I recently came across the following photos of something I had only read about before: China’s ‘Underground’ Catholic Church. Since the State is hostile to Roman Catholicism, China’s Roman Catholics must receive the sacraments and attend Mass in hiding. The photos are captivating. The photos come from photographer Lu-Nan who risked his life by shooting a photo documentary on the Underground Church.
Let the following photos remind you of how good we have it…and what we are allowing slip from our grasp in many Western countries.
Persecution against Christians in China is now at a new high. This month news hit that Chinese authorities arrested a Vatican-appointed bishop, and this week the Chinese government issued new regulations aimed “to suppress all unofficial religious activities via dispersing Christian house churches, silencing Tibetan and Xinjiang separatists and undermining the Vatican’s influence on Chinese Catholics.” Read more from ChinaAid.
There is, of course, a history of tension between the Vatican and the Chinese government, between the underground Catholic Church in China and the state-approved “Catholic Patriotic” churches. Yet, the atheistic Communist country continues to explode with enormous numbers of practicing Catholics.
Despite the intense crackdown by the totalitarian goverment, Christianity is growing tremendously. It is estimated that there are 12 million Catholics in China, and soon there will be more practicing Christians in China than there are in the United States. It is predicted that Christianity is growing so rapidly in the country that China is on course to become the ‘world’s most Christian nation’ within 15 years.
Here are some photos:
“A Father gives a ceremony to the ill, who are bedridden.”
With much anticipation, Detroit’s new parish dedicated exclusively to the Extraordinary Form celebrated its first Mass! Over summer it was announced that the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP) would be taking over possession and care of the church from the diocese of Detroit. Before this agreement, the beautiful church faced the possibility of closing down due to an urgent need of repairs which the diocese wasn’t sure would be worth the money. ICKSP (what an annoying acronym to type) helped take care of the most pressing repairs and it is now up and running under the new management, including the new rector, Canon Michael Stein who is 31-years old.
The new parish is called St. Joseph Oratory and ICKSP held its first Mass last Sunday. The Solemn High Mass said by ICKSP’s provincial superior, Canon Matthew Talarico (assisted by Canon Stein and Deacon Jonathon Fehrenbacher), had 300 in the pews.
Below are some beautiful images from the new parish’s Facebook page.
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia offered Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the first time in presumably decades after young seminarians started requesting it from the current rector. Apparently they will now hold a Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) at least once a week. It’s really interesting to watch the interest in the TLM spreading worldwide.
The following photos are from the seminary’s Flickr page and occurred on the Feast of St. Martin of Tours.