Dalù -- a pseudonym he uses to protect his identity as he still has family in China -- said that his family had instilled in him a love for truth, beauty, and goodness in his childhood.
“In fact, before I accepted the faith my spiritual world was completely ready, just waiting for the opportunity. My values could be summed up in three words: truth, goodness, and beauty,” he said.
“After joining the choir, the priest asked me to receive faith training. After half a year of study I learned the Catholic doctrine and the current status of the Chinese Church,” Dalù said.
He was catechized throughout 2010, a time when China’s Catholics were divided between the “underground church” and churches officially registered with the government and the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association.
The church choir Dalù was a part of was an “above-ground church” registered with the government.
“Before contacting the church, I did not know that there are two types of Chinese churches, official and underground,” Dalù said.
“Thankfully the priest who led me was a very determined Catholic priest,” he added. “He told us the truth about the Gospel, which is completely consistent with his personal behavior.”
Dalù soon came to discover that Chinese Catholics attending churches officially registered with the government have to discern which priests can be trusted.
“In China there are many official church priests who are very loyal to the Vatican and the pope, no different from underground churches, but some priests have been bought, completely unfit,” he said.
“There is a church near my house, only 600 meters away, but the priest of that church is completely controlled by the Patriotic Association,” he added.
Instead, Dalù would travel 10 miles away from his neighborhood in Shanghai to attend Mass with the priest who catechised him.
“My priest told me if you don’t read the Bible you don’t know Jesus, so I read the Bible every day,” he said.
(Story cotinues below)
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“With the help of my priest, I began to understand the faith by reading the Bible, and I was completely attracted."
Dalù was baptized in Shanghai on December 20, 2010, at the age of 47.
“When the priest poured holy water on my head, I cried like a baby,” he said.
“Never before, like this. After the baptism, I cried at home for three days ... because I knew that I was a sinner and that the baptism washed away all of the sins that I had committed before and I became a new person. This is a great grace."
Like his chosen confirmation saint, St. Paul, Dalù said that he changed a lot after his conversion.
“I have had a bad temper,” he said. “After accepting baptism, I began to learn to repent. I got the strength from the Bible, according to Jesus, to learn how to be a husband and father.”