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Dear Friends of the "Children of Erdenet" in Mongolia,


First of all, my sincere wishes for a Happy, Joyful and Blessed Lunar New Year for you and your loved ones. 


Quite a number of our friends and benefactors have been asking me about making a trip to Mongolia and visiting Father Prosper and the Children of Erdenet in Ulaanbaatar. My reply has always been: good idea, but not yet, it's more complicated than we can handle. So, I regret if I disappoint you that - NO - this is not about such an eventual trip … Maybe in 2 years, when the first Mongolian priest will be ordained, God Willing.


But I am happy to invite you to another trip, a special mission visit to China. This is neither a pilgrimage nor a touristic tour but, rather, a brotherly visit to some of the Christian communities in Inner Mongolia and Ningxia where our CICM confreres were working for close to 90 years, from our Founder in the 1860s to Bishop Carlo Van Melckebeke and companions (like Father Fossion) who were expelled in the 1950s. Actually, this is the 3rd time such such a visit will take place from Singapore.


Here are the relevant details:


•  This year's China visit is scheduled from Saturday 7 to Friday 20 June, 2014, with pre-departure from Changi on late Friday night 6 June and return at Changi early morning 21 June.



In the footsteps of the

CICM Missionaries

JUNE 1 - JUNE 15, 2013


Pre-departure:  Friday, 31 May -- Singapore

9:30 pm:   gather at Changi Airport, Terminal 1

                            Check-in for Air China flight CA 970

departing on Saturday 00:15 am

Day 1:  Saturday, 1 June --  Beijing

6:10 am: Arrival at Beijing - Capital International, Terminal 3

Contact persons:      Ding Xiao-ping (Cell phone: 135-1106 8045)

                                               Fr Matthew Gong zhixi (155-1032-7112)

Morning:   Fast food Breakfest (KFC)

Visit Temple of Heaven (while awaiting transfer to hotel)

Lunch:        1:00 pm

Afternoon:         Check in the hotel, rest (free time)

Dinner:      6:00 pm – followed by free visit to Wangfujing Avenue

Lodge:      North Garden Hotel – 218-1 Wangfujing Street

Tel  010-6523-8888


The Temple of Heaven, literally the Altar of Heaven (天坛) is a complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.

It has been regarded as a Taoist temple, although Chinese Heaven worship, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, predates Taoism.


Day 2:  Sunday, 2 June  --  Beijing

Morning:   7:00-9:00 am: breakfast

9:30 am leave for Beijing Nantang (South) Cathedral - Immaculate Conception - Sunday Mass (in English).

Lunch:      1:00 pm

Afternoon:         2:00 pm visit Zhalan cemetery, with the tombs of Matteo Ricci, Adam Schall, and Ferdinand Verbiest.

Visit Beijing Olympic Park, if time allows.

Dinner:      6:30 pm


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (圣母无染原罪堂), colloquially known as the Xuanwumen church (宣武门天主堂) or Nantang (南堂; literally the South Church) to the locals. This is the oldest Catholic church in Beijing. As a foundation, it dates back to 1605, the 33rd year of the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty. When the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci arrived from Macao in Beijing in 1601, the Emperor permitted him a residence slightly to the west of the site of the current cathedral, near Xuanwumen. Attached to this residence was a small chapel, in Chinese style, with only the presence of a cross atop the entrance to distinguish it as a church. This was at the time referred to as the Xuanwumen Chapel (宣武门礼拜堂). The current building in Baroque style dates from 1904. The statue in front of the church is that of St Francis Xavier.

The present Archbishop Joseph Li Shan, installed in September 2007, is one of the few bishops openly recognized by both the Chinese Patriotic Association and the Vatican.

Zhalan cemetery (栅栏墓地), located in the campus of Beijing Party College. Ricci died in Beijing on May 11, 1610, at the age of 57. It is absolutely remarkable how much he achieved during his short stay in Beijing (1601-10). By the code of the Ming Dynasty, foreigners who died in China had to be buried in Macau. Diego de Pantoja made a special plea to the court, requesting a burial plot in Beijing, in the light of Ricci's contributions to China. Emperor Wanli granted this request and designated a Buddhist temple for the purpose. In October 1610, Ricci's remains were transferred there. The graves of Ferdinand Verbiest, Johann Adam Schall von Bell, and other missionaries are also here.

Beijing National Stadium (国家体育场) or Bird's Nest (鸟巢) is the centerpiece of the Olympic Games 2008 project. It hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics, and football finals. The stadium had a capacity of 91,000 spectators; this was reduced to 80,000 after the Olympics.

Beijing National Aquatics Center (国家游泳中心) or Water Cube (水立方) hosted the swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events. It had a capacity of 17,000, which was reduced to 6,000 after the Olympics. As shown in the picture, the Center is located next to the National Stadium


Day 3:  Monday, 3 June  --  Beijing

Morning:   6:00 am (free) join Mass in Beijing East Church (St Joseph’s).

                   8:00-9:00 am Breakfast

9:00 am visit Imperial Palace, Tiananmen Square.

Lunch:      1:00 pm

Afternoon:         2:30 pm visit Old Verbiest Observatory.

                   Visit Beitang (North) Church, if time allows.

Dinner:        6:30 pm – Cultural performance and Beijing Duck.


St. Joseph's Church (大聖若瑟堂), commonly known as Wangfujing Church (王府井天主堂) or Dongtang (东堂, the East Cathedral). The first church building was constructed by Jesuit missionaries in 1655; it is the second oldest in Beijing after the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The current structure, in the Romanesque Revival style, dates back to 1904.

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government.

Built from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 m2. The palace complex is a prime example of traditional Chinese palatial architecture. It has had a marked influence on cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere.

Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum's former collection is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War.

The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

The Qing Palace was a place where many Catholic Missionaries during the Ming-Qing era used to work for the Emperor, especially the Jesuits. Adam Schall, Ferdinand Verbiest and others were for many years in charge of the Astronomy Bureau. Several royal astronomical experiments took place in the courtyard, and high court officials participated during the Emperor KangXi reign. It turned out that the Jesuit Astronomers were successful.

In its neighborhood was a historical site where the Theophile Verbist or  Huai-ren Academy of CICM was founded in the 1920’s. Father Antoine Mostaert and other Scheut scholars conducted research there in Mogolian and folklore studies. This is now “past history”.

Tiananmen Square is named after the Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. It is the third largest city square in the world (440,000 m² - 880m by 500m). It has great cultural and political significance as it was the site of several important events in Chinese history, most famous of which the student protests of June 1989.

Old Verbiest Observatory: located on the Jianguo Gate Wall, where the six astronomical instruments made by Ferdinand Verbiest in 1675 at the request of Kanhxi Emperor are collected and on exhibition. This Flemish Jesuit missionary (1623-1688) was an accomplished mathematician and astronomer and proved to the court of the Kangxi Emperor that European astronomy was more accurate than Chinese astronomy. He then corrected the Chinese calendar and was later asked to rebuild and re-equip the Beijing Ancient Observatory, being given the role of Head of the Mathematical Board and Director of the Observatory. He became close friends with the Emperor, who frequently called on him for his teaching in geometry, philosophy and music. Verbiest worked as a diplomat and cartographer, and also as a translator because he spoke Latin, German, Dutch, Spanish, Hebrew, and Italian. He wrote more than thirty books.

Ferdinand Verbiest, after whom CICM named its “Verbiest Foundation”, established in 1982 for the promotion of dialogue and cultural exchange with China, is not to be confused with Theophile Verbist (1923-1868), also Flemish and founder of CICM, who died in the village of Lao-Hu-Kou near Xiwanzi after less than 3 years of missionary work in Inner Mongolia.


Day 4:  Tuesday, 4 June  >>  Zhangjiakou (Kalgan)

Morning:   6:40 am Check out

                   7:00 am Breakfast

8:00 am leave for     Zhangjiakou - 205 km NW of Beijing

Lunch:      12:00 noon

Afternoon:         Visit to Xiwanzi (西湾子镇 – Chongli) 48 km NE of Zhangjiakou

Dinner:      6:30 pm                          

Lodge:      Jing Feng hotel, Zhangjiakou (Hebei Province)                      


Zhangjiahou - A well-to-do family (Zhang) started a Catholic community here in the 18th century. Catholics who escaped from persecution in Beijing found shelter in this valley-village. They lived in mountain caves: cool in the summer and protected from snow and frost during winter. Jesuit missionaries visited the village 250 years ago.

The name Xiwanzi has a very special meaning in CICM because this is the place where on 6 Dec 1865 the Founder and his 3 companions started their mission work in China, together with 6 newly ordained Chinese diocesan priests. They took over the work from 14 Vincentian missionaries (3 Frenchmen and 11 Chinese), looking after 5 orphanages with some 400 children, some small village schools and a seminary for boys in Xiwanzi. They learnt fast and worked hard. On 23 Feb 1868, not even three years after his arrival, Father Verbist succumbed to typhoid fever. He was only 45. But CICM flourished, and so did its mission in Inner Mongolia.

FMM sisters (before 1900), in Xiwanzi, the first CICM mission.

While traveling, the sisters put on these dresses for men, changing into religious habit upon arrival.

What follows is taken from Verbiest Update No. 20 (Feb 2013) in which Fr Jeroom Heyndrickx, cicm, recounts his very first visit to Xiwanzi on 28 Nov 2012 – the mission that had inspired him in 1948 at age 18 to join CICM after a talk at his school by Bishop Leo De Smedt.

By the 1930s about 3,000 people lived in Xiwanzi, all small farmers and almost all Catholics. There was an orphanage with 140 orphans, a home for the elderly, a primary school for boys and girls, a dispensary, two religious sister congregations, a minor seminary with 90 seminarians, the residence of the bishop and in the middle of the village a beautiful cathedral, the second biggest church of China, built by Bishop Leo De Smedt, cicm. Xiwanzi was one of the oldest and biggest Christian communities in North China.

Eventually Xiwanzi became the center of a diocese where, in 1938, 55 CICM missionaries worked together with 15 Chinese diocesan priests, 16 major seminarians and 36 religious sisters. They took care of 31 parish communities and 140 mission stations, 129 primary schools for boys and 108 for girls, 3 dispensaries, 4 orphanages, 2 homes for elderly, and more.

Until today the Catholics of Xiwanzi speak with pride and nostalgia of their cathedral and of the time when their Catholic community participated in daily Mass, morning and evening prayers, and other devotional practices.  However, all this was brutally stopped in the forties by a drama.

On 9 Dec 1946 the communist army invaded and destroyed Xiwanzi village. More than 200 people were killed. They burned down the beautiful cathedral, the seminary, including the library with 10,000 books and some precious 250-year-old manuscripts dating from the time of the Jesuits. 172 citizens were taken away as prisoners. Among them were old people, three priests, one handicapped child, 6 women. They were chased during the night from village to village in the cold snowy days of December. Many of them never returned. Some were shot to death, others were forced to join the army. Chinese newspapers of that time reported on it and called it a cultural outrage. For CICM in China it was a real tragedy.

More than 60 years have passed since then. There was the Cultural Revolution and finally the breakthrough of the Open Policy of China. The Catholic community of Xiwanzi remained marked by their dramatic past, isolated and unwilling to cooperate with civil authorities of the New China. They belonged to the unofficial (underground) Catholic community guided by unofficial bishops and priests who spent many years in jail. When Melchior Zhang Kexing was bishop of Xiwanzi (1949-1988), he spent 35 of those years in prison. In 2008 the old Auxiliary Bishop Yao Liang was released after years of detention. He accepted the offer of civil authorities to rebuild the Catholic cathedral right on the spot where the old cathedral had stood in the middle of the town, which is now in full development. Bp Yao Liang started construction in 2009 but he died soon afterwards. Since then, the Catholic community has patiently continued the construction. It relies on its own fund raising efforts, and its own craftsmen are committed to build a new cathedral, as big and as beautiful as the old one. In the mountains around they find big boulders of white stone from which they artistically cut beautiful gothic church windows.

Understandably the Catholics of Xiwanzi are nostalgic for the old times with Christian daily life in their peaceful Catholic village. The old Catholic Village of Xiwanzi does not exist anymore as a new Xiwanzi is being built. High-rise buildings are being constructed all over. There is a ski resort nearby, and thousands of people move in for winter sports. Yet the new cathedral arises in the middle of Xiwanzi City symbolizing the determined witness of a vital Catholic community.

The Catholic minority of Xiwanzi faces a new challenge: to participate in building up the new Xiwanzi and to find their place among the many immigrants. Thinking that the good days of old Xiwanzi will never come back causes pain in their hearts because deep down they realize that there is no other way. Moreover, a new future is obviously growing also for them. Rebuilding the cathedral is their own initiative. It may even become part of a healing process that helps the Xiwanzi Catholics on the way, a signal that manifests to all of us the strong faith and determination of that small Catholic community - a new Xiwanzi is being born!

This story of The Catholic Village Xiwanzi is also the story of all Catholics in China. They remember the good old days. Many also carry with them in their hearts painful memories from the past. Yet they also see that a new future is being born. Everybody knows, deep down, that moving towards a new future is the only way to go. All are challenged to join in the huge development effort of China to build that new future and to secure a place for themselves as Catholic community within this New China. This also challenges China as a modern state to allow Chinese Catholics the space and freedom to join in building up the country, to be good Chinese citizens and at the same time true Catholics, united with the Universal Catholic Church, not separated or independent from it.

Day 5:  Wednesday, 5 June  >>  Jining 

Morning:   6:40 am Check out

700 am Breakfast

8:00 am visit nearby Tu’ergou and Qujiazhuang

Lunch:      12:00

Afternoon:      1:30 pm leave for Wumeng (Ulanqab)      - 178 km

Visit Meiguiyingzi church

Dinner:      7:00 pm

Lodge:      Wulanchabu hotel, Wulanchabu City (Inner Mongolia)


Not far from Meiguiyingzi is the Marian pilgrimage place of Mozishan. The church, built by Bishop Van Aertselaer, cicm, was later destroyed. Every year up to 40,000 Chinese Catholic pilgrims come from near and far. They stay around for several days for a great outdoor religious festival that takes place on 2 August, including prayer rallies, Masses, confessions and children’s baptisms.


Day 6:  Thursday, 6 June  >>  Shalaqi

Morning:  6:30 Check out (take along breakfast bag)

7:00 Mass - Visit Wumeng church in Jining City

8:00 am Breakfast and meeting with clergy & laity

Lunch:     11:30 am

Afternoon:        1:30 pm leave for Shalaqi - 253 km (passing Hohhot)

Dinner:     6:30 pm

Lodge:     Tuyou hotel, Baotou City (Inner Mongolia)


Day 7:  Friday, 7 June  >>  Hohhot

Morning:    6:00 Check out (take breakfast bag along)

                                            Leave for Ershisiqingdi -30 km

                     Visit church, Mass in Chinese.

                     8:00 Breakfast and meeting with priest and lay people.

          11:00 check out.

                     Visit Shalaqi Church.

Lunch:        12:00

Afternoon: 2:00 pm leave for Hohhot - 122 km

Dinner:       6:00 pm Mongolian meal and performance

Lodge:        Huachen Hotel, Hohhot City (Inner Mongolia)


Near Ershisiqingdi, in Tuogetuo, Bishop Ferdinand Hamer was tortured by the Boxers and burned alive. In this place we also commemorate the other CICM missionaries who died under the Boxers in 1900, some nearby, others father away. With them we also commemorate Fr Jacques Lu, diocesan priest, and about 2,000 Catholics of Inner Mongolia who were killed by the Boxers.

In 1907 Msgr Alfons Bermyn, the Apostle of the Mongols, held a General Provincial meeting here in which the resolution was passed to make a special effort toward developing education.

1911: 5 CICM Bishops of Mongolia: Bermijn, Abels, Otto, Van Aertselaer, ter Laak

Hohhot is the capital city of the Autonomous Region of Inner Mongolia. Today’s Hohhot diocese, formerly called Suiyuan, has 22 priests, 17 sisters, more than 30,000 Catholics, and 25 churches. The cathedral, built in 1922, is in downtown Hohhot. In 1936, a seminary was erected and a large Catholic hospital and a Teachers’ Training College were built.

Mongolian cuisine: the extreme continental climate (as low as -40 C) has affected the traditional diet, so the Mongolian cuisine primarily consists of dairy products, meat, and animal fats. Use of vegetables and spices is limited. Mongolian cuisine is also influenced by Chinese and Russian cuisine due to geographic proximity and historic ties.


Day 8:  Saturday, 8 June  >>  Datong

Morning:   6:30 Check out for Mass (take breakfast bag) 

OR 8:00 Breakfast

9:00 am visit Hohhot church

Lunch:      11:30 am

Afternoon:            1:30 pm leave for Datong (Tatung) - 245 km     

Dinner:      6:00 pm

Evening:   free city visit

Lodge:      Garden Hotel, Datong (Shanxi Province)


Datong Regional Seminary – In 1921 the CICM Vicars Apostolic (Bishops) agreed to establish a regional seminary at Datong prefecture for all CICM vicariates with the explicit purpose of better training a local clergy. During its years of operation (1922-1951) some 247 Chinese priests and 1 Mongol priest were formed at this seminary by CICM staff.


Day 9:  Sunday, 9 June  --  Datong

Morning:    Visit Datong church - Sunday Mass (In Chinese)

Lunch:        11:30 am

Afternoon:         Visit Yun’gang-Shiku (Datong City)

Dinner:       6:30 pm

Lodge:      Garden Hotel, Datong (Shanxi Province)


The Yungang Grottoes (云冈石窟; Wuzhoushan Grottoes in ancient time) are ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes. They are excellent examples of rock-cut architecture and one of the three most famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China (the other sies are Longmen and Mogao. They are an outstanding example of the Chinese stone carvings from the 5th and 6th centuries. All together the site is composed of 252 grottoes with more than 51,000 Buddha statues and statuettes. In 2001, the Yungang Grottoes were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They represent the successful fusion of Buddhist religious symbolic art from south and central Asia with Chinese cultural traditions.


Day 10:  Monday, 10 June >>  Juyongguan

Morning:    6:30 Check out

                     7:00 Breakfast

8:00 leave for Juyongguan Pass - 297 km

Lunch:        1:00 PM (or somewhere along the road)

Afternoon: Visit the Great Wall (or next morning if short of time)

Dinner:       6:30 pm

Lodge:        Juyongguan Hotel (near Great Wall)


Juyongguan or Juyong Pass (居庸关) is a 18km-long mountain pass located in the Changping District of Beijing Municipality, over 50 km from central Beijing. The Great Wall of China passes through, and the Cloud Platform gate was built here in 1342 AD. The pass is one of the three greatest mountain passes of the Great Wall. The other two are Jiayuguan and Shanhaiguan (passes).


The Great Wall is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China in part to protect the Chinese Empire or its prototypical states against intrusions by various nomadic groups or military incursions. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger, stronger, and unified are now collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has on and off been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the Ming walls measure 8,850 km. This is made up of 6,259 km sections of actual wall, 359 km of trenches and 2,232 km of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches would measure out to be 21,196 km.


Day 11:  Tuesday, 11 June  >>  Xi-an

Morning:   shopping time (or visit Great Wall)

11:00 Check out

Lunch:      11:30 am

Lunch:      12:00 noon

Afternoon:         leave for Beijing airport - 68 km

flight MU2104  Dep 5:10pm Arr 7:10 pm - 1100 km   

Dinner:      9:00 pm

Lodge:      Bell Tower Hotel, Xi-an (Shaanxi)


Day 12:  Wednesday, 12 June  --  Xi-an

Morning:   Tentatively: take breakfast bag along

7:00 am Mass (in Chinese) in Xi-an South Church,

meeting with priests, religious and lay Catholics.

Lunch:      12:00 noon

Afternoon:         Visit Museum with Steles, City Walls

Dinner:      6:00

Evening:   free visiting Xi-an city

Lodge:      Bell Tower Hotel, Xi-an (Shaanxi)


Xi-an (西安) is the capital of Shaanxi province. It is one of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history. The city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty. Xi'an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, a former capital city of China with the best-preserved city walls. In Xi-an we find the world-famous tomb of the First Emperor, Qing Shihuangdi, and the terra-cotta army of warriors and horses.

This Stele Collection of Xi-an: we know about the early history of Christianity in China from texts on a 2.8m limestone slab, called the Nesto­rian Tablet or stele, excavated by accident in Xian in 1625. The text is in both Chinese and Syriac.

In 635 a Persian Nestorian monk, Alopen, brought the gospel to China via the silk route. Alopen got permission from emperor Taizong to proclaim the Christian faith. He translated the first Christian texts into Chinese. Christianity spread in ten provinces of the Chinese empire and about one hundred churches and convents were built.

Xi’an city walls: the fortifications of Xi'an (西安城墙) represent one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. Construction of the first city wall of Chang'an began in 194 BC and lasted for four years. That wall measured 25.7 km in length, 12–16m in thickness at the base. The area within the wall was  36 km2. The existing wall was started by the Ming Dynasty in 1370. It encircles a much smaller city of 14 km2. The wall measures 13.7 km in circumference, 12 m in height, and 15–18 m in thickness at the base.


Day 13:  Thursday, 13 June  --  Xi’an

Morning:   7:00 am Breakfast

8:00 am Museum Qin Shi Huang: terra cotta soldiers

Lunch:      1:00 pm

Afternoon:         Xi-an museum

Dinner:      Tang Dynasty’s dance performance

Lodge:      Bell Tower Hotel, Xi-an (Shaanxi)


The Terracotta Army, or the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210-209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife.

The figures, dating from around the late third century BC, were found in 1974 by some local farmers in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits nearby Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were also found in other pits; they include officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.

Day 14:  Friday, 14 June  >>  Beijing

Morning:      7:00-9:00 Breakfast

                       9:00 m visit Moslem temple, street market (free time)

                       11:30 am Check out

Lunch:          12:00 noon

Afternoon:   1:30 leave for Xi’an airport

flight Dep 5:10pm   Arr 6:50pm

Night:          flight CA 975, departing at 11:30 pm for Singapore


Day 15:  Saturday, 15 June  --  Singapore

5:45 am:  arrival in Singapore Changi, Terminal 1



This booklet was prepared for the exclusive and private use of those joining the Singapore CICM China Visit 2013 in the Footsteps of the CICM missionaries.

These visits to former CICM missions in China have been organized for many years by the Ferdinand Verbiest Foundation (Belgium) under the leadership of Fr Jeroom Heyndrickx, cicm. For us in Singapore, this is only the second such visit; aside from the “touristic part” in Beijing and Xian, the itinerary is different from that of 2012.

As last year, our visit was set up and prepared by Fr Matthew Gongzhixi, a Chinese diocesan priest who works closely with the Verbiest Foundation. Because of a teaching commitment at the National Seminary. Fr Matthew will accompany us only for the trip.

We are blessed to have Sister Gaby Yang Aikun, another collaborator of the Verbiest Foundation, who will join us. Sr Gaby studied 4 years in Belgium (Catechetics and the Social Teaching of the Church). Shortly after obtaining a PhD in Ministry from the University of Chicago (16 May 2013), she will be our guide and companion on our visits to the various places and church communities.

Finally, I myself am also part of the team. I confess that for me, too, this will be a first. As for the booklet, much of the merit goes to Frs Matthew & Jeroom. I take responsibility for any errors or spelling inconsistencies.


1.   Adam SANTOSO     (shares room with #2)

2.   Paul CHAN                         (shares room with #1)

3.   Lily CHEW                          (shares room with #20)

4.   Anthony and Prisca HENG

6.   Tony and Maria HO

8.* Mary HO                    (shares room with #24)

9.   Louise LEE                        (shares room with #21)

10.  Celine LEONG                   (shares room with #17)

11.  Francis LIM                        (shares room with #18)

12.  Anthony and Helen LOW

14.  Michael and Michelle OOI

16.  Daisy SHAW             (single room)

17.  Delphine SNG          (shares room with #10)

18.  Fr Paul STAES                  (shares room with #11)

19.* Melvyn SUM             (single room)

20.  Gerry SZETO            (shares room with #3)

21.  Mary Mercy TEO      (shares room with #9)

22.* Anthony and Teresa WONG

24.* Rose Wong                        (shares room with #8)

25-26.  Gilbert and Patricia FERNANDEZ


* means: these persons join us later in Beijing and will not go to Xi-an.


Sister Gaby YANG AIKUN

Father Matthew GONGZHIXI