ASIA/CHINA-With the Day of Prayer for the Church in China "the springtime of the Church" has arrived

Shao Guan (Agenzia Fides) - With the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China "spring has arrived for the church of Shao Guan", in the diocese of Guang Zhou: is what the local priest said. In fact on May 24 the local community celebrated the "World Day of Prayer for the Church in China" proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, during the feast of St. Mary Help of Christians, but also had other reasons for joy: the ordination of two new priests, the first celebrated in the church of Shao Guan since 1949; and the inauguration of a new residence for the local clergy in a complex where there is a new cultural and pastoral Center dedicated to the two holy Salesians, St. Louis Versiglia (1873-1930) and St. Callisto Caravario (1903-1930). Over 500 faithful came from all over the south east of mainland China (but also from Hong Kong and Macao), along with dozens of women religious from different congregations, to take part in the solemn celebration presided by His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Gan Qiu Jun, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Guang Zhou, and concelebrated by about fifty priests. As reported to Fides by the Communications Office of the local Church, Bishop Gan encouraged the faithful to prayer and active participation in evangelization. That of Shao Guan, he remarked, is a thriving community full of vitality in pastoral and missionary commitment, as evidenced by the 108 baptisms, between children and adults celebrated during the Easter Vigil, The Archdiocese of Guang Zhou currently has 17 priests, about 40 women religious, 16 major seminarians, 50 churches and chapels and on the whole 60 thousand faithful. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 29/05/2012)