Catholic Vancouver July 5, 2018

Chinese ministries find their niche

By Agnieszka Ruck

The Fountain of Love and Life media group interviews Joseph Shu in his home in 2016. (FLL photo)

This is the final article in a mini-series on Chinese Ministry.

A Catholic media organization reaching about 15,000 Chinese-Canadian homes through TV and radio is gearing up to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

The Fountain of Love and Life, a non-profit media group, was founded for evangelism in Toronto in 2004. FLL coordinator Denise Lui is an advocate of using media to invite people into a relationship with God.

“We hope that our productions can be a Catholic voice in the media,” she said.

FLL produces TV episodes, radio programs, YouTube videos, and social media posts on pro-life issues, marriage, evangelization, and holiness. Its content is shared across the globe, with more than 30,000 viewers in Hong Kong and thousands of others in Taiwan and the U.S.

Lui considers FLL more of a ministry than a media force. Its weekly TV and radio programs carry a hotline phone number anyone can call if they have questions about faith or need prayer.

Sometimes, if a person sounds suicidal or needs counselling, one of the 20 volunteers will refer the caller to local resources. “In Chinese culture, people don’t want to talk to specialists or doctors,” said Lui, but “the hotline can help bring them out.”

A few years ago, an elderly woman who was quite ill phoned the hotline. The team put her in touch with a priest in her neighbourhood and he managed to bring her the sacraments.

FLL is one of several ministries that has found its niche in providing resources to Chinese Catholics. Another is Western Canada Chinese Catholic Living Camp.

WCCCLC was founded to help university-aged students mingle and connect. Operating in the Lower Mainland since 1997, it invites people ages 17-35 for a weekend of prayer, games, and connection every September.

“They come to a new country, they’re not familiar with their surroundings, and this will be a good way for them to make new connections,” said camp coordinator Simon Kwok.

Between annual camps, WCCCLC puts on smaller events, like praise and worship events, Lenten retreats, or blood donation drives. Kwok said the numbers have been decreasing, from 100 campers about 20 years ago, to 70 in the last five or six years. Only 50 came out in 2017.

“This year we’re rebranding ourselves” in hopes of bumping those numbers back up. This year’s camp, held Aug. 31-Sept. 3, will welcome Cantonese, Mandarin, and English speakers.

Another niche group is a local chapter of Marriage Encounter that caters to the local Chinese community. The program, which has been running for more than 10 year, is provided in Cantonese and offers events on communication, spirituality, and romance for married couples.

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