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Beijing church starts evangelization year

Bishop 'sends forth' his first batch of 50 catechists to spread the Good News

Beijing church starts evangelization year
Bishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing and his priests sign their names to show their commitment to the special year reporter, Beijing

April 14, 2011

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Beijing diocese has sent forth its first batch of 50 catechists at the start of a special year for evangelization. Hundreds of Catholics recently attended the opening ceremony in the courtyard of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, or the South Church, where a large white banner with the words “How beautiful are the feet of the messenger of Good News” hung on one wall. “After six months of preparatory work and prayers, our diocese begins the Year for Evangelization by the Laity today,” Bishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing announced. The special year runs from April 9, 2011 to April 8, 2012. He invited Catholics to become involved in “this holy mission” before pushing open the church door, symbolizing the opening of the yearlong event. In his homily, the 46-year-old prelate reminded Catholics to pray, attend Mass, do charity work and read the Bible every day. They should be a witness for Christ to influence  friends from other religions, he told them. “All catechists should complete formation courses in a serious manner to acquire Church knowledge and then spread the Gospel bravely under the guidance of the Holy Spirit,” he said. After receiving formation for several months, 50 catechists from various parishes were sent forth by Bishop Li in a special ceremony during the opening Mass. “We know this is a gift, an honor, a blessing and most importantly a mission,” a catechist said. The diocese has called on Catholics to “donate a Bible.” The catechists have already responded to the bishop’s appeal to donate more than 400 Bibles to give to catechumens or those being instructed in the faith. After the Mass, Bishop Li led his priests, nuns, the catechists and other attendees in signing their names on the banner to express their commitment to spreading the Good News. Beijing diocese currently has 60 priests serving more than 60,000 laypeople. CH13968.1649
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