王秉鈞神父 Gino Picca, S.J.
Thank God for His blessings!
“Give thanks to God at every moment”! 1st Thes 5:18.
60 years in the Society of Jesus is a special experience of blessings from God!
I was born and raised up in Italy, at Velletri (Rome) in a family of deep faith shown in daily work and service.
As a young boy, first as a scout, then as an altar boy and a small catechist, I was called to be a priest. Then when I was 21 years old, while I was making the 8-days Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, it became clear, Jesus was calling me to be a missionary in the Society of Jesus and I was missioned to China, to Taiwan. A great blessings!
In Taiwan, excellent teachers taught me Chinese, guided me to understand and to enter into the culture and the “way of life” of the people around me, and many “friends” in the Society and outside, helped me to become a “man for others” and a “man with others”! A great blessings!
In Acts 16:14 Paul is preaching and a woman named Lydia, “listened and the Lord opened her heart”. In Taiwan, first in Hukou, then in Hsinchu, Chupei, Kaohsiung, Taipei, Changhua, and now in Tainan, I have experienced the same! The “Lord has opened the heart” and the mind of many friends and they have come to believe in Jesus, the Savior! In the last 5 years, in Tainan, with the great help of Frs. Louis Aldrich, Artur Wardega, the scholastics and the Evangelization Team with the collaboration of many responsible Parish Council leaders, I have experienced the coming into our Christian community of more than 60 adults. This is also a great blessing!
I remember in Hukou, we celebrated Vocation Day with many young Catholics in 1972. This year, the Tainan Diocese decided to celebrate Vocation Day in our Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, while young Catholics were joining another Diocesan activity! The participants were their parents! We had 4 short documentaries, 10 group sharing and prayer, and finally the Eucharist and lunch. To have the new Bishop, Msgr. John Lee and 19 priests concelebrating was also a great blessing!
Our Sacred Heart Church in Tainan, is now having an Elevator and Toilet for dis-abled persons, a new Bulletin Board, newly made Cross and Catholic Church Board (visible day and night) and an “Electronic Bulletin Board” which show different services and Charity Activities done by our Christians, by “Pai Ta Social Service” and by other Diocesan Charity Organizations. All the equipment was offered by many friends and benefactors, to do meaningful services to our Christians and to persons in need who live in the neighborhood. And this is also a great blessing!
In the parish and specially in Changhua, at the Manresa Center of Spirituality, I had many opportunities to accompany young and adults, priests and religious women, to do the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, a very special gift offered to the Church, to help people to put order in their lives, and to discern the Will of God so that their lives may enjoy great peace and harmony, and strong motivations to be instruments of reconciliation. And this is also a great blessing!
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, whose 500th Anniversary of Conversion we celebrate this year, once wrote a letter to his former confessor, Fr. Manuel Miona urging him, for the love of Christ who died for us, to start making the Spiritual Exercises! Ignatius was afraid that God would someday reproach him, who knowing that the Spiritual Exercises are a special and free gift given to help people to grow in his spiritual life and in the service of others, yet he did not do his best to offer this gift to people in need! Fr. Miona finally made the Spiritual Exercises and entered the Society of Jesus in the year 1545!