Sunday, 23rd October, of the FABC General Conference began with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, presided over by H.E. Oswald Cardinal Gracias, and con-celebrated by Archbishop Cabrejos Vidarte, Archbishop Ledesma, Archbishop Kikuchi and Msgr Josef Sayer.
On the occasion of Mission Sunday, H.E. Cardinal Gracias reminded the congregation that Mission is the essence of the Church, that, taking the example of the tax collector and the pharisee, ‘we must be God-centered, and not I-centered.’ He stressed, ‘our mission is not a numbers game, but to make Jesus real in the world’, highlighting the many forms of evangelisation at work. Calling the youth, the women, the marginalized
to be the ‘first collaborators’ of the Church, and asking the representatives to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, H.E. Cardinal Gracias concluded, ‘Let us make Asia, by our work, our life, and our words, a better Asia.’
In the morning, the representatives participated in virtual ‘Parish Visits’, with Churches from across Asia, including parishes from Mumbai - India, Dhaka - Bangladesh, Seoul - Korea, Lahore - Pakistan, Yogyakarta - Indonesia, Pathein - Myanmar, Sabah - Malaysia, Darkhan - Mongolia, and parishes from Taiwan, Brunei, Laos, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and the Philippines.
Representatives were divided into groups, with each group ‘visiting’ two parishes. The visit began with an introduction and video from the parish, followed by a conversation with the gathered delegates. Delegates spoke to the parish representatives about culture, parish life, daily lives of the Catholic population, celebrations of feasts and shared common joys and struggles. The visit ended with a final blessing for the parishes by the FABC representatives.