Christmas in China: One Church, Three Priests, Eighty Sisters – Serve City of Four Million.

In Jilin City, in addition to the three priests at Sacred Heart, there are 80 sisters, who belong to the Holy Family Sisters convent, which is a diocesan order without foreign affiliations.

Some of the sisters work with Father Wang at the social services ministry, but most have duties spread throughout the city, including the health clinic near the church that focuses on the needs of the elderly, he said.

Like other parts of the country, the Diocese of Jilin struggles with the gulf between the underground and state-recognized Catholic Church.

As part of its suppression of the Catholic Church, the Communist government formed the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association in the late 1950s and required Catholics to disavow allegiance to the pope and the Church of Rome.

Catholics who refused to break ties with Rome were forced to either worship clandestinely or face persecution, including imprisonment.

Read more by Neil W. McCabe

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