CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Three ordained deacons in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (SE): Seminarians, Ignatius Lo King-Ip and Paul Nguyen Kim-son, were ordained deacons for the diocese of Hong Kong together with a Franciscan, Pio Ng Wan-hang, by John Cardinal Tong Hon at St. Francis of Assisi parish, Shek Kip Mei, on November 14.

The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Tong, together with Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung and Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing. Around 1,000 people were present.

During the ceremony, Law and Nguyen were recommended by Bishop Ha, the rector of Holy Spirit Seminary, and Ng was put forward by the president of the Franciscans in Hong Kong, Father Stephen Chan Mun-hung.

The congregation at the parish church gave its recommendation to the three with a loud round of applause after they were received by Cardinal Tong.

Cardinal Tong emphasised the responsibilities of the new deacons in assisting priests at the liturgy, as well as pastoral and charitable work in their important commission to refresh the spirit of people.

He also said he believes that while responding to a religious vocation in today’s world can be difficult, the company of God and the community of God’s people can fill the lives of religious people with joy.

The three newly-ordained deacons spoke about their journey to vocation at the end of the ordination Mass. Reverend Ng said he felt joy, because of the understanding and support he has received from lay people, as well as the presence of Christ in his life, especially in difficult times.

Reverend Lo said his biggest challenge in responding to his vocation has been to know himself.

“It is to accept my own mistakes and shortcomings and then overcome them. Although there have been trials and disappointments, I was able to see God through the difficulties and rely on him,” he reflected.

He encouraged young people not to be afraid and to open their hearts to accept Jesus Christ, as responding to a religious vocation is full of the joy of the company of God.

Nguyen said prayer is the best tool in promoting vocation. The Vietnamese deacon thanked the clergy, the parish he had served in and the lay people for their support and prayer, which have helped him to bear witness to God and serve the world.

Luk Shun-wa, a catechist from Ss. Cosmas and Damian parish in Tsuen Wan, where Reverend Lo had worked during his pastoral exposure programme, said the newly-ordained deacon had shared his own faith openly in catechism classes and set a good example for the catechumens by his dedication in theological studies.

People from Vietnamese communities also joined the ceremony to support Nguyen. One of them said she appreciated the simplicity and honesty of the newly-ordained deacon.

She invited Catholics in Hong Kong to pray for the Church in Vietnam, as it does not enjoy complete religious freedom and it is not easy for young people to respond to a call to a religious vocation.

Reverend Lo will be assigned to the Holy Redeemer parish in Tuen Mun, while Reverend Nguyen will go to St. Patrick’s in Wang Tau Hom and Reverend Ng to St. Benedict’s in Shatin.

 

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