CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Fanling children’s village opens multifunction centre

HONG KONG (SE): The Precious Blood Children’s Village held an open day on December 26 in which its newly-established multifunction centre and newly-renovated Precious Blood Retreat House were blessed.

John Cardinal Tong Hon urged people at the blessing ceremony to follow the example of the Sisters of the Precious Blood in caring about the needs of children, who mostly come from deprived or dysfunctional families, with love and mercy.

The village in Lung Yuek Tau, Fanling, was cramped for room to hold activities for the girls living under the sisters’ care in the dormitories.

As a result, the sisters began a project to provide a multi-function centre in 2014, with the aim of providing an indoor venue to accommodate various activities from large gatherings to indoor games, like badminton.

The centre also boasts a multimedia library, a room for study, prayer room and a number of flexi rooms that can be used for a wide variety activities.

Cardinal Tong said he is happy to see the opening of the multifunction centre during the Jubilee of Mercy. He reminded those present to be like the Precious Blood Sisters and care about the needs of others, allowing the love of God to reach the world, which he described as Pope Francis’ idea of the essence of the Jubilee of Mercy.

He added that the opening of the Holy Doors in churches around the diocese is basically a symbolic gesture and the important thing is to open the doors of our hearts, accepting the love of God and passing that love onto others.

Sister Madeleine Kwong Lai-kuen, the superior general of the Sisters of the Precious Blood and the president of the board of directors of the Children’s Village, thanked the benefactors for their care and support for the girls in the dormitories, which made it possible for the centre to be built.

She added that she also hopes the retreat house will provide a place for people to communicate with God.

Cardinal Tong blessed the multifunction centre, while Father Edward Khong Kin-cheung blessed the newly-renovated retreat house. Five years ago, the retreat house was temporarily taken over for activities by the Children’s Village. The retreat house resumed service in March last year.

The two dormitories in the village, the multifunction centre, the retreat house, the chapel and a part of the convent for retired sisters were opened for public inspection on the open day.

Wong Wing-yan, a social worker from the Children’s Village, said the multifunction centre will give her more opportunity to organise artistic expression therapy sessions for the girls in the village, who are mostly fond of art.

She believes the big mirrors in the rooms in the centre can help the girls see themselves while dancing, which can help them keep up their interest in the activity.

The orphanage was first opened by the Precious Blood Sisters in Lung Yeuk Tau in 1952 to accommodate the growing number of abandoned babies after World War II.

However, as Hong Kong made economic progress, the number of orphans dropped, but there was still a growing population of children deprived of proper care due to family problems.

To cater to their needs, the orphanage started to take in girls from broken families and 10 dormitories had been built by the end of 1962 with the support of benefactors. This work continues, but the orphanage was renamed the Precious Blood Children’s Village.

 

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