Thirty four married and single youth, five couples, a boy and I went from Holy Family Church to Maria Rosa Mystica Sanctuary 玫瑰山庄 (Mei Gui Shan Zhuang) Fuzhou on May 28 9.00 p.m. by bus. Fr. Lu gave blessing before we left. It took around 13.5 hours from Shenzhen to the sanctuary including three hours rest in a resting area because it was prohibited to drive at 2.00 – 5.00 a.m. Upon arriving, Ms. Lin assigned everyone’s room. I discussed the agenda with Sr. Zheng before lunch.
Fr. Chen, who is working in Fuqing, visited me before the group and I walked up for station of the cross led by Mr. Liu and Mrs. Zhang. Two young women from Shantou came by high speed train to join our pilgrimage. A group from Handan was praying when we arrived in the Church so we prayed together with them. Sr. Zheng gave explanation about the Sanctuary to both groups and then we walked to the statue of Our Lady of Rosa Mystica and then had dinner. We gathered in the class after dinner for self-introduction and ice breaking games, followed by praying the rosary in the chapel led by Ms. Zhuo. Several youth expressed their appreciation for this pilgrimage and wish there will be more youth gatherings in the future.
I asked Fr. Meng through Sr. Zheng to celebrate the Mass according to the Prayer book prepared by Hong Kong Diocese for World Day of Prayer for Church in China. In a letter to Chinese Catholics in 2007, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his hope that the liturgical feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians on May 24, might “become an occasion for the Catholics of the whole world to be united in prayer with the Church which is in China.”
I invited a youth group from Fuzhou to join our program on Saturday morning. Ms. Lin of Fuzhou led our morning prayer according to Breviary, which is available on the application of cellphone and then Mr. Lin gave introduction about their group followed by introduction about our youth group by Mr. Wu. Ms. Luo read the message of Pope Francis for the 49th World Communications Day https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/communications/documents/papa-francesco_20150123_messaggio-comunicazioni-sociali.html, while showing the closing Mass of Asian Youth Day 2014 in mute mode. I asked Br. Stephen to translate it to Putonghua as no Chinese version is available on the internet. Then the group watched a Putonghua version of short video “Look Up” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7dLU6fk9QY. Mr. Liu led the small group sharing, followed by big group sharing including showing the drawing of their small group sharing. I arranged their sitting arrangement upon entering the classroom so that couples would sit together and there would be one Fuzhou youth and four-five Shenzhen youth in one table and then two tables had the small group sharing together. I also gave short summary followed by praying together prayer to the Holy Family composed by Pope Francis. Before having lunch, several of Shenzhen youth picked up holy water while several others and I had conversation with the youth from Fuzhou.
It’s heavy rain around 11.30 a.m. Thanks be to God it’s stopped around 12.30 p.m. and we left for Ningde, around 2 hours by bus, followed by 20-30 minutes on a van going up to mountain. We prayed for a while in the Church and then walked up to pray and pick up holy water in one of the cave led by two sisters and a guide. It’s known as Bishop Peter Sanz and Jorda’s cave (白主教洞 Bai Zhu Jiao Dong, http://translate.google.com.hk/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.santopedia.com/santos/san-pedro-sanz-y-jorda&prev=searcho, he was one of the 120 Martyr Saints of China canonized on 1 October 2000). One of the sisters gave explanation about Bishop Peter Sanz and Jorda before going down for dinner. We arrived in Xiamen around midnight.
After breakfast, we left for the pier to go to Gulangyu Island http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulangyu_Island. We were on the 10:30 a.m. ferry and had free time upon arriving on the island. Several youth and I had lunch together and then went to the Church, which was closed. We went back to Xiamen around 2.30 p.m. We prayed the rosary and sung several praise and worship songs on the way to Shenzhen and arrived in Shenzhen around midnight.
It’s a blessing to plan and join this youth pilgrimage to see their devotion, their youth spirit, their joy, and their care for one another. Mr. Wu did a lot of things before and during the pilgrimage including making sure nobody will be left behind by dividing the group into small groups and set up a group chatting in we chat which is still continue till now. Here is the link of the pictures (from several cameras and not in order): http://share.shutterfly.com/
Here is sharing from two participants of the pilgrimage:
Hong Kong, June 3, 2015
Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible