The Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the first Chinese female congregation in Shaanxi province in mainland China, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the founding of their religious institute.
The Congregation of the Franciscan Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was founded by Sister Wang Wen Qing with the support of Bishop Eugenio Massi, OFM (1875-1944), Vicar Apostolic of Zhongjing (later Vicariate Apostolic of Xi'an) with the help from the Spanish Franciscan missionary Francisco Ormazabal, on September 17, 1923, to help with evangelization.
The Franciscan Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus devote themselves to pastoral service in parishes, orphanages, kindergartens, homes for AIDS patients, and around forty small clinics scattered throughout the countryside where they help with care.
A small printing press produces bulletins for parishes while a small art workshop they run produces sacred images and statues of saints and the Virgin Mary.
To finance their initiatives, the sisters also produce liturgical vestments and all undergo training, in particular to obtain state approval which will allow them to teach the Chinese language, traditional medicine and painting in high schools.
The commemorative celebrations brought together seven bishops from Shaanxi province, 120 priests and more than a thousand faithful from various regions of the country, as well as representatives of nine women's congregations working in mainland China.