CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Two deacons ordained for the diocese

HONG KONG (SE): Two seminarians, Francis Xavier Wong Kwan-yau and Vincent Woo Wan-shun, were ordained deacons by the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, for the diocese of Hong Kong at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on October 29.

In acknowledging the support they have received over the years of their formation, the two gave thanks to God for their vocation to serve people through the Church and to their families for the selfless contribution they have made in encouraging them.

The former bishop of the city, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, together with Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing and priests from the diocese gathered to celebrate the occasion.

Bishop Ha, the rector of the Holy Spirit Seminary, recommended Wong and Woo to Cardinal Tong for ordination as deacons. The two then knelt before the bishop who presented them with the book of the gospels and laid hands on them.

Cardinal Tong reminded the newly-ordained that their ministry has a spiritual as well as a corporal dimension. He explained that as deacons they are required to practice what they preach in bearing witness to the mercy of God.

He stressed that the call of the deacon is to respond to the needs of the poor, as the Church is a Church of servants, and deacons are not ordained to be served, but to serve in the spirit of Christ.

Reverend Wong thanked his family for their generous support for his choice, singling out his younger sister, Wong Kwan-yi, for promising to take on the responsibility for the family when he went to the seminary seven years ago.

She said that her 47-year-old brother had told her that he decided to go to the seminary because he felt a sense of mission in his heart. He then quit his job as a teacher at La Salle College and went to Holy Spirit Seminary.

“My older brother found his direction in life and I am really happy for him,” his sister said.

Fung Wai-chun, a former colleague on the staff at La Salle, said she was overwhelmed when she witnessed how he responded to his vocation.

She added that she believes that God has a unique vocation for everyone and so far, she has seen the amazing work God has done through Reverend Wong.

Reverend Woo invited people to pray for him. “My vocation is to serve the poor, the homeless and other marginalised people. May God remind me not to forget these brothers and sisters no matter what position I am in,” he said.

Woo Wai-man, the father of the new deacon, said he supported his son’s decision to become a priest. “This is a blessing from God,” he said.

Woo’s father has worked with the St. Vincent de Paul Society for years and he believes the society has inspired his son to be among the poor.

He recalled that his son was also involved in with a newly-formed conference of the society when he was studying psychology at university in the United States of America.

Reverend Woo has been on pastoral experience at St. Mary parish, Hung Hom. Chan Pui-yan, from the parish youth group, said she has been happy to have the 32-year-old seminarian in the parish.

Considering Woo to be her peer, she feels that he can really understand young people’s needs and respond to them in a relatable spiritual manner.

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