The year 2018 was a significant year in the life and mission of Ruifang Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Catholic Church, very specially as we have just celebrated the 65th Anniversary of the Foundation of this Catholic Community (1953-2018). We celebrated this great event of commemorating her 65 years of presence in this northern part of Taiwan together with the parish feast of this year on Saturday, 16th June 2018. Indeed, the Lord granted our catholic community this opportunity to bow our heads in deep gratitude for all the blessings He had bestowed on us all-throughout these past 65 years. In fact, all these years were moments of grace and blessings, at the same time, the moments we experienced God’s strengthening and consoling presence amidst certain struggles and difficulties in the past.
The day (16th June 2018) marked a unique one with the gracious presence of our beloved Archbishop of Taipei, Most Rev. John Shan-Chuan Hung SVD, Rev. Fr. Lin, the Vicar General, two provincial Superiors of the Claretian Congregation and Franciscan Congregation, namely, Rev. Fr. Francisco Carin CMF and Rev. Fr. Claudio Pegoraro OFM and 15 other priests, sisters and nearly 200 of our guests and well-wishers. The solemn Eucharistic Celebration presided over by the Archbishop was the most joyful and significant part of the whole celebration that began at 10.00 am. During the Eucharistic Celebration two of our faithful also received the Sacrament of Confirmation. During the sermon, the Archbishop specially thanked the Ruifang community for our valuable contribution to keep the faith alive and vibrant in this area. After the Eucharistic celebration, the Archbishop and Fr. Francisco Carin opened the 65th Anniversary memorial monument. After these, we had a special cake cutting marking the 65th Birthday of our Parish, followed by a presumptuous lunch and many cultural programs. The cultural agape was specially colored with the presence of our Ruifang District Executive, Mr. Chen Qi Zheng, two of the New Taipei City Councilors, namely, Mrs. Yang Chun Mei and Song Yu Zhen. On this occasion, the Archbishop also released the Parish Directory and gifted the ever-rolling Trophies for the winners of Carol Singing and Crib Competition held during the Christmas 2017. Thus, all these events added a special beauty to the whole event.
On this occasion, the Ruifang Church community remembers with gratitude all our previous six parish priests and the faithful who devoted their time and energy to keep the bacon of faith lighted and ever bright during these 65 years. We remember with much gratitude the first two parish priests, namely, Rev. Fr. Generosus Van Nieuwen Huyse OFM (1953-1984) and Rev. Fr. Ernest Dellile OFM (1985-2005), both of them belonging to the Franciscan Congregation who together spent almost 50 years of their valuable service to our community. The Claretian missionaries continue their mission in this Church from 2013. May the good Lord continue to shower His abundant blessings on all the members and families of Ruifang Church community in the forthcoming years!