CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Celebrating the work of human hands

HONG KONG (SE): To mark the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong Catholic Commission for Labour Affairs, a Mass was held at Holy Cross parish, Shau Kei Wan, on March 19, the feast of St. Joseph the husband of Mary, but also the patron saint of workers.

The Mass to celebrate the work of human hands was said by Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing and Father Gregoire Vignola. It was one event among a series scheduled to mark the jubilee of the commission.

Bishop Ha encouraged those present to follow the example of St. Joseph, whom he described as acting according to the instruction of the angel to fulfill God’s plan.

“We are all a piece in the puzzle of God’s plan. We may not understand God’s plan. But our dream is not only ours, but also that of God,” the bishop said.

He added that one objective of the Labour Commission is to walk with the workers and share their burdens, which is one piece of the big puzzle in which God wants us all to be a part.

A banner bearing the signatures of all present at the Mass and the annual reports of the commission, as well as one depicting a puzzle map of Hong Kong symbolising a city made up by people from all walks of life, including the grassroots, were presented at the offertory.

The offerings reflected the hope that faith can be an influence in the workplace through the cooperation of the Church with the workers themselves.

To mark the 25th anniversary, the commission organised Lunar New Year parties with the ad hoc committee of the Jubilee of Mercy on February 21.

Around 400 cleaners and their families, as well as people from south-east Asia were invited to join a Poon Choi dinner (big bowl feast) at three separate venues, Holy Cross, St. Francis of Assisi in Sham Shui Po and St. Jerome in Tin Shui Wai.

On April 30, there will be a celebration at Ng Wai Catholic Secondary School, San Po Kong, in which those who do not work with their hands will be invited to compete in carrying out the duties of grassroots workers.

Those who earn their living as cleaners, security officers and newspaper hawkers will be invited to judge if the tasks are completed according to professional standards.

Dorothy Lee Ching-man, the secretary general of the commission, said the programme is to show that grassroots workers do seemingly minor tasks that actually are extremely important, as they contribute to hygiene, a clean and healthy environment, as well as safety.

The programme is to help participants understand the hard work that people in these sectors put in and the difficulties they face.


Two films about the plight of grassroots workers will be shown in cooperation with the Diocesan Audio Visual Centre on May 22. Bishop Joseph Ha will be invited to comment.

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