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News from the USCCA and the church in China

Book Circle: February 2024

On Saturday, Feb 17, 2024, the online Book Circle met for the first time in the new year. Participants came from diverse backgrounds, including a few Chinese students studying in the US.

We discussed two pieces of writing: the conclusion to Fr. Jean Charbonnier’s 2007 book, Christians in China, and John Wu, Jr.’s article about the friendship between his father John C. H. Wu and Thomas Merton, "God-inebriated." Charbonnier’s observations led to some first-hand personal reflections on the evolving situation in Chinese churches.

The Wu article opened up fascinating conversations about the dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism. Both texts point to the contemporary relevance of interfaith dialogue for the growth of the global church.

Stoked by these two articles, the Book Circle will look forward to reading more selections from the book Merton and the Tao: Dialogue with John Wu and the Ancient Sages in upcoming sessions.

Food for thought from our discussion:

  1. How important is the unity and harmony between different Chinese Christian communities?

  2. Could the Buddhist concept of emptiness give us a creative interpretation of the Trinity?

  3. Both Merton and Wu believe the vocation of a monk is to quest for the truth wherever it may be found.

  4. How does this desire for truth apply to all Christians?

The Second Book Circle

On Saturday, March 9, 2024 (U.S. time zones: 7 am PT, 8 am MT, 9 am CT, 10 am ET).

We will have our second meeting to discuss Arturo Sosa, S.J.’s “The Church in China: Notes for ‘writing the future’” (La Civilta Cattolica, 2019)

Father Sosa is the superior general of the Jesuits. He said the Jesuits have sought, are seeking, and will continue to enculturate themselves among the Chinese and there to seek the voice of God among the people. He spells out the Gospel dimensions of such a presence in this article.


  1. How do you understand the relationship between the readings last time and Father Sosa’s Notes for “writing the future”?

  2. Father Sosa accepts the likelihood that the future in China will be increasingly secular and urban. What are the challenges and possible blessings of “urban Catholicism”?

  3. Father Sosa asserts that the new era of humanity will demand significant changes for us as well as for China. What is the best pastoral practice, according to Father Sosa, that the church can contribute in our Friendship Ministry ? What role might the Christian churches play?

Who Might Benefit from the Book Circles?

  • Chinese Christians interested in the growth of Chinese churches

  • Emerging scholars interested in the dialogue between Christianity and Chinese culture

  • All those interested in forming a more profound friendship between China and the United States

Again, welcome to the 2024 USCCA Book Circle.

Peace and blessings of the Lenten season.

Mary Sluka, USCCA Board Member 

Fr. Hugh O'Donnell, C.M., USCCA Board Member

Kathy Stout, Ph.D. in Theology and adjunct professor, The University of Dayton, “The Art of Dialogue and Proclamation: A Case Study with John C. H. Wu (1899-1986)”


  • Please be invited to share this Book Circle Blog post with colleagues, friends, and family members who might seek to join us in conversation and dialogue.


USCCA Mission:

Inspired by the Gospel, the mission of the US-China Catholic Association is to build bridges of friendship and dialogue between people of China and the United States by offering educational, service, and cultural programs in support of the Church and the larger society.

USCCA Vision:

The vision of the US-China Catholic Association is to build friendship and cooperation between Catholics in China and in the United Sates for the flourishing of society.


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