Sharing: 2015 Pilgrimage to Shanghai, Taiyuan and Qingdao

 Mrs. Eliza and I went to Sheshan Basilica (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheshan_Basilica), Shanghai on Sep 10, 2015.  It’s located inside the Sheshan Forest Park.  Around half of the Basilica is closed from the visitors but one of the volunteers graciously led us to the Our Lady of Sheshan statue (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Mother_of_Sheshan), which is placed on the left hand side of the altar.  Another volunteer led us another Church in the lower part of the hill as I want to give a way booklets to the Sister and the Seminary compound. 

          Our next stop was St. Ignatius Cathedral Shanghai (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Ignatius_Cathedral,_Shanghai).  Unfortunately the Cathedral was under renovation so we went to the Chapel at the Diocesan Centre.  
      We also went to Waitan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bund) and enjoyed the Xiao Long Bao (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaolongbao).

          Fr. Duan was our host during our stay in Taiyuan.  We went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrow, Dong Er Gou (http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/shrines/China/China-OL-Sorrows.html); the Church in the Liu He Village, which is the biggest Catholic Village in China (95% Catholics with total around 7,000 parishioners); the Church in Gu Cheng Yi Village (which was the hometown of two of Martyr Saints of China) to meet Fr. Meng, whom I met in Hong Kong; the family of Fr. Liu; the Church in Feng Xi Village to meet another Fr. Duan, whom I met in Hong Kong, Br. Xing’s family, the Church and the ex-convent of Beata Maria Assunta Pallota, FMM (https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Assunta_Pallotta) in Dong Er Gou Village; traditional house of one of the parishioners,  which was built in Yaodong type (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaodong), and a grape farm.  We arrived just in time for the Sunday Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace (http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/resources/shrines/China/China-OL-Grace.html) in Taiyuan dialect.  One of the pilgrimages walked without shoes for the 3-5 km station of the cross from the bottom hill to the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace and it’s a common practice in the old days even though the road was made of small stones.  Half of the pilgrims sit on the floor as the pews are not enough for the Sunday Mass. There are around 800 parishioners in one of the village Churches but only around 100 parishioners are still in the village, mostly elderly, because the rest of parishioners moved out to the city.  There are only half of the parishioners are still in the other village Church.  It’s rather a common reality for the Churches in the villages in China as the impact of urbanization.  There are several Churches along the way.    
 We went to St. Michael Cathedral Qingdao (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Michael%27s_Cathedral,_Qingdao), which is one of the Window of Qingdao, on Sep 14.  The entrance fee is RMB 10.00 with several exception e.g. elderly.  When we said that we are Catholics, we got exception too.  Fr. Feng and two sisters were at the entrance counter when we left.   There were around 20 couples had their pre-wedding pictures in front of the Cathedral.  We also went to Small Qingdao, Television Tower, Zhong Shan Park, Huang island, Zhan Bridge and enjoyed the seafood including the Star Sea.
          I am grateful to Mrs. Eliza for her invitation for this pilgrimage to see the beauty, devotion and dynamic of several Churches in the northern part of China.

Hong Kong, September 21, 2015

Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible