Chinese Catholics begin recovery from devastating earthquake
Chinese Catholics begin recovery from devastating earthquake

.- After a massive 7.9 magnitude earthquake on Monday, priests in the devastated southwestern province of Sichuan are trying to help survivors and assess the extent of damage and loss of life in their communities. Bishops and priests are asking for relief aid and prayers, while Catholic organizations are soliciting donations to help quake victims.

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs said at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday afternoon that the quake has killed 11,921 people and destroyed 500,000 buildings in Sichuan and its neighboring provinces.

Local priests told UCA News that information is still incomplete, in part because telephone systems were disrupted and roads damaged.  They confirmed at least one church collapsed and dozens of others were partially damaged by the earthquake, which measured 7.9 on the Richter scale.

Father Simon Li Zhigang, administrator of the Diocese of Chengdu, told UCA News that he could not reach by phone the priests in Wenchuan, where there are about 100 Catholics, or Beichuan, where there are several hundred.

The priest said that a layman who worked at a church in Mianzhu was killed by falling rocks and debris, while two other laypeople were seriously injured.  Two churches in the diocese had partially collapsed, while one was completely flattened.  Another thirty have been damaged.

In the Diocese of Nanchon, about 150 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake, Sister Wang Yan told UCA News that the activities room added to their church building shook for seven minutes, casting almost everything to the floor. 

“I thought it was the end of the world,” she said.

Dozens of laypeople were staying in the wood-built Nanchong city church because they feared sleeping in their damaged brick houses, she said.

Father Xie Bangyong in the Diocese of Chongquing said that priests had divided into groups to see if area Catholics were safe and to assess damage to old churches.  All priests, nuns, and laypeople were safe, he said, though a non-Catholic church maintenance worker’s leg was broken during the quake.  Fissures had also appeared in some old churches.

Auxiliary Bishop Paul He Zeqing of Wanzhou said that a residence for priests and another for nuns in Liangping had become unsafe.  “Other churches, all newly built, are not affected,” he said.

Bishop He led Catholics in prayer for the quake victims at the Tuesday morning Mass.  He also urged them to donate to relief efforts.

In eastern China, the Diocese of Shanghai has donated 1 million yuan, about $143,000, for earthquake relief.  Bishop of Shanghai Aloysius Jin Luxian directed all parish priests to pray for victims and survivors during special Eucharistic Adoration sessions scheduled for Sunday.  He also told parish priests to donate Mass collections for that day to relief efforts.

Underground Bishop Joseph Wei Jingyi, from Qiqihar in the northeastern Heilongjiang province, wrote and circulated a prayer he wrote asking God to look after those spiritually and physically wounded by the disaster.

In southern China, the Tianrun Service in the Diocese of Jiangmen urged Catholics through its website to donate medical aid, clothes, tents and money it said it would send through the government's civil affairs department or other charity organizations, UCA News reports.

The northern China-based Jinde Charities, a national Catholic non-governmental organization, has also appealed on its website for prayers and donations for earthquake survivors.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »


Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: