Chinese Community Holiday Celebrations

January 15, 2015 by  
Filed under China, Director's Blog

The Chinese Community at St. James the Greater Church located in Boston’s Chinatown, had an eventful Christmas season. Early on in the month of December, a group of lay members of the community performed Christmas carols in a visit to South Cove Manor & Rehabilitation in Quincy. As it got closer to Christmas, the community hosted a one-day Advent retreat. On Christmas Day and New Year’s Day the community also gathered to celebrate the holidays and end the year.

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Saturday afternoon,December 12, 2014, the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) lay group and the choir of the Boston Chinese Catholic Community visited the South Cove Manor & Rehabilitation Center in Quincy. In addition to Christmas carols they also sang festive songs and performed Yuanchi dances. Afterwards, the group gathered at St. James the Greater for authentic food, sharing of gifts and other festive programs.

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On December 20th, 2014, Fr. Peter Meng facilitated an Advent Retreat for Boston’s Chinese Catholic community. This year’s theme was “Prayer & Life/Living”. The day-long retreat was conducted in Mandarin with Cantonese translation (as needed). The day started out with a light breakfast, followed by ¬†two talks and time for self-reflection. After lunch there was Eucharistic Adoration and opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation. Approximately 40 community members participated in this retreat which was concluded with a Saturday Vigil Mass.

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On Christmas Day, the Chinese community of Boston gathered at St. James the Greater Church for a joyful celebration. Holy Mass began at 10:00 am in the upper church and was presided by Parochial Vicar Fr. Peter Shen, with the following concelebrants: Fr. Michael Harrington (Director of the Office of Outreach and Cultural Diversity), Fr. Albert Au, SVD, Fr. Lucas Chan, SJ, and Fr. John Chen, Parochial Vicar of Sacred Heart Church in Quincy. The Mass was celebrated in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Fr. Harrington gave the homily in English and Fr. Au in Cantonese. Both priests shared a Christmas message of humility, light, love, hospitality, kindness and thanksgiving. Following the Mass, all gathered for a buffet lunch, musical performances and a Santa bearing gifts to the children.

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The community also gathered on New Year’s Day for a special celebration, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. A 10:00 am Mass took place at the lower church at St. James the Greater Church and was concelebrated by Fr. Lucas Chan, SJ and Fr. Peter Shen. An inspiring homily was given by Fr. Lucas in Cantonese and English. He reminded the community of the importance of following Blessed Virgin Mary’s example of continuous renewal of faith through reflection, while making gradual and steady progress. Fr. Shen gave a summary of Fr. Lucas’ homily in Mandarin. This celebration was once again, a joyful and faith filled gathering.

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Photos are a courtesy of Paul Lei and Peter of Boston’s Chinese Catholic Community.

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