Dear shepherds

Thank God for good shepherds who care for their sheep. . . Here one sees the shepherd who led us through an unforgettable trip. A month has gone by since our return and yet, just two mornings ago, when I met my room mate for the entire trip, she could not stop commenting on how wonderful a time she had had with me and all our fellow pilgrims. My friend had travelled to numerous countries and yet she said that not one of the earlier trips could beat this one, this very special trip that took us across the vast land of China and Inner Mongolia, tracing the footsteps of the early missionaries, especially those from the CICM.

I wish to make special mention of the photos that show Fr Anthony, CICM priest-missionary. He endeared himself to us with his sessions of prayer. As always he would prepare a Gospel reading on following Christ or on answering the call of the Good Shepherd, or sometimes he would select a psalm. Then he would lead us in the holy rosary, meditating on the mysteries. We have also had the joy of singing along. Fr told us that he created a ‘job’ for himself – and we thank him for that. Although it was the first time he ever travelled with pilgrims we thought he did a good job. He was knowledgeable and through his sharing, we came to understand better the charism of the CICM. A simple priest’with a sense of humour, Fr Anthony speaks different languages including Chinese and so he was always able to translate into English the homilies as well. Thank God for Fr Anthony.

The other pictures show happy men of God including two bishops. Each made our pilgrimage more meaningful through their sharing.  It pleased me no end to see such vibrancy in the churches we visited. The weekday homilies were as well prepared and preached as the ones heard during weekends. I felt so proud of our shepherds. I think with fondness of the many who have laid down their lives to serve God and His people. As a hymn goes: I thank my God each time I think of you, and when I pray for you, I pray with joy. . . How grateful I must really be. Thank God!

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