A lantern entry at the contest
Traditional lanterns and fireworks lit up the opening of an exhibition in Kaohsiung to mark a number of milestones including the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Taiwanese city’s diocese.
Archbishop Peter Liu Cheng-chung presided over a ceremony to light the lanterns, which were the results of a diocese-level design contest and all related to a biblical theme.
The ceremony was held outside the 150-year-old Holy Rosary Minor Basilica-Cathedral beside Love River in downtown Kaohsiung. Different sorts of lanterns are on display along the 500-meter riverbank.
The ceremony began with a gospel reading by diocesan vicar-general Father Anthony Huang. Archbishop Liu then delivered his homily, in which he encouraged the faithful to be salt of the earth and light of the world.
Reminding the natural disasters in recent years, he prayed that everyone might use their love to be reconciled with God and that Taiwan could enjoy a prosperous future.
Huang Chao-hui, department head of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs, praised the Church for its past 50 years of contributions. He especially mentioned how the Church had taken up many charitable works in the 1960s, a time when Taiwan's economy was in bad shape and the Church’s good works had helped stabilize the society.
He also thanked the Church for providing space outside the Basilica, a landmark of Kaohsiung, for the lantern-lighting ceremony.The ceremony, watched by thousands, ended with fireworks which illuminated the Love Pier at the back of the basilica.
The exhibition is organized by the city government and co-hosted by the diocese. It is an annual event, held around the Lantern Festival, the 15th day of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar, but this year’s version is larger in scale as it also celebrates the centenary of the establishment of Taiwan.
Catholicism was introduced to Kaohsiung in 1859. It was erected as a diocese in 1961.
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