Macau our Nazareth

Chinese and Portuguese culture meet!Chinese and Portuguese culture meet!

Macau, as you know is once again part of mainline China.

After 450 years under the government of Portugal, the head of the Executive and the Legislative Council are now under the control of the central government of China.

The development of the tourist industry and especially gambling, with 30 working casinos has led to the financial expansion of the Territory. The centre of Macao now belongs to the world cultural heritage.

Immigration is high to this small territory of 27km square. Those with diplomas or who have money for investment are given priority. In Macao to request permission to invest is enough to obtain permanent residence. At present the population is 526.000. The one child policy still in force in China encourages this immigration.

Macao Typical streetMacao Typical street

The Economy

China supports the Territory and makes it easy to cross the frontier. 60% of those who frequent the Casinos come from China. The people of Macau play relatively little, while taking advantage of the high salaries offered. Other sectors of industry suffer from a shortage of workers. Often students leave their studies to go and earn a big salary in the Casinos. The temptation is great and we see at first hand the suffering of these young people. Playing in the Casinos can become like a drug. The most wealthy investors are often American Jews who would like to found a financial empire in this part of the world.

Our chapelOur chapel

Situation of the Church.

The Church has held an important place in the history of Macao. All the first missionaries who penetrated mainland China were formed here: Matteo Ricci, Andrew Kim etc..

Today their are no local vocations and society is turned towards the God of Money. Missionaries who come are there to prepare to go to China.

Senior Citizens party!Senior Citizens party!

Our Community

There are usually three of us here. Hsiu-Hsia takes care of the house and also visits and supports Migrant workers from China. Luckily she speaks Mandarin. There are also many elderly people in retirement homes run by the government and she loves to spend time with them. As for me my retirement is going well! I try to spend more time in intercessory prayer for our society! I also join in with what goes on at a Centre for the elderly that is run by the Chinese Trade Union. It is my way of being in touch with old friends. I also spend time with those who are terminally ill at the Chinese hospital and meet with their families.

There is also an outreach centre near where we live where I meet people living on the street and many who are addicted to drugs.

With a neighbourWith a neighbour

Workers who have come from China, many of them Fulkien live in our neighbourhood which is only five meters from the frontier. They come to work for a few years in Macao to help their families.

Seeing the way our society is moving, we often ask ourselves the question: ‘ To whom are we sent?’ ‘Who are the poorest and who are the farthest from the Church?’ We feel concerned by the way the Gaming industry is developping and as a sequel the growth of prostitution. Young women made redundant turn towards prostitution for a livelihood..

This is our NAZARETH  at the door of the great China where so far we have only been able to visit or make short stays but where we hope one day to be able to have a permanent community.

Macao Senior Citizens unite!Macao Senior Citizens unite!

Maria Jin Ha - a "look" upon life in Macao...

I have been living in Macao for almost 3 years. Right now, I am at home, but since February 1 took again a cleaning job part-time, in a professional school. Macao is a beautiful tourist city that attracts people from everywhere: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, continental China. Most people from China come to do their shopping. They buy cookies (a specialty from Macao), candy, milk for their children, medicine, etc. In Macao, there are 35 casinos. It is called the « Las Vegas of the Orient». During the feasts, the downtown area is nicely decorated and in the evening people come there to see the lights, and the shows of dances and songs organized by the government. It is truly a marvel. Everybody is delighted !

But on the other hand, the cost of living increases more and more, the rents are very expensive and except in the casinos, many people are unemployed. People go to the market in China and we too : vegetables are cheap over there. For 3 years, the government has been giving a sum of money each year to each resident to try to calm the discontent of the population.... The city grows faster and faster. In a few years, there will be an underground railroad and a big bridge which will link Hong Kong, Macao and China, which will make communications and economy much easier. The government is right now constructing buildings as the population is increasing. Because there is building everywhere, many workers are hired from different Asian countries : China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Nepal, Burma....