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Chinese celebrate new year

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Members of the Chinese Catholic Community gathered for Mass last month as part of their 2020 lunar new year celebrations.

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The Chinese New Year began on January 25, with celebrations taking place in many local Chinese communities over the following 15 days.

Fr Roderick O’Brien celebrated the Mass on February 2 at St Joseph’s Church, Tranmere. He founded the Chinese Catholic Community and officiated at its first Mass in 1981. Fr O’Brien’s interest in the Chinese language and culture began when he lectured in law at the University of Hong Kong and he subsequently completed Chinese studies in China and Taiwan.

Chinese Catholic Community coordinator Philomena Koo said members were very appreciative of the support they had received over the years from Fr O’Brien, successive archbishops and Sr Nien Tran from the Multicultural Office.

“Several priests have also helped us besides Fr O’Brien and we are fortunate to have Fr Matthew Qin from the Passionist Monastery and Fr Franco Lacanaria from the Scalabrinian Order to guide us this year,” she said.

Mrs Koo said those attending the monthly Masses were predominantly families that have migrated from Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.

“There is an active group of children and their parents who form an enthusiastic choir led by Louisa Au,” she said.

“Everyone is welcome to attend, whether Catholic or non-Catholic and after Mass there is a delicious shared lunch.”

Mrs Koo said there was an increasing need for instruction in the faith in the Chinese language for those who were not fluent in English. She said anyone intending to participate in this program could contact her for more details.

Masses for the Chinese Catholic Community are held at 12.30pm on the first Sunday of each month at St Joseph’s Church, Tranmere. For further information contact Philomena Koo on 8338 4653.

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