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Chinese-Irish mass in Gardiner Street Church

chinese_mass_01The mass to commemorate Matteo Ricci commemorative mass in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St, on Sunday 9 May was a moving occasion for the hundreds who attended. Chinese Jesuit John Lee SJ read the Gospel in his native tongue, and a Chinese choir provided the music. In his homily, Fr Lee said that despite the challenges facing the estimated ten million Catholics in China today, the Gospel call was to place their trust in God and follow His will. Principal celebrant, Irish Provincial John Dardis SJ, noted that Francis Xavier himself never made it to mainland China, dying on the island of Sancian, off the Chinese coast. Fr Dardis said the saint would never have thought that 400 years later the Gospel would be read in Chinese by a Chinese Jesuit, in a mass organised by the Chinese Catholic community in Ireland in a church named after him! After the mass, children in traditional costumes, gave a colourful display of traditional dancing.