TAIWAN — At the close of 2009, Pius Liu, OFM, who has been serving as a missionary here since 1965, sent an update to friars and friends about his work at the parish in the Neihu district of Taipei City.
The letter, called “Christmas Greetings 2009,” opened praising God that despite the economic recession, swine flu, terrorist attacks and other catastrophes, the parish activities continue to operate “regularly, hopefully and fruitfully.”
Some of these regular activities include receiving the sacraments. Pius, a native of Holy Name Province’s former mission in Shashi, Hubei Province, in mainland China, wrote that 19 new parishioners were baptized in 2008, along with another 14 in 2009. He added, “Once, before the offertory, a mother received the sacrament of baptism. Then, at Communion time, her daughter joined her in receiving their first holy Communion together.”
The letter also includes an account of a farewell party for Fr. Albert Papa, OFM, who had spent nearly 50 years ministering to the Atayal aboriginal tribe and surrounding villages and a welcome to the new formation students in Tahsi who professed simple vows in August.
Pius, who turned 89 last month, concluded the four-page letter with some words of appreciation. Among other observations, he said he is “very grateful to God for being able to make lunch visits monthly with our four novices in Tahsi, three postulants in Taishan and the former Shashi Sisters in Yong-Mingshon.” He added, “The source of my marvelous energy is the keeping up my daily breathing exercises. That’s why I can enjoy life and carry out all my daily duties, including driving!”