Sep 13, 2009

Back from Taiwan

I have been to Taiwan to participate in a week long retreat organised by the Cor Unum (Pontifical Council for Human and Christian Development) from 6 to 11 September in Fu-Jen University in Taipei. More than 400 participants from all over Asia assembled in the medical department building of the University which has been run jointly by SJ, SVD and diocese. There were more than 60 bishops including 5 cardinals, Cardinal Cordes( president of the Cor Unum),retired Cardinal Zen of HongKong, Cardinal Rosales of Manila, Cardinal Toppo of Ranchi, India and retired Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi of Kaohsiung. Japan was represented by myself, Fr.Machida, the diocesan Caritas director of Niigata and Mr. Tadokoro, the director of Caritas Japan. Biggest number of the participants came from India with more than 60 followed by Filipino group and Vietnamese group.

Morning reflection was given every day by Br.Yesudas, the former servant general of the Missionary Brothers of Charity. Originally Sr.Nirmala, the former superior of the Missionaries of Charity supposed to travel from New York to Taipei to share her reflection but due to her health condition, Sr. Preme, present superior of the MC recommended Br.Yesudas as the speaker.

Majority of the participants were directors and officers of either National or Diocesan Caritas all over Asia including Middle East. We were happy to welcome participants from Iraq among us and others from Holy Land to be with us to pray for peace. All together, 26 countries and territories of Asia were represented.

President of the Republic, Mr.Ma Ying-jeou graced the occasion by attending the closing ceremony and delivered very good speech on Catholic Church's role on development in the third world countries.

Thank you for students and staff of the Fu-Jen University for your wonderful organisation and hospitality. It was really amazing to see that they could take all of us, more than 400 participants, residing in 4 different hostels which were scattered around the city to be in the assembly hall of the university on time every day for the morning prayer. You really did very good job. Thank you. (Photo above. The Vietnamese group presenting the life story of their hero, Cardinal Van Thuan)

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