Sharing: Jan 2018 Trip to Hebei


I left for Handan on Jan 20, 2018, by train from Shenzhen around 8 hours.  Fr. Zhuo picked me up and then we went to an orphanage in Daming.  Fr. Lu asked me to bring the relics of St. John Bosco for Fr. Zhuo.  The relics will be placed at a newly built Church in his village.
Sr. Guo, whom I met during summer school at Holy Family Church Shenzhen, is the head of the orphanage belongs to their community.  The orphanage was started in 1984. 
I visited the elderly home, convent and also the junior high boarding school located in the minor seminary compound.   There are 280 students, all Catholics, in the boarding school. Bishop Sun said the Sunday Mass in Daming Church. There were 3 marching bands from three villages and the procession was started from the end of the street.  Fr. Liu brought me to their Church in Dong Yang Shan Village, around 30 minutes by car.  There are several chapels in this parish.  I attended the (second) Sunday Mass before leaving for Handan city with three Catholics. 
 Fr. Zhang showed me around the Nan Men Lin Church including his office (教区办公室秘书长), social service office, and youth service office.  A Mateo Ricci volunteer is working in the social service office besides two sisters.  Fr. Zhang and I visited Bishop Stephen Yang, who will be 98 years after Lunar New Year, and he still can write Our Father in Latin and concelebrate Mass.  We also went to the construction site of the new Cathedral.  The government stops all construction works from November 2017 until March 2018 to minimize the dust.
 Mrs. Yang and her husband brought me to Fei Xiang Church to meet Fr. Xu.  There are two sisters working in this Church.  He said it’s mandatory for the Catholics to attend a 5 days study in a year.  The study day is arranged based on their available dates and when there are at least 100 persons.  Then, we went to Fei Fei Guang to visit Mr. and Mrs. Liu. Mrs. Liu attended the Discipleship Classes, it’s four times 10 days a year for three years.  There are more than 7,000 people from several cities attended the classes.  The participants are not allowed to use a cellphone during the program.
Mrs. Liu showed me around including to Peng Cheng Church and the eye clinic, which is run by the sisters.          
 Mrs. Liu and I went to Cao Zhuang Church with their pastor to attend the priesthood ordination.  I sat in the last row of the sisters' section.  There were more than 90 priests during the ordination.  Fr. Huai shared his mission experiences in Guizhou during the homily.  The diocese decided to have priesthood ordination Mass on the feast of the conversion of St. Paul with the hope to raise missionary spirit among the priests.  Here is the link of the priesthood ordination: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/jEAnNnJMPXTnufvWu1jcXw.
I visited Srs. Hao and Wang in their convent beside meeting their Superior Sr. Zhu.  Fr. Zhao drove Sr. Hao and me to Ming Guan Church and Hospital (for eye, children and internal organs) and then to Shi Zhuang Church to meet Bishop Sun.   There were several men working in metal construction to be sent to Fr. Huai in Guizhou because it’s cheaper in Handan besides it may not available in Guizhou.
Bishop Sun invited me for supper and attending the second anniversary Mass for a migrant community.       
Mrs. Yang Ping and Fr. Zhang accompanied me to visit the diocesan training center and youth office in Guangfu.  There is a program from Poland and Marriage Encounter at this training center.
Sr. Wen picked me up at Baoding train station and then we went to Anzhuang with their Superior Sr. Jiang.  Their convent is across from the Church.  We attended evening Mass in the chapel with the heater.  The Church was built more than 100 years ago.   The pastor, Fr. Wang, is from Anzhuang village.
Sr. Wen and I went to Baoding Cathedral and then met Bishop An and several Catholics from his village Anzhuang.  We went to Dong Lv Church and to their convent.  The convent was built by one of the Catholics, two of the sisters are working in their factory.  Three alumnae of Maryknoll China Educators and Formators Project (https://maryknollmagazine.org/2016/09/nurturing-the-church-in-china/) Fr. Meng, Sr. Shen and Sr. Maria picked me up at the Shijiazhuang train station.  We had dinner with Fr. Su, Sr. Rong (both alumnae) and Fr. Jin, one of the staffs at the Shijiazhuang seminary.  Mr. Yan and a sister, who is studying in the seminary, visited me.
Fr. Su showed me around the seminary and Fr. Li (alumnae) showed me around Hebei Faith Press and Jinde Charities offices.  Fr. Wang and Mr. Mei visited me for a while.  I also had a chance to meet Fr. Zhang, who is the founder of Hebei Faith Press and Jinde Charities.  Sr. Maria is the head of an elderly home so she showed Fr. Wang and I around the elderly home.  Fr. Meng is working at Jinde Charities.  Fr. Su brought Fr. Wang and I to the office of Sr. Shen at Jinde Counseling. 
Fr. Su, a sister and I went to a convent in Anguo.  Fr. Su and I gave workshop “8 Highly Effective Habits in Serving the Church” for the volunteers.  There were around 90 Catholics attended the workshop.  It’s a monthly workshop arranged by Baoding Diocese.  One of the participants said the games made the workshop easier to be understood than the homily.  It’s the first time for them to have a small sharing group. 
I left for Shenzhen then Hong Kong on Jan 31, 2018.  I am very grateful for this rich experiences trip: visit local communities both registered and unregistered, pilgrimage and giving a workshop.    
Here is the link of the pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/11848830@N02/albums/with/72157692169652554

Hong Kong, February 2, 2018


Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

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