Taipei - St. John Bosco Parish, Taiwan, 16 December 2020 -- Many get used to admiring the public Christmas decorations in the streets in countries with a traditionally Christian culture. As every year, also in the Vatican St Peters Square has already seen the blessing of the Christmas Tree (in 2020 from Slovenia) with the ceramic Italian-made Christmas Crib.
But in many EAO countries, where Christian or Catholic communities are very small, the Christmas feast is also a great occasion to share the faith with fellow citizens. Through the public Christmas decorations of the Churches or Catholic education, health or social welfare institutions we can reach the hearts of many. It is an opportunity for initial proclamation.
The Church in Taiwan is a typical example. Among the 20M population, Catholics are not even 1% and since our arrival in the island in 1963 all Salesians have done their best to celebrate Christmas with this mind - in the school (Tainan), in the parishes (Tainan, Taipei) or in social work (Chao Chou Boys Town).
Last Saturday night (Dec 12) the Saint John Bosco Parish, located on one of the busy streets of Taipei, held its annual parish Christmas Lighting and Blessing Ceremony. Indeed the rich Christmas symbols - Tree, Inscriptions and Christmas Crib are all on the Ming Seng Road. Like the inauguration of the Nativity scene, along with the Christmas Tree in the Vatican, the SJB parish community animated by the SDB community has prepared over a long period.
Today the Christmas Novena starts (Dec 16-24) in all of our communities, houses, schools, parishes, TVETs and other Don Bosco works. Let's make this time a good opportunity to witness about the Light of the World who is coming...