CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Mother Teresa and Hong Kong

HONG KONG (SE): Mother Teresa visited Hong Kong in 1983 at the invitation of the Hong Kong Catholic Marriage Advisory Council.

She was invited to be the guest speaker at the Inaugural Session of the Third International Congress of the International Federation for Family Life Promotion on 20 November 1983 at the City Hall.

Angela Chiu told the Sunday Examiner that the congress attracted 500 participants, with over 200 from 73 different countries. The mission of the congress was to arouse public concern for both Family Life Education and Natural Family Planning.

Mother Teresa gave an inspiring speech that incorporated the spirit of Family Life Education and Natural Family Planning into the practices of love and prayer.

The saint of the slums made several visits to Hong Kong between 1981 and 1985. It was one of her strongest wishes to establish a foundation on mainland China.

She visited the mainland three times between 1985 and 1993, meeting officials from the official Church community, as well as the government, but her sisters never made it to the Middle Kingdom.

Hearing of her death on 5 September 1997, the then-chief secretary of the Hong Kong administration, Anson Chan Fang On-sang, described Mother Teresa in a press release as “a strong personality of great compassion, who brought comfort and relief to millions of people, including the needy of Hong Kong.”

UCAN reported at the time that Chan met Mother Teresa in 1985 when she was the director of the Social Welfare Department. She said that all people in Hong Kong were impressed with her sense of purpose and the drive and energy she devoted to setting up a home for the homeless.

In 1983, Mother Teresa was awarded an honorary degree in social services by the University of Hong Kong for services to the poor and abandoned.

A relic of Mother Teresa—a drop of blood on a tiny piece of sackcloth—is housed permanently in the Tsuen Wan parish church, which is situated in a grassroots residential area of Hong Kong and symbolic of the simplicity of her life.

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