CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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God walks with us in our vocation

HONG KONG (SE): The Diocese of Hong Kong celebrated the 55th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations with different activities on April 21 and 22. The events were organised by the Diocesan Commission for Vocations.
St. Benedict Church, Shatin, and St. Alfred’s Church, Tai Wai, jointly hosted the activities on April 21 with a sharing of vocation stories, a Eucharistic procession and a concelebrated Mass. Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing presided over the celebrations which began with two inspiring vocation stories from Precious Blood Sister Anne Yau Suk-kee and diocesan Father Vincent Woo Wan Shun, assistant parish priest at St. Mary’s Church, Hung Hom. 
“After my baptism, my friends noticed that even when all the people around me were dealing with their anxieties and tensions, I remained so joyful and at peace. And I wouldn’t want to lose that happiness for a moment,” was how Sister Yau related her journey into religious life.  
She was addressing a gathering of over 300 parents and children in St. Benedict Church, Shatin. Father Vincent Woo shared his experience of caring for the lives of the faithful in their most painful moments as a special calling and a grace. Sister Yau and Father Woo consider their vocations to the religious life and to the priesthood both fulfilling and a great blessing. 
Bishop Ha lead the two kilometre vocation walk—a solemn Eucharistic procession—from St. Benedict Church to St. Alfred’s Church. Priests and parishioners from both parishes along with priests and religious from other parishes joined the procession, reciting the mysteries of the Rosary, praying for vocations to priesthood and religious life.  
The Mass, concelebrated by Bishop Ha, Father Slawomir Kalisz, parish priest of St. Alfred’s, and other priests, was attended by over 500 people. 
In his homily, Bishop Ha told the people present that responding to a vocation is to return God’s love in order to share the mission of Jesus the Good Shepherd to share God’s love. “Not every one has a vocation to lead a consecrated life, but we have a responsibility to listen to the voice of God and respond,” he reminded the gathering. 
Quoting the message of Pope Francis for the 2018 World Day of Vocations, Bishop Ha said the voice of Jesus is not as clear-cut as any of the things we can hear in our daily lives. It is soft so as not to affect our freedom, but persistent and always waiting for us to answer.
Bishop Ha also recalled that the walk from St. Benedict’s was a tremendous experience showing that God will walk with us in our vocations and that we are children loved by God.
Another Mass for vocations was also celebrated by vicar general, Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, at St. Joseph’s Church, Kwun Tong, on April 22. On the same day, Bishop Ha celebrated a Mass in English at St. Mary’s Church, Hung Hom.
The Diocesan Vocation Commission will organise Masses for vocations at St. Cosmas and Damian Church, Tsuen Wan, on April 29, to be celebrated by vicar general, Father Benedict Lam Cho-ming; as well as at Star of the Sea parish, Chai Wan, on May 6, to be celebrated by vicar general, Father Peter Choy Wai-man.  
Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung will celebrate a Mass for vocations on May 13 at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Caine Road.
The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publically fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2).

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