ludger-b-day-party.jpgDear Doms and JPIBC Friends,

Christmas greetings of peace, joy and hope from Hong Kong on the Feast of Holy Family!

Following the presentation of the Silver Edition of Basic Bible Seminar (BBS), two memorable Word-events took place in Hong Kong (70th BBS) and Macau (8th United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association (UCCBA) Meeting) with the meaningful presence of originator of BBS, Fr. Ludger in October/November 2007. This year also marked the celebration of the 100th birth anniversary of Venerable Fr. Gabriel Maria Allegra OFM, the promoter of Catholic translation of the Holy Bible into Chinese, with a special mass celebrated by Cardinal Joseph Zen on December 26.

The number “70” was the special link for the father of BBS and the Filipino community to gather around Bible at the Star of the Sea Parish in Hong Kong . It was a very joyful occasion for the climax of the 70th BBS, organised by the Hong Kong Filipino Catholic Biblical Pastoral Ministry (HKFCBPM), to be celebrated on October 28 by Fr. Ludger whose 70th birth year falls in 2007. Around 50 Filipino graduates received their BBS Certificate from Fr. Ludger and the Spiritual Director of HKFCBPM, Fr. Osvaldo Metz SVD during the Eucharistic celebration. A congratulatory message to the graduates from Sr. Tammy Saberon SSC, foundress of the HKFCBPM, was read out by me. The event was also graced by the special attendance of two mainland Chinese priests, Fr. Paul Zhou and Fr. Joseph Gan who felt honoured to be witnesses of the BBS graduation ceremony.

Following the conclusion of the closing liturgy, a mini feast of the Word continued with the celebration of Fr. Ludger’s 70th birthday in a restaurant. A heart-shaped birthday cake and a good variety of delicious dishes were ordered for the enjoyable party. Later in the evening, Fr. Ludger attended a live radio interview with the Metro Plus for the “Hour of Love” program and the BBS graduation was mentioned.

More than 110 people from the Chinese diaspora attended the 8th UCCBA Meeting hosted by the Macau diocese from November 1 to 5 at the Vila Sao Jose convention centre. Fr. Ludger was an active participant to share his insights about biblical pastoral ministry and moderated two interest group sessions on Lectio Divina. Apart from my role as Liaison Secretary of UCCBA, I also represented the HKFCBPM at the Macau meeting.

The Chinese biblical meeting, with the theme “Experiences of Community Building with the Word of God”, gathered delegates and guests from Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States of America and Vietnam.

Giving witnesses to testify that “God’s Word is truly alive and active” (Heb 4:12) in personal, communitarian, ecclesial, social, political and cultural contexts by the participating places were the focus and dynamics of the meeting. At the threshold of commemorating the 40th birth anniversary of the Chinese Holy Bible in 2008, participants of the eighth UCCBA meeting collectively made the following eight resolutions as future planning for the ministry of the Word:

1) Align with the Seventh Plenary Assembly of the CBF (theme: “Word of God – Source of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace”) and the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (theme: “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church”) in 2008 to promote the biblical pastoral ministry.

2) Strengthen communion and service of love and fulfil the historic mission of reconciliation, under the illumination of God’s Word.

3) Enhance praying with the Bible and spiritual life so as to witness God’s Word with the Chinese face.

4) Intensify formation of bible reading group leaders.

5) Make good use of technology and the mass communication media to promote popularisation of reading the Bible.

6) Promote the work of the UCCBA through networking, sharing of resources and the establishment of a foundation to assist the deficient regions.

7) Create new ways for people to access Sacred Scripture, getting in touch with the Word.

8) Following the example of Holy Mary, Mother of God, to give birth and nurture Jesus Christ with her own flesh and blood, we are willing to spend our entire life to bring God’s Word to the world.

As we will enter into a “World Year of the Bible” in 2008, let’s continue to join hands in making God’s Word ever more alive in the hearts of God’s people and in the ministries of the Church.

Merry X’mas and Happy New Year!

United in the Divine Word,

Cecilia Chui

Northeast Asia Subregional Coordinator

Catholic Biblical Federation

Liaison Secretary

United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association

Tel: 852-9319-0403

Email: chuics@netvigator.com