Over 70 people, mainly Hong Kong Catholics, converged on Our Lady of Lourdes in Sawston on Saturday October 14, 2023, for their regular Mass in Cantonese, celebrated by Canon John Minh and assisted by Deacon Gianluca.
The Mass was special because the community also witnessed the baptism of Claire. She was the second Cantonese child to be baptised in the Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint John Fisher.
People of other nationalities also attended to share in the joy of Claire’s baptism. We gave thanks to God for the opportunity to renew our baptismal vows as a community, to renounce sins and profess our faith. In his homily, Canon John congratulated the family for enabling their daughter to begin her faith journey and to prepare for God’s invitation to His banquet. A rousing rendition of “We Are Christians and Foot Soldiers of Christ,” commonly used in the Hong Kong Diocese, was sung proudly during the recession.
The baptism was a joyous and important step for Claire and her family. It was also a significant landmark in the development of the embryonic Cantonese Chaplaincy. The Rite of Baptism was celebrated mainly in Cantonese, though part of the blessing was in English to include family members and friends present at the ceremony. This truly signifies the Universal Church in reality.
The congregation then retired to the Parish Hall to continue the celebration, full of optimism for the future of the Cantonese Chaplaincy.