China’s Beijing Cathedral Reopens Celebrating 101 Baptisms

The Archdiocese of Beijing has marked the reopening of the cathedral church after a six months closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic by baptizing 101 new Catholics.

Newsroom (27/07/2022 5:15 PM Gaudium Press) Archbishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing led the reopening ceremony of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady Cathedral on July 16. In the evening, Archbishop Li baptized the new Catholics, primarily adults, and also administered other sacraments, including Communion and Confirmation, Fides news agency reported.

Hundreds of young and old Catholics lined up in front of the cathedral gate in the morning, visibly enthusiastic about resuming spiritual, liturgical and pastoral activities as the government eased Covid-19 regulations.

Many Catholics took time to pray in front of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes at the church in China’s capital before entering the cathedral itself.

The cathedral complex, with the church, the courtyard and the sacristy, was again filled with prayers, spiritual songs, smiles and the “noise” of the children.

Emotion and joy were evident on their faces and those of the community, but also on the catechists, priests, nuns and lay volunteers who accompanied them on their faith journey during the pandemic, overcoming a thousand difficulties, Fides reported.

Archbishop Li reminded the faithful to live the gifts of baptism in their lives.

“Through baptism, you are children of light, through confirmation you are sent by Christ. Baptism is not a mere ritual, but an interior conversion. Live an authentic life of faith now, put on a new spirit and a new identity, which is Christian … you shall be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, incarnating Christ and bearing witness to our Lord with love and works”.

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The prelate also pointed out that as Christians, they must be ready to give witness of faith amid challenging situations.

“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them,” the prelate said, referring to Psalm 126.

The new baptisms in Beijing have reportedly enthralled the local Catholic community when the state-sponsored persecution and bullying of Christians have intensified as the Chinese Communist Party escalates a crackdown on religions in the country.

(Via UCA News)

Compiled by Raju Hasmukh



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