Loreto before holy relics. Blessing of Mary, Help of Christians. Individual blessing with holy relics.

Sunday Sermon & Baptism

Here are the main ideas of my Sunday Sermon:

Last week there was the announcement of the new Vatican department for renewed evangelization of areas subject to secularization.

There are 2 remedies to the lack of Christian enthusiasm in western society:

  • We must start by having a clear idea of what it means to be a Christian.
  • We must once again become God’s messengers to everyone around us.

We must start by having a clear idea of what it means to be a Christian.

  • We carry the “marks” of Jesus. At the time of Paul, some masters branded their slaves with red-hot iron, as people do with cattle today. A run-away slave could thus be identified by that mark and be sent back to his master. In Baptism, we were marked forever as children of God and in Confirmation, we were marked forever as soldiers of Christ. But ours is not the mark of slavery, but the mark of freedom and spiritual childhood.
  • As Christian, we must carry our cross daily (fulfilling our duties & keeping the Commandments). Freedom is not just doing whatever I want. In western society, many people did whatever they wanted and despised the Commandments, but they ended up becoming slaves of their own passions. The widespread problem of addictions is a good indication that people in society has the wrong notion of freedom. 
  • As Christian, we must pray. Some Christians from third world are scandalized by the lack of prayer of Christians in the first world. Our Lady, through her apparitions, gives us “prayer” (esp. the Rosary) as an important solution to the problems in our world today.

 We must once again become God’s messengers to everyone around us.

  • The best way to learn is to teach
  • Faith is NOT just a private matter. In western society, people are too afraid to offend others, and thus not speaking up for the truth. But sharing the truth is an expression of love. We should share what is most precious and important in our lives with others.
  • Jesus sent 12 apostles and 72 disciples:
    • 12 tribes of Israel and 72 tribes or clans listed in Ch. 10 of Genesis (the complete list, as the Jews thought, of all the tribes living in the world at the time)
    • 12 apostles represent the Clergy (Pope, Bishop & Priests), and 72 disciples represent all the faithful.
    • Hence, all the members of the Church are called to share the Good News with all the world.
  • Kind of messengers that the Lord wants us to be:
    • to be determined--- “Salute no one on the road”
    • not to put trust in human means--- “Carry no purse…”
    • peaceful and love--- “Peace be to this house…!” ; sent them out in pairs.
    • expect oppositions--- “lambs among wolves”

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Grateful to baptize 2 baby boys (one on Saturday and one on Sunday). May God bless them and protect them all the days of their lives.

Last Chinese Mass @ CC

As many of you know, I was the Assistant Pastor @ Corpus Christi Parish from 2006-08. But after 2008, I still went back every Sunday to say the Chinese Mass there. This year, my classmate, Father Henry Yeung, is assigned to be the new Assistant Pastor of Corpus Christi. He will continue to celebrate the Chinese Mass there. Yesterday, therefore, was my last Sunday saying Chinese Mass @ CC.

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Last Thursday (July 1) I spent a day with the Chinese people from CC for a day-trip. And last Friday (July 2) there was a farewell dinner for Fr. Michael, Fr. Peter, and myself.

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I will certainly miss the Chinese community @ CC. It’s wonderful to serve the Chinese people there in the past 4 years. After my “retirement” from CC Chinese Mass, I will continue to serve the Chinese in 3 ways: lead my private prayer groups, teach Catechism to non-Catholic Chinese here @ St. Pat’s, and share the Good News by media (newspaper & radio).

Love right to the end 至死不渝的愛

July 9 is the feast of the Chinese Martyrs. One hundred and ten years ago (on July 9, 1900) seven sisters of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) were martyred with bishops, priests, seminarians, and lay faithful in Shanxi, China. The giving of oneself is at the core of the vocation of an FMM sister.

FMM protomartyrs

The Franciscan Missionaries of Mary were founded by Blessed Mary of the Passion in 1877. As a young woman, Blessed Mary experienced the call of God to lead a life of total consecration and to offer herself as a victim soul for the Church and the Pope. As Superior of the Institute, Blessed Mary exhorted her sisters to live a life of holiness and fraternal union. She invited the sisters to live in this thought: “I am consecrated to God, my end is Love.”

In 1898, the future martyr, St. Francisco Fagolla (Coadjutor Bishop of Shanxi) went to Rome and wanted to have a community of religious sister in his diocese. St. Francisco met with Blessed Mary and made known his need to have sisters to organize a small hospital, to serve in an orphanage, and to educate women.

Blessed Mary accepted the invitation. She formed a group of seven sisters of different nationalities and sent them to China. After a hard long journey, the sisters arrived at Taiyuan, Shanxi, on May 4, 1899. From the day of their arrival the sisters dedicated themselves to the service of 200 little girls in the orphanage. They also worked to improve the quality of life for all people.

In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, many Christians were put to death for refusal to deny their faith. Fully aware of the dangers, the sisters chose to remain at Taiyuan. Their leader, Sister Marie Hermine, told the bishops, “We came here to exercise charity and to shed our blood for the love of Jesus Christ if need be.”

On July 5, bishops, priests, seminarians, lay faithful, and the seven sisters were imprisoned. On July 9 at around 4 p.m. they were dragged through the streets to the tribunal, where they were massacred by the order of the governor.

Self-giving love expressed in writings

On Sept. 22, 1900, Blessed Mary of the Passion received the news of the martyrdom of the seven sisters. She was filled with great emotion. It was a great sorrow to be separated with her beloved sisters, but it was also a great joy to have seven protomartyrs in her community. She said, “I can say with St. Francis: now I have seven true Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.”

In her circular letter to the Institute on 29 Sept. 1900, Blessed Mary wrote, “The martyrdom of our sisters speaks for itself. They were a holocaust right to the end.”

Letters from the seven sisters express their spirit of self-giving. Here are excerpts (one from each sister) from their letters:

“All is possible to those who love.” – Marie-Hermine de Jesus, French, martyred at age 34, superior of the community.

“I put all my good will in my works. I do not always succeed but I am always happy.” – Marie de Sainte Nathalie, French, martyred at age 36.

“Patience! Ever onward! Let us serve Jesus with all our heart!” – Maria Chiara, Italian, martyred at age 28.

“All that we do through love of God is great in God’s eyes.” – Marie de Saint Just, French, martyred at age 34.

“Life is short. We must live fervently these short days of our earthly pilgrimage.” – Marie Adolphine, Dutch, martyred at age 34.

“My only consolation is Jesus! I am so happy when I am near Him; I wish never to leave Him.” – Maria della Pace, Italian, martyred at age 25.

“Jesus, how can I thank you for casting Your glance on me? I have nothing except my life, my heart, my soul, my work, my song ... in joy or in sorrow, reign until death takes me!” – Maria Amandina, Belgian, martyred at age 28.

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七月九日是中華諸殉道聖人瞻禮:一百一十年前(公元一九零零年七月九日),七位瑪利亞方濟傳教修女會 Franciscan Missionaries of Mary的修女,在中國山西省,與一些主教、神父、修士和平信徒,同為主耶穌獻出了自己寶貴的生命。瑪利亞方濟傳教修女會的聖召核心是「奉獻自己」。

瑪利亞方濟傳教修女會的殉道先驅

一八七七年,真福苦難瑪利亞Bl. Mary of the Passion創辦瑪利亞方濟傳教修女會。真福年青時認識到天主的召叫,要她渡完全獻身的生活,並為聖教會和教宗奉獻自己作犧牲。作為修會的長上,真福勸 勉修女們要渡聖善和共融的生活。她也要修女們緊記「自己是被祝聖於天主,要以愛為終向」。

一八九八年,山西省的輔理主教(未來的殉道者)聖富格辣St. Francisco Fagolla在羅馬見到真福苦難瑪利亞修女,道出殷切需要修女團體協助的意願,在其山西教區設立小型醫院、照顧孤兒,和教育婦女。真福應其所請,派遣七 個不同國籍的修女,來到中國。

修女一行七人,經歷艱辛的旅程,在一八九九年五月四日,抵達中國山西太原,隨即接手照顧二百名年幼孤女,也 設法幫助當地人過較佳的生活。

一九零零年,中國義和拳(團)作亂Boxer Revolution,殺害了不少不肯背教的基督徒。修女們雖然清楚險况,但仍堅持留守太原服務。院長聖艾明納St. Marie Hermine修女對主教說:「我們專程到此施行愛德,有需要時願意為愛耶穌基督而灑熱血。」

七月五日,主教、神父、修士、平信徒和七位瑪利亞方濟傳教修女會的修女同被關押;七月九日約在下午四時,他 們被押往巡撫衙門,最後被集體屠殺。

無私的愛的手諭

一九零零年九月二十二日,真福苦難瑪利亞接到在中國傳教的修女被殺的噩耗,頓時悲喜交集。悲者是因與摯愛的 修女們生離死別,喜者是因她們七位是修會的殉道先驅。她紲而說:「我可以同聖方濟說:現在,我有七位真正的瑪利亞方濟傳教修女會的傳教修女了。」在她九月 二十九日給修會發的公開信函中表示:「我們的修女們的殉道說明了一切,她們作全燔祭一直到死。」

七位殉道修女的書信中,彰顯了自我奉獻的精神:

院長聖艾明納修女,法國人,三十四歲:「為愛的人,一切都是可能的。」聖納達理St. Marie de Sainte Nathalie修女,法國人,三十六歲:「我將善志放進我的一切工作內;雖然我不能常享成功,但我感到常常愉快。」聖嘉納St. Maria Chiara修女,意大利人,二十八歲:「含忍!向前!讓我們全心侍奉耶穌!」聖菊詩德St. Marie de Saint Just修女,法國人,三十四歲:「為愛天主而幹一切,在天主眼中都是偉大的。」聖雅道斐St. Marie Adolphine修女,荷蘭人,三十四歲:「生命是何其短暫,我們要熱誡地活出短暫的世途。」聖巴溪St. Marie della Pace修女,意大利人,二十五歲:「耶穌是我唯一的慰藉!當我接近祂時, 我感到何等欣慰! 我願永不離開祂。」聖雅芒定St. Maria Amandina修女,比利時人,二十八歲:「耶穌,祢揀選了我;除了我的生命、我的心、我的靈魂外,我還有什麼可以報答給祢呢?…. 無論喜夏,都在祢權下,直到死亡結束我的生命。」

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Baptism on June 29

June 29 (last Tuesday) was the Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul. I think it was the happiest day for me this year. That evening, I baptized 11 Chinese people. Most of them were introduced or referred to me by other people and friends in the Chinese community. In the past year, I tailored for them Catechism classes according to their levels and schedules. I am very happy that one of the newly baptized is the result of our weekly Chinese radio program and of my personal website. Among the 11 newly baptized 5 of them also received the Sacrament of Confirmation and 7 of them received 1st Communion.

Since there were 11 people getting baptized, I placed the bone relics of the 11 martyrs of Nowogrodek at the place of Baptism.

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Introductory rites at the entrance of the church.

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Baptismal promises and Baptism

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Christ our Light !!!

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Sacrament of Confirmation.

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1st Communion

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Blessing of Brown Scapular & praying 3 Hail Marys to entrust the newly baptized to Our Lady

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Photo with the newly baptized

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Photo with the newly baptized & godparents

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After Baptism, these new Catholics will continue to receive instructions during summer time, and they will join prayer groups in order to grow in Faith. Please keep them in your prayers.