CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Typhoon closes churches

HONG KONG (SE): Low black clouds hung over Hong Kong as Sunday July 23 gave birth to the light and at 9.20am, when a Typhoon Number Eight signal was hoisted, many churches in the city began to close their doors.
Because of the short notice, this left some people arriving for Masses not knowing that the signal had been hoisted and, finding themselves with nowhere to shelter, were left to their own devices to either return home or find shelter elsewhere.
The diocesan guidelines on storm warnings state, “When the Typhoon Number Eight (or above) is hoisted or a Black Rainstorm Warning is in force… regularly scheduled Masses are to be cancelled.”
At the cathedral, the doors were closed between the 8.00am and 9.30am Masses, although as the storm did not gather strength across most of the city, some parishes did not close their churches immediately.
In some centres, many people were already in place waiting for Mass to begin, but after offering a short prayer for the safety of people in the city, packed up early and by and large left in good spirits, at least with the novelty of having a new experience.
The number eight warning was taken down in the early afternoon, so late afternoon and evening Masses were not affected.
The storm was at its strongest around the Sai Kung area.
People are not under any obligation to change their usual schedule to attend another Mass.

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