Bishop John Tong Hon (second right) and other leaders at a meeting of the Hong Kong Central Council of Catholic Laity
Church leaders believe the growth of new Catholics to be baptized this Easter will further boost their evangelization works.
Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong announced at a meeting on March 2 that there will be 3,400 adults ready for baptism at Easter, 11 percent more than the record of 3,040 new Catholics last year.
“However, we should not be satisfied only on the numerical growth. Quality is equally important,” he reminded the parish representatives at the annual general meeting of the Hong Kong Central Council of Catholic Laity
He also revealed that the Year of the Laity
will extend to 2012, hoping that the local Catholics could live an active and profound faith life with various organised activities available to them.
The encouraging result is joint efforts of pastoral workers and laypeople and is certainly a boost to evangelization works, said Bishop Tong.
Catholics make witnesses through their acts and deeds as well as their prayers which also contribute, he added.
The laity council, formed by all parish councils and lay associations in the diocese, is the main promoter of the Year of the Laity.
Amelia Kwan, executive secretary of the council, agreed that the evangelization atmosphere is good in recent years, as seen from the quantity of promotional materials that different parishes obtained from the council.
Citing the Years of Evangelization 2003-05, Kwan thinks the special themes adopted by the local Church since 2002 have aroused awareness of the mission of laity.
Even though natural disasters around the world may prompt some people to search for faith, she thinks demonstrating good Christian deeds and acts is a more important influence on others.
The Hong Kong diocese has welcomed more than 2,000 new adult Catholics at Easter each year since 2004 and it reached a record last year.