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Relic of Blessed Teresa welcomed to Hong Kong

HONG KONG (UCAN): In welcoming a relic of the founder of the Missionaries of Charity to Hong Kong, Bishop John Tong Hon asked people to pray that Blessed Teresa of Kolkata may intercede in helping people to make a new beginning in China-Vatican dialogue at a Mass celebrated at Ss. Cosmas and Damian parish, Tseun Wan, on February 5.

Speaking to around 1,000 people, the bishop of Hong Kong said Blessed Teresa, together with Blessed John Paul II, a lock of whose hair is permanently enshrined in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, always had a deep concern for the welfare of the Church in China.

“Mother Teresa not only visited Hong Kong and mainland China, but always wanted to establish her congregation in the mainland,” Bishop Tong said.

He added that “her dream was partially fulfilled” when the Missionaries of Charity were established in the special administrative region of Hong Kong in 1983.

Bishop Tong said that although the late pope could not contact Catholic people on the mainland, he had a great interest in them and prayed for them daily.

The bishop added that in 1986, the late pope made the groundbreaking decision to send Vatican representatives to begin a dialogue with Chinese officials.

However, Bishop Tong explained that the communication was suspended when China objected to the canonisation of the
120 Chinese martyrs on the anniversary of its foundation day, October 1, in the year 2000, and again came to a halt in 2011 when the Vatican declared that two illicitly ordained bishops had placed themselves in a state of excommunication.

“Only through honest dialogue can we resolve differences and reach a win-win solution. Let us pray more often about this,” the bishop of Hong Kong continued.

He said that he hoped dialogue would soon resume and can succeed at least to the point whereby the Missionaries of Charity sisters can formally establish themselves in the mainland, so that Chinese people can benefit from their care.

Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, a vicar general of the diocese, said the relic of Blessed Teresa—a drop of blood on a tiny piece of sack cloth—will be housed permanently in the Tsuen Wan parish church, which is situated in a grassroots residential area and is symbolic of the simplicity of Mother Teresa’s life.

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