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News from the USCCA and the church in China

The Journey of Lent: Palm Sunday


Palm Sunday: A Meditation- Remembrance of celebration and sufferings.  

   

The USCCA invites you to participate in the journey of Lent.


The Palm Sunday liturgy acknowledges the beginning of Holy Week. Churches are often filled. It is essential to reflect on how we are united with other people in the churches worldwide who also receive their blessed palms. Of course, this first part of the Palm Sunday liturgy recalls Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. These people knew of and wished to celebrate the ministry of Jesus, which we know from the four Gospel narratives.


Photo by Father Rob Carbonneau, C.P., Ph.D. 

   

       Then, the Palm Sunday liturgy takes on a new perspective. This year, 2024, we will listen to Mark 14: 1-15:47. This passion narrative invites us to be observant.


When coupled with the Palm Sunday experience, we would do well to concentrate on the celebrations and sufferings of our lives. To live with a mature faith, we must be aware of both dimensions.

As we proceed into Holy Week 2024,

  • What two dynamic joys are present for you now?

  • What two heavy crosses are you carrying at this time?


For many Chinese international students who arrive to study in the US, experiencing "dynamic joys and heavy crosses" can be isolating. With this in mind, the USCCA launched its Chinese and American Friendship Ministry (CAAFM). It aims to broaden engagement with students from China who come to the U.S. for university education. In the spirit of Pope Francis, the USCCA understands the importance of this opportunity for meaningful dialogue and friendship and that a "culture of encounters" creates spaces and places to experience the best of American culture, values, and faith intelligible to people from a very different socio-cultural background.

 

The mission of the USCCA is inspired by the Gospel and based on building trust, friendship, dialogue, and mutual respect, which comes from the heartbeat of life. We stand ready to share the source of our inspiration with those who seek to know the Gospel through an accompaniment of our individual and shared celebrations and suffering.


Yes, Palm Sunday invites us into Holy Week: a remembrance of celebration and suffering.


Lenten Blessings and Peace,

Rev. Rob Carbonneau, CP, Ph.D., Director Emeritus

And All of us at the USCCA

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Note:

  • I took this photo in Chongqing, China. From 2007 to 2008, I was a foreign expert professor at Sichuan International Studies University. Weather and the urban mood during the weeks following the February Lunar New Year of 2008 were dismal. Seeking to rekindle my spirit, I took the short early morning bus to the nearby Shapingba district, where I attended the Palm Sunday liturgy. When I received my palms, I felt peaceful. It happened that I walked out of that church alongside two women and a young child. I entered into a quiet conversation. Just as we were about to go our separate ways, I asked if I might take their photo. They agreed.

  • As the years have passed, I have found great encouragement from this photo.  I often wonder what the experience of these two Chinese Catholic women was. What have been their celebrations and sufferings? As I look at the child in this photo sixteen years later, I wonder what that person is doing.  Still, I never tire of looking at this 2008 photo.

It inspires me to possess a global faith that continues to be so nourished by Chinese Catholic history, tradition, culture, and society.

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THE JOURNEY OF LENT REFLECTIONS

~ from Rev. Rob Carbonneau, CP, Ph.D., Director Emeritus


Finally, if you have enjoyed visiting the USCCA website and want to learn more about our mission, please contact director@uschinacatholic.org or consider donating $35 to honor the 35th anniversary of the USCCA. 

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