On the 25th anniversary of the founding of the United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association, groups across the globe are reaffirming their dedication to studying and praying with Scripture. Pope Francis conveyed his apostolic blessing to the association, which has grown in the past quarter-century from its birthplace of Hong Kong to Catholic Mandarin-speaking communities around the world that carry out various Biblical apostolates. The Pope blessed the members, who received a certificate highlighting the organization’s source of mission: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Cecilia Chui, secretary of the association, told CNA that the silver anniversary was celebrated April 28, “together with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of 'Dei Verbum' and 40th anniversary of 'Evangelli Nuntiandi' promulgated by Blessed Pope Paul VI.” These two papal documents deal with Scripture and Evangelization. Marking the 25th anniversary of its founding, the United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association has dedicated 2015 as a Biblical Pastoral Ministry Year, with the aim of making “God’s Word ever more alive in the Church’s life and mission through continued implementation of the inter-related directives of Church teachings in Dei Verbum, Verbum Domini and Evangelii Gaudium.” Partnering with its international network of members and collaborators, the Biblical association will work through a variety of programs, seeking to increase love of Christ through better Biblical knowledge, offer formation through Lectio Divina and Scripture-inspired pastoral activities, encourage witness through lives of discipleship aimed at the New Evangelization, and promote a missionary Church focused on the Gospel of salvation. As part of this effort, the production of 165,000 copies of next year’s Daily Gospel publication is already set for distribution to Chinese Catholics across the globe. Numerous initiatives will be held in Hong Kong, the birthplace of the United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association. The Hong Kong chapter of the organization is hosting workshops with the theme, “Open the Bible for 73 Hours,” corresponding to the 73 books of the Bible. Classes and talks are offered through various Bible institutes, and the Friends of Jesus Passover Online School of Evangelization has announced an international conference on e-Evangelization in Hong Kong next month. On the national level, Taiwan is holding its 12th Biblical Communion Meeting in 2015, along with the Scriptural campaigns, “A Bible for Each Person” and “The Bible in 100 Weeks.” Meanwhile, the Macau Catholic Biblical Association is offering a “Bible in 80 Weeks” formation program and will work with the Claretian Publications in Macau to distribute the recently-produced New Testament Chinese Bible with commentaries and reflections. In addition, some Chinese dioceses are promoting a Family Bible Reading Year, Chui said. The Biblical association’s efforts extend far beyond China. In Kuching, Malaysia, a Chinese Biblical seminar will reflect on the Mysteries of the Rosary. The Brunei Biblical Association will be working to implement Monday as “Bible Reading Day” in parishes throughout the diocese, encouraging communities to study and pray God’s Word together each week. In Singapore, the Mandarin-speaking Catholic Bible Association will focus on Lectio Divina, organizing talks on both the Old and New Testaments. Similarly, efforts will be made in Japan to strengthen Chinese communities in Tokyo and Osaka through Lectio Divina groups that will gather before Sunday Mass. The Chinese Catholic community in Sydney, Australia, will form new Bible sharing groups and collaborate with other communities to organize Bible talks. The Auckland Chinese Catholic Community will be undertaking similar initiatives. Chinese Catholics in Europe will also be participating in Scripture-based initiatives. A community in Italy has committed to form Bible-reading groups to promote Scripture reading among the laity. In Germany, the United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association and another group, China Zentrum, are exploring collaboration opportunities, including working to establish contacts in Munich and Munster. Collaboration is also a goal in Canada, where the Fountain of Love and Life and the United Chinese Catholic Biblical Association will coordinate on a website, as well as TV episodes regarding the tenth Biblical association congress. Chui stressed that as it expands and grows moving forward, the Biblical association is dedicated to its mission. She said the organization “is committed to promoting ongoing study and implementation of papal exhortations 'Dei Verbum' and 'Evangelii Gaudium' and to discover diversified ways to allow the Bible to inspire the Church’s pastoral activities and missionary outreach.”
Catholic News Agency was founded in 2004, in response to Pope St. John Paul II’s call for a “New Evangelization." It is an apostolate of EWTN News.