Sunday morning at the church in Shiguntang Village, Changyang County. As today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Father Li Zhaoruo prepares to bless the congregation with holy water. The mass is very unadorned, with the holy water kept in a red plastic bucket. The Responsorial Psalm is written on a slab of chalkboard: "Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!" (Psalm 24:8).
Chinese New Year is the most celebrated holiday of the year. Celebrations tend to be muted in the large cities, but the traditions are well maintained in the countryside. Families unite for large banquets, hours of games and visits, and dramatic home firework displays that blast late into the night. Today begins the Year of the Horse. We greeted each other with a common expression, ma dao cheng gong, which means, "I hope you win immediate success." This idiom, which literally means to be victorious the moment the battle horse arrives, is commonly used to wish others well. As we recovered from...
The Xishiku church (North Cathedral) in Beijing is completely decked out in lights as we get ready for Christmas. Each Sunday at 6:00 pm, the church celebrates a young adult mass, which often draws around 1,000 people. Christmas Eve mass will attract even more, with many believers arriving hours beforehand to find a seat.
Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, is known for its leisurely lifestyle and abundance of tea houses. The He Ming tea house in People's Park is one of the most pleasant places to visit in the city. This outdoor tea house is open year round, attracting visitors no matter the weather. Locals arrive early to stake out a table and then pass the afternoon over bottomless cups of tea. I arrived early to claim this table and then joined the locals in working my way through several steepings.
The fall colors remind us that colder days are about to arrive, and many switch from iced tea to hot tea this time of year. On today's walk through the Beijing Botanical Garden, I was struck by the fall colors against the Fragrant Hills in the distance. The scene also inspired me to head home to brew up a cup of Crossings China Black Tea!
At Crossings Tea, we believe that drinking tea is a spiritual experience, and we regularly pray for the health and wellbeing of our customers. In this photo, Father Zhu Daihua blesses the tea in the city of Yidu before it is exported to the United States. We bless all of our products and pray they are a blessing to you.
The Handan Diocese is one of the largest in China, with 85 priests and 150,000 church members. Wang Wanming, a well-recognized calligrapher in the area, became Catholic later in life. He painted for me this beautiful "cha dao," or Way of Tea, which now hangs in my office. It only took him a few minutes, but his art reflected a lifetime of practice and experience. The Way of Tea is an important part of Chinese philosophy. It refers to tea as a journey, a way of life, and source of harmony. Wang shared how his pursuit of these ideals led...