CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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New deacon for Hong Kong

HONG KONG (SE): Aloysius Mak Ying-kin is set to be ordained a deacon for the diocese of Hong Kong by Bishop John Tong Hon at St. Jude’s in North Point, at 3.00pm on December 10.

Mak, who was born in Hong Kong in 1980 and baptised soon afterwards at St. Alfred’s parish in Shatin, was brought up in a Catholic home.

However, at the age of two, Mak moved with his family to Tai Po, later becoming an altar boy at the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish.

After graduating from high school, he took on a diploma course in company secretarial work and administration at the Caritas Francis Hsu College, taking a job in the field after graduation.

However, something else was brewing in Mak’s mind and he left to take a job as a pastoral assistant at the Caritas Shatin Marden Foundation Secondary School.

In 1999 his father became seriously ill. He told the Sunday Examiner that this really tested his belief in God. However, in the long run, this time of trial helped him to focus himself and when his father got better he joined a monthly vocation prayer group.

He described time spent with a spiritual mentor as really helping him to see his way more clearly and after a long peiod of discernment decided to enter the seminary in Aberdeen in 2004.

After formal studies at the Holy Spirit Seminary, he was assigned to St. Mary’s Home for the Aged, the Home of Love and later the Caritas Community Centre-Tsuen Wan for pastoral experience.

He also did a stint with Youth Outreach, a Catholic-inspired non-government organisation, which reaches out to young people who haunt the streets at night and seeks to affirm and challenge them in a way that they can relate to.

He also spent time with the hospital chaplaincies, as well as in parishes at Ss. Cosmas and Damian, Tsuen Wan; St. Joseph’s in Kowloon Bay and Holy Redeemer at Tuen Mun.

Since September 9 this year, he has been working at St. Jude’s in North Point, where his ordination ceremony will take place, gaining experience in parish ministry. He will remain in the parish as a deacon.

Mak said his last seven years as a seminarian have really given him confidence in his interpersonal communication abilities and he also feels like he now knows a lot.

He explained that before he went to the seminary he thinks that he was just a really ordinary young man.

He said that he has learned a lot, “But the biggest reward is knowing that God never stopped accepting, protecting and caring about me.”

He recalled his first year of seminary life as being a real challenge in the sense that he had to adjust to the rhythm of community life and learn how to get along with his fellow seminarians.

He added that he found this difficult, as he does not have any brothers or sisters and was accustomed to being on his own and not having to share.

He explained that in his studies, he found philosophy extremely difficult and lagged behind his classmates, as a result of which he really had to put a lot of extra time in at the desks.

“Fortunately God did not abandon me and sent me lots of angels, like the priests, fellow seminarians and other friends, who gave me encouragement when I was depressed, so I had the courage to overcome the difficulties,” he said.

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