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Thursday, 18-Dec-2008 01:13 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Christmas Celebration at Dataran MPS, Sandakan

Bishop & Fr. Thomas on stage for the Opening
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Wednesday, 10-Dec-2008 10:26 Email | Share | | Bookmark
China offers Concert for the Pope

China Philharmonic Orchestra plays Mozart at the Vatican
Conductor Yee Lung指挥余龙 Soprano Lan Rao,at right looks on
Paul VI Concert Hall
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China Philharmonic Orchestra plays Mozart at the Vatican on May 7 2008 in honor of Pope Benedict XVI.教宗本篤十六世

I was able to watch the entire concert on Phoenix TV sometime in July 2008 and I could tell the audience were in awe of the performance by the visitors. The rendition of the Chinese folk song 茉莉花 was simply beautiful and captivated the audience who repaid with thunderous applause.
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY -- The China Philharmonic Orchestra performed for Pope Benedict in a landmark concert Wednesday that could indicate warming relations between Beijing and the Vatican.

Benedict called it a "truly unique event" and offered a "thank you" in Chinese at the end of the hour-long concert.

He praised music as a bridge between cultures and peoples and expressed greetings "to all the people of China as they prepare for the Olympic Games." The pontiff said he wanted to reach out "to your entire people" and that he had a "special thought" for Chinese Catholics loyal to the papacy.

Benedict, a classical music lover, sat in an embroidered ivory velvet chair and listened intently to Mozart's "Requiem." He applauded at the end.

"This is a glorious moment that will be cherished long in our memories," conductor Yu Long 余龙said in brief remarks to the Pope and guests before the concert began. "I hope tonight's performance will help spread a message of peace and love."

Ties between the Vatican and China's communist government have been strained for decades.

"Music is beyond any religion, culture, language, and I would say music is the language of God because language is understanding each other," the conductor told The Associated Press in an interview before the evening concert in the Paul VI auditorium.

He said he wanted to send a message to the Chinese people about the value of understanding western culture, and added: "especially I hope the whole world can also understand us."

Yu led the 75-member orchestra in the "Requiem" and a Chinese folk song, "Jasmine Flower."

The orchestra was accompanied by the 70-member Shanghai Opera House chorus.

"I am especially honoured to perform at the Vatican and for the Pope," he said, calling it a "double honour" because Benedict is a Mozart expert.

Benedict has made the improvement of relations with Beijing a priority of his papacy.

China's officially atheist Communist party cut ties with the Vatican in 1951 and the two sides have not restored formal ties.

Beijing objects to the Vatican's tradition of having the Pope name his own bishops, calling it interference in China.

China appoints bishops for the state-sanctioned Catholic church. Still, many of the country's estimated 12 million Catholics worship in congregations outside the state-approved church.

It wasn't clear if the event would move the Vatican and China toward reconciliation, but Vatican official Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone was quoted by Italian news agencies as saying Wednesday that the concert was a sign of hope for improvement.

Although they have no diplomatic ties, China's ambassador to Italy attended the concert.

It is not the first time that classical music has served a diplomatic purpose. In February, the New York Philharmonic played in North Korea.

The Chinese orchestra played for the Italian Senate in 2004 but did not stop at the Vatican then. Still, Yu called that performance a first step toward performing for the Vatican.

"I'm not in politics but everybody feels that music can bring peace and love to peoples," he said, speaking in English at a hotel near Rome.

Yu, who studied in Berlin, said earlier that he planned to greet Benedict in the pontiff's native German.

Before the concert, violinist Chan Zhao said she was "very honoured, very moved and a little bit nervous."

The orchestra will also perform in Venice, Italy, and Vienna, Austria.

  国际在线报道 (记者 贾延宁):中国爱乐乐团及上海歌剧院合唱团7日晚联袂在梵蒂冈保罗六世音乐大厅举行专场演出。中国乐团首次在梵蒂冈的专场演出获得了巨大成功。





Pope Benedict's speech at the concert
一个新的和高水平的音乐盛会让我们又再度在保禄六世礼堂这里见面。这个音乐盛会为我,及为我们全体,都带来重大的价值和意义:因为这次的音乐会是中 国爱乐乐团及上海歌剧院的合唱团为我们举办及演出,事实上,这个音乐会在某程度上,让我们接触到中国社会活泼轻快的现实。对一份如此称心悦意的礼物,我感 谢爱乐乐团及合唱团,并向哪些筹划组织的人士,和各位演出的艺术家祝贺,他们以高超的技巧,细腻和优美的演绎,演出了一个属于人类艺术遗产一部份的音乐作 品。在这群如此出色的艺术家身上,我们可以看到他们所代表的,伟大的中国文化及音乐传统,而他们的演绎也帮助我们更了解一个民族的历史,包括这民族的价值 及高尚抱负。我衷心感谢这份礼物!除了向这次音乐会的筹办者和艺术家致谢外,我也向所有的合作人士致谢,他们透过不同方式,让这作品得以顺利演出,其中某 些句子真的很独特。
还有怎么可以不提及,这个由中国艺术家演出的音乐会选了莫扎特的杰作,将他们的音乐天赋和西方的音乐结合起来?对这个挑战,指挥家余龙先生,他的乐 团,负责独唱部份的声乐家及上海歌剧院的合唱团,都成功地克服了。音乐,或更普遍地说艺术,可以成为不同民族和文化的相遇和互相认识及尊重的特别媒介物; 是一件所有人都垂手可得,用作欣赏艺术的普世性语言的工具。
我还想强调另一点,很高兴注意到你们的乐团及合唱团对欧洲宗教音乐的兴趣。这事实正好说明,正因为音乐诠释人类灵魂的普遍性感受,而其中的宗教感受 更是超越每一个个别文化的疆界,所以就算在不同文化的世界中,一样可以品尝及欣赏如刚演出的莫扎特的「安魂曲」这首灵性极致表现的作品。
最后,我想就今天晚上我们相聚的这个地方讲一句话。这里是教宗接待他的客人和跟一切到来探访他的人见面的大礼堂。它有如一扇开向世界的窗,是一个常 常有来自地球每一个角落的人在此相会的地方,每一位都带着个人的历史及各自的文化,每一位都获得尊重和真心的接待。今天晚上,接待你们的同时,各位中国艺 术家,教宗意欲在想象中接待你们整个民族,尤其是想念着你们哪些分享在耶稣内的信仰的同胞,他们以一种特别的灵性关系,和伯多禄的继承人结合在一起。「安 魂曲」正是因这信仰而写成,作为对哪位仁慈和公正的天主的祈祷,它是普世人文主义的表达,亦正是这一点触动所有人的心。

Monday, 1-Dec-2008 01:56 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Tuesday, 25-Nov-2008 15:39 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Celine Dion's new song: My Love

This is simply awesome. Listen and relax.
The youngest of fourteen children born to Adhémar Dion and Thérèse Tanguay both of French Canadian descent. Céline Dion was raised a Roman Catholic in a impoverished family, Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record.

"My Love"

My love, we have seen it all
The Endless confession,The rise and fall
As fragile as a child
Lately I'm sorry I can't hold a smile

But I stand tall to get by
No matter how hard I try to hide
Did you know I take the time for you
Did you know that I would see you through
Did you know that I would play the part
I must've made it clear right from the start

My love, can you give me strength
Somehow I forgot how to ease my pain
I know I'm right where I belong
Something from nothing never proved me wrong

But I stand tall to get by
No matter how hard I try to hide
Did you know I take the time for you

Did you know that I would see you through
Did you know that I would play the part
I must've made it clear right from the start

I would shade my whole life with you
Would you do the same for me
I would give all I am to you
Would you do the same for me

And I will stand tall to get by
No matter how hard I try to hide
Could you see I've been brave
Did you notice all my mistakes
There were times I could feel you read my mind

Did you know I take the time for you
Did you know that I would see you through
Did you know that I would play the part
I know I made it clear right from the start

Saturday, 15-Nov-2008 06:10 Email | Share | | Bookmark
堂区华文团体往乌鲁杜顺圣保禄堂朝圣 Pilgrimage to St Paul's church

2.00pm Gathering at the car park
Forming a circle outside the church
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十一月十五日, 下午两点 .堂区华文团体往乌鲁杜顺圣保禄堂朝圣
Nov 15, 2008. The local Chinese church community became the first group to make the pilgrimage to St. Paul's church in Ulu Dusun after Bishop Julius had declared open the pilgrimage site earlier on 19 October 2008.

About a hundred parishioners joined in the celebration which started at 2.00 p.m. The mass began at the car park outside the church with briefings from the celebrant, Fr. Paul Lo on the origin of pilgrimage and the declaration by Pope Benedict that the year 2008 has been dedicated to the Jubilee of Apostle Paul.

After the readings taken from the Acts of the Apostles, Fr. Paul Lo led the congregation for a procession down the hill and up the steep steps back to the church.

In his homily, Fr. Paul Lo said the significance of the celebration is our ability to follow the role model of the Apostle Paul; whose great love for Jesus that he suffered persecutions and imprisonments. Yet all these did not deter him from spreading the good news to the point that he finally died for Christ.

He talked about lukewarm Christians. “When I mentioned lukewarm Christians, you will think that those who come to church once a year during Christmas fall into this category. No, I mean those of you who come to church half hearted, serving simply for the sake of serving. You may be in the choir, serving as a lector or as a warden helping in the collection. You must be serving with all the zeal like St. Paul,” he said.

Before the end of the mass, Fr. Paul Lo made another appeal to the Chinese communities. He mentioned about the success of another denominational church which has attracted a large following of Chinese youths and adults. “It is not their pastor alone; it is the collective works of the whole church; living out their faith that speaks volume for Jesus.” He throws the challenge to everyone that Sandakan is the core base of the Chinese community in the diocese. It must set an example for the other parishes like Lahad Datu and Tawau. They are looking forward to Sandakan as the leader in the development of the Church. “There are still a lot of people who do not know God, who you expect to preach to them?” he said, falling short of saying if expect the bishop or the parish priest to preach to the Chinese.

David Chung, on behalf of the Chinese Community of St. Mary presented a donation to the representative of the local church. Another donation was from a representative of St. Mark’s church.

The mass ended with a prayer in front of the statue of St. Paul.

Please refer to the photos on the fotopages and also from Youtube posted on the website.

If you have any comments on the homily/appeal of Fr. Paul Lo on ways and means to improve or introduce meaningful reforms to the Chinese Coordinating Committee, you are welcome to post them on the comment section of the website or Youtube. Thank You.




Part 1 video

Part 2 video

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