Kaohsiung (Agenzia Fides) - The first church dedicated to St. John Paul II in the Chinese Catholic world was blessed and inaugurated on September 6 in Laiyi, in the Diocese of Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
His Exc. Mgr. Peter Chen-Chung Liu, Archbishop of the Diocese of Kaohsiung, presided the Mass for the consecration of the new church, which was concelebrated by about twenty priests, with more than 1,200 worshipers. Don Calogero Orifimma is the parish priest, an Italian missionary who is also the architect of the church. "The biggest and most beautiful news - says the priest - was the celebration of 4 baptisms during Mass, and two newborn boys were given the Christian name John Paul".
The church is in the southern part of the island of Taiwan, inhabited by a community of Paiwan aborigines of 7000 people, of whom more than 2000 Catholics. Don Orifiamma’s vocation was inspired by the figure of John Paul II: after participating in the World Youth Day 1997 in Paris, he decided to answer the call of the Lord and entered the seminary of Kaohsiung in Taiwan, where he was ordained a priest in 2007. Since he had a degree in architecture, he designed the church project in Chinese style, mostly inspired by local indigenous architecture. The works for the construction of the church began in February last year, thanks to the donations of the faithful of the diocese. Now the church has been inaugurated, even though there are still debts to be paid, so the pastor relies on the generosity of all Chinese Catholics. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 12/09/2014)