"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain". These words from Psalm 127 accompanied and the inauguration of the new Catholic parish church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which will henceforth serve as the place of worship for Longgang Parish in the Diocese of Wenzhou.
The inauguration ceremony, held on Saturday June 24, the feast of Saint John the Baptist, was marked by the gratitude and joy of the entire parish community. The service was preceded by a procession from the old, dilapidated parish church to the new church, attended by priests, nuns and the faithful. A total of nine priests concelebrated the liturgy of consecration and blessing of the church, altar and baptismal font.
The old church of Longgang Parish, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Huanglong, was built in 1928, confiscated in 1957 and returned to the parish in 1993, which reopened it on August 15, 1996, the Feast of the Assumption. Thanks to the great commitment of the priests and all parishioners in the areas of mission and pastoral care, the parish is constantly growing. The old building no longer met the needs of the community, given the growing number of Catholics and the initiatives and activities of the parish (catechism, meetings, various courses for different groups of believers).
The foundation stone for the new church was laid in January 2018. The church was built during these years, despite the difficulties experienced during the pandemic, also thanks to the generous support of local Catholics and benefactors. The new parish church, easily accessible, occupies a total area of 4,500 square meters. The total costs for the construction amounted to almost four million euros.
Also last Saturday, June 24, two recently renovated churches in Jiangxi province reopened. "Just as the church was renovated," said a priest in his homily at the ceremonial reopening of the church, "we too must purify our hearts and live a new life in word and deed, following the example of Saint John the Baptist, who with great courage bore witness to the faith".