Every year, towards the end of December, the group of men religious residing in Macau gather together to have some moments of prayer, partake a meal and sing some carols in the spirit of Christmas. This year 2018 the gathering took place on the 26th of December at Saint Joseph the Worker Parish, run by the Comboni Fathers. Around 50 religious men from different Institutes and ages were present. Some of them, veterans in religious life; others, still in the stage of institutional formation.
To begin with, at 6:30 pm and following the program outline, the local parish priest, Fr. Manuel Machado MCCJ, gave to everyone a warm, fraternal welcome. Then, the evening Prayer began, led by Fr. Fausto GÃ³mez OP. The psalms and the gospel canticle were chanted. During the intercessory prayer, there was also a short moment to pray for those who had entrusted themselves to our prayers, for the poor and for the victims of the recent natural disaster in Indonesia. The Vespers ended with the singing of â€œSalve Reginaâ€.
Afterwards, all present there proceeded to the parish hall for communal gathering and the singing of some Christmas songs together before the fraternal agape. It was beautiful indeed seeing people from different countries in the world together in the name of the One who came to redeem the world. Time to share with others oneâ€™s life as religious, oneâ€™s experiences in the mission and spending some moments listening to one another.
After the meal, the program continued with the singing of the most renowned Christmas song, the â€œSilent Nightâ€, in the different languages of those present. The very occasion was closed with the powerful singing of â€œGloria in Excelsis Deoâ€ by our Dominican brothers, and the final blessing by Fr. Mario Bonfaini CMF. An evening to remember in our journeyâ€™s life.
A Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!
Andre Pereira and Stephen Lej Kapaw