Sharing: 2017 Trip to Chaonan

Mr. Zhou and Ms. Chen, two volunteers at Holy Family Church, invited me to attend their sacrament of matrimony in Xin Min – Chaonan on January 16, 2017.  Mrs. Hu and I went by bus not long after the daily Mass.  It took around 4-5 hours from Shenzhen.  It’s a high bus with reclining seat and toilet.  Mr. Zhou and his brother met us at the bus stop and then they rent a small car to go to their village.   
We had late lunch with gong fu tea at Mr. Zhou’s house besides having a conversation with his family.  His father accompanied us to walk to St. John’s Church at Xin Zhong village at around 5:00 p.m.  It’s one-floor building on the outside but there is second floor (around half of the building) on the inside for the mini Grotto, two bedrooms (one for guest priests or sisters and one for a layman) and one toilet.  Unfortunately, there is a public toilet in front of the Church.  Most of the villagers are not Catholics.  The old Church was built in 1882 and the latest renovation finished on 2014.  There are only one or two Masses during the year as the pastor should manage around 18 Churches.

The parishioners started to pray the evening prayer in Chaozhou language since 6:30 p.m. for more than an hour.  The pastor is not available that night so they invited Fr. Li came from another Church.  It’s a time for confession too.  The Church was full with their family and relatives and it’s only 1/3 of their clan as many of them are working outside the village and will go home during Chinese New Year.  The preferable Sacrament of Matrimony in this area is Mondays or Thursdays in Chaozhou language and they usually look for the good day based on the birthday of the bride and groom.  Their date of marriage was decided on the previous Sunday.
Mrs. Hu, Mrs. Ma, Mr. Zhou, his brother, his brother’s friend and I had late supper in a restaurant after the Mass.  Mrs. Hu and I stayed overnight at Mrs. Ma’s house.  Mrs. Ma told us that her mother usually goes to Holy Family Church so she showed us her mother’s picture and I recognize her, small world!  I invited Mrs. Ma to pray together as his husband would have surgery the next morning. The surgery went well.
Mrs. Ma dropped us at Mr. Zhou’s house to have breakfast and then left for Shenzhen first by motorcycle with passenger seats on the back and then by bus. They gave me a bag of sweet potatoes from their farm.

Hong Kong, January 18, 2017

Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

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

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