Priests from China in pilot Sydney study tour

Sydney's Chinese Catholic Community is supporting four Chinese priests from China who plan to pursue their theological studies in Australia as part of a pilot cooperation project.

China's Faith Weekly reports that the four priests pursuing further theological study in Sydney are Fr Joseph Lu Yong and Fr Joseph Gao Yonggui from Jinan Diocese, Shandong, and Fr Peter Gong Bayu and Fr Andrew Fu Qingwen from Yichang Diocese, West Hubei.

Initially, the priests will stay at the Chinese Catholic Community's Asiana Centre in Sydney's inner-west suburb of Ashfield for intensive language training before going to the Sydney Catholic Institute for further study in philosophy and theology.

Fr Paschal Chang, former chaplain to the Chinese Community, led the four diocesan priests on a courtesy call to the Sydney Catholic Institute, the Columban Mission Institute and the Australian Catholic University, all located at Albert Road in the nearby suburb of Strathfield.

Outlining the programs available at the various institutions for its readership, the Chinese weekly paid particular attention to the Centre for promoting Communion with the Church in China headed by Columban Fr Cyril Hally.

"A quarterly gazette - China Exchange - is published, under the editorship of Fr Paul McGee," Faith Weekly noted.

"The Centre is a special area where a semblance of Chinese culture is demonstrated in its décor. On the surface of a folding screen provided outside the corridor of the Centre displaying the calligraphic script on Psalm 23 in classical Chinese translation.

"The famous Faith Press calendar showing the portrait of the Popes is displayed at the front door. The Centre has a rich collection of works in Chinese and other European languages for China Study," the Faith Weekly reports.

The Columban Institute was originally located at North Turramurra but for the convenience of the academic visitors, the Institute chose to relocate to the campus of Australian Catholic University.

According to the Chinese weekly, it was the first time that the Centre had the visit of five Chinese priests at the same time. "This is more than a sign of communion with the Church in China after the relocation of the Institute to Strathfield," the article concluded.

The weekly also noted the call by Fr Chang to the Sydney Chinese Catholic community to support the Chinese priests studying in Australia both in prayers and financially "for the success of this pilot scheme".

Pictured: The four priests from China with Fr Paul McGee (second from left) and Fr Paschal Chang (forth from left)

Four Diocesan Priests from China On Study Tour to Sydney (Faith Weekly, 31/7/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic Chinese Community
St Columban's Mission Society | Columban Mission Institute
Catholic Institute of Sydney
Australian Catholic University

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7 Aug 2006