CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Laity formation fund increased

HONG KONG (SE): The diocese of Hong Kong has increased its Annual Fund for the Formation of the Laity from $1 million to $1.2 million as a result of an appeal launched during the Year of the Laity to give greater access to theological studies to Catholic people.

On November 6, the Chinese-language Catholic weekly, the Kung Kao Po, reported that in the 18th annual distribution of the fund, 65 scholarships were assigned.

Seventy-four applications were received for financial assistance from people interested in furthering their studies in catechetical matters, theology and related religious disciplines, as well as sacred music.

Vicar general and the president of the fund, Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, said that the Fund for the Formation of the Laity was created in 1992 by the then-bishop of Hong Kong, John Baptist Cardinal Wu Cheng-chung.

The original sinking fund was raised on the occasion of the centennial celebrations of the first Mass to be said in the current Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 7 December 1888.

All up this time around, $4 million was collected and, in order to meet the ever-growing need for theological formation among the laity, the diocese has added additional funds.

The specified topics for study have also been broadened to include hospital pastoral care in 1995, distance learning formation for a licentiate in theology and sacred music in 2000, pastoral care of young people in 2001, and married couples and family in 2005. Other disciplines were added in the following year.

Over the 18 years of its existence, the fund has supported more than 640 laypeople for studies either in Hong Kong or abroad.

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