101 baptisms mark reopening of Beijing Cathedral

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

July 29, 2022

(Photo AsiaNews)

BEIJING: The Archdiocese of Beijing marked the reopening of the cathedral church after a six-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic by baptizing 101 new Catholics.

Archbishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing led the reopening ceremony of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Our Lady on July 16. In the evening, Archbishop Li baptized the new Catholics, mostly adults, and also administered other sacraments, including Communion and Confirmation.

Hundreds of Catholics, young and old, lined outside the cathedral door in the morning, visibly excited to resume spiritual, liturgical and pastoral activities as the government relaxed COVID-19 regulations.

Many Catholics took the time to pray outside the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes at the church in the Chinese capital before entering the cathedral itself.

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

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

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

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

The Prelate also stressed that as Christians they must be ready to witness to faith in difficult situations.
“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seeds to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying with them sheaves,” the Prelate said, referring to Psalm 126 .

The new baptisms in Beijing are said to have captivated the local Catholic community at a time when state-sponsored persecution and intimidation of Christians has intensified as the Chinese Communist Party steps up its crackdown on religions in the country. — ucanews.com

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