Updated: May 31, 2021 08:27 AM GMT
A musical project sponsored by Claretian missionaries in Macau offers a message of hope during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Jornal O’Clarim)
Claretian missionaries in Macau have sponsored an audiovisual musical project that seeks to offer hope to people in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic in the former Portuguese colony and beyond.
The project, União — Ligados por Adversidade (Union — Connected by Adversity) is “an extraordinary response to an extraordinary situation,” said FatherJijo Kandamkulathy, director of Claretian Publications in Macau.
The musical was produced in close collaboration with the dioceses of Macau and Hong Kong, two special administrative regions of China.
FatherKandamkulathy said more than 50 musicians from Good Hope School, one of the most prestigious music academies in Hong Kong, participated in the project, while Macau Diocese provided vital support.
Dominic Chan, parish priest of Hong Kong Cathedral, "came to my rescue and introduced me to composer Anthony Cheng. I introduced, in English, the general lines of what I would like to see covered in music and he contacted the lyricist Vansie Kuok, who perfectly incorporated the ideas we had discussed,” the priest told Jornal O’Clarim, the official Portuguese-language publication of Macau Diocese.
The project has different versions for Macau and Hong Kong as the plan for a single clip didn’t succeed due to travel restrictions stemming from the pandemic.
The music is good, but it is just entertainment. Governments, institutions and individuals must be focused on people's livelihoods
“Our initial plans were to produce a video that brought together the bishops, some priests and sisters from the dioceses of Hong Kong and Macau. Once the travel restrictions were maintained, we changed the plans and decided to produce videos in Hong Kong and Macau,” Father Kandamkulathy explained.
The project also featured some leading church figures from Hong Kong including Cardinal John Tong Hon, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha and some priests and nuns.
Father Kandamkulathy noted that the idea of using music to boost the morale of residents has been greeted enthusiastically by the faithful in Macau and across China.
The project also seeks to fill the void left by Cantata Macau, the annual musical festival in Macau suspended last year and this year because of the pandemic.
Father Kandamkulathy, who is known as a man of culture and music, has been one of the event's main organizers.
“Last year we brought the choirs together in an online version of the event, open only to participants. This year, again, the most certain thing is that we will not be able to organize the festival. The music is good, but it is just entertainment. Governments, institutions and individuals must be focused on people's livelihoods. Music festivals can wait. They will have to wait for another year,” said the Claretian missionary.
The Claretians, formerly known as the Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (CMF), are an international Catholic religious order founded by Spanish archbishop and missionary Anthony Mary Claret in Spain in 1849.
The missionary order is known for its ministries relating to devotion to Mother Mary, community life in parishes, youth formation, education and a variety of spiritual and pastoral services.
About 3,000 Claretian priests and brothers are serving in 65 countries. In Asia, Claretian missionaries are active in the Philippines, China, India, South Korea, Indonesia and Timor-Leste.