After 100 years without a new church, the Catholic Community of Lu Dong in the Diocese of Tong Zhou in China celebrated the consecration of two new churches where the faithful can now attend Mass and pray daily.
According to the Fides news agency, on August 4 and 5 Bishop Jose Tong Chang Ping, together with forty priests, presided at the consecrations of the two new churches, one for each of the two towns that comprise the 3,000 strong local Catholic community.
“The celebrations included a large Eucharistic Procession, festivities and fireworks in honor of the Immaculate Conception, to whom the second church was dedicated,” Fides reported.
Since 1995, thanks to the efforts of priests and faithful and with the help of Catholics from other communities, prayer groups, formation centers, a small shrine and a home for the elderly have all been established.
The Diocese of Tong Zhou, a Italian Franciscan mission, currently has 12,000 Catholics, 26 priests, 40 religious and 3 seminarians. Another 20 seminarians are studying and serving in other communities or dioceses. The Diocese administers five clinics and two shelters.