Sunday, October 9, 2005

Help the Church in China

Although I last posted expecting not to return to blogdom till next Tuesday, I decided the following news was worth breaking the silence for. (The hotel I'm at has a little internet room. Snazzy dazzy!) Having come over to Taiwan with an Evangelical mission agency, and having lived most of my two years in an Evangelical/ charismatic milieu, it's easy to hear so much talk of "the Church's explosive growwth in China" in strictly non-Catholic terms. But the Church -- the unstained Church of the full Tradition, the Church as preserved in union with the See of Rome according to the Lord's will -- is growing too. Care to help?

Catholic Exchange – Breaking News about the Church in China


Dear Friend of Catholic Exchange:

I [Tom Allen, Ed. & Pres. of Cath. Exch. -- EBB] want to share some exciting news that was recently brought to my attention by our man in Beijing. And then I'm going to ask for your help with a very special project. First, take a look at some of the quotes and news items that have recently come across my desk:

"Nowadays, curiosity about Christianity, the Church and Pope John Paul II is widespread among the Chinese populace-above all in university environments."
--AsiaNews, December 3, 2003

"Despite official regulations encouraging officials to be atheists, in some localities as many as 25 percent of Party officials engaged in some kind of religious activity."
--U.S. State Department, February 25, 2004

"What is amazing is the very fast spread of Christianity in China," said the Rev. Roch Kereszty.
--The Dallas Morning News, April 7, 2005

"…an underground Catholic church loyal to Rome continues to flourish and, according to Vatican estimates, has up to 10 million members."
--International Herald Tribune, September 11, 2005

"Recently, I found the Bible Story, Bible cartoons for children, the story of the Virgin Mary…and other books introducing Christian values…these books are not only sold in churches but also in public bookstores…"
--Paul Pann, CE correspondent in China via e-mail, September 24, 2005

When I read reports like these, I am both excited and grateful that our supporters are helping Catholic Exchange play a huge role in the evangelization of China.

As you know, our correspondent in China, Paul Pann, has been working hard to spread the word about our Catholic Scripture Study (CSS) materials. Happily, he's finding a great hunger among the Chinese people for quality Catholic bible teaching materials. What you may not know is that Paul is not working alone.

Franciscans in Hong Kong are translating our CSS materials into Chinese. Bishops across China are introducing their priests to the program. And a mother superior recently ordered 30 copies for the sisters in her convent!

In fact, 750 copies of the CSS on the Gospel of John have been distributed in China so far and the requests keep pouring in. We want to help Paul meet the demand, but we also want to do it in the most cost-effective way possible. Our plan is to help Paul get CSS into the hands of as many Chinese Catholics as possible, as quickly as possible.

And, as good stewards, our goal is to make this effort self-sustaining. We plan to print thousands of copies in China, distribute many at no cost to bishops, priests, and religious, and to sell the rest at a very reasonable price-enough to pay for the next printing.

A gift to this effort will go much farther in China than it could here in the U.S. Just consider what your gifts can accomplish:

A gift of only $18 will cover the cost of printing 20 copies of the CSS on the Gospel of John.

A contribution of $45 will cover the printing of 50 copies!

For $72, we can provide copies to the pastors of 80 parishes.

Only $108 can put a copy in the hands of every one of the 120 bishops in China!

Friends, we have developed a uniquely effective infrastructure in China, with special access to key clergy in the Underground and Patriotic Churches. GETTING OUR MATERIALS INTO THE HANDS OF BISHOPS THERE CAN MAKE CATHOLIC SCRIPTURE STUDY EXPLODE IN CHINA!

An offering of $210 will cover Paul's travel costs for an entire month, as he meets with priests and bishops throughout China, introducing them to our Scripture study materials.

A contribution of $1,310 will cover all of Paul's salary and travel costs for a month, his visits with priests and bishops, his talks to groups of university students, and meetings with clergy who are planning CSS leaders' training programs.
A gift of any size will help us in this important effort to evangelize China while interest in Christianity there is spreading like wildfire.

Here's how to contribute quickly, easily, and securely.

You can use your credit card right now to send your gift online on the secure Catholic Exchange website. Just click here.

You can donate over the phone. Just call us toll-free at 1-888-477-1982.

You can mail your gift to us at Catholic Exchange, P.O. Box 231820, Encinitas, CA 92023.

I've selected a special gift, just for donors of $50 or more. As soon as we receive your tax-deductible contribution, we will rush you the magnificent 2006 Our Lady in Art calendar from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. This collectible treasure features a beautiful full-color Marian image for each month, with the liturgical seasons, feast days, U.S. holidays, and the Shrine's novenas. It makes a perfect Christmas gift, and a reminder to pray for our Lady's intercession throughout the year.

Please, prayerfully consider how you can help our Catholic brothers and sisters in China. Priests and laity alike are begging for our help. And the timing for this project couldn't be better. Thanks for your generous contributions.

Yours in Christ,

Tom Allen
Editor and President

P.S. Tonight I may have developed a very good way to simplify Chinese for modernization without completely destroying its ideographic genius and/or clarity. Fittingly enough, I call it RPC (Radical-Phonetic Chinese) and aim it at the PRC (People's Republic of China). I intend to work up my idea for further research here and then may discuss my findings in a special FCA report. You heard it here first! ;o)

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