CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Music to celebrate 130th anniversary of the cathedral

HONG KONG (SE): A thanksgiving concert was held at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Caine Road, on October 14 to celebrate its 130th anniversary.
A number of Catholic musicians, the Cathedral Joint Choirs, the Good Hope School Choir as well as the Chummy Choir were invited to perform that day.
Under the leadership of musical director, Viola Yuen Wing-ling, the concert featured performances on instruments such as the trumpet, violin, cello, pipe organ, hand bells and harp. 
The concert encompassed different eras and styles of music, from the classical to the modern, symbolising the fact that the cathedral has borne witness to the development of the Hong Kong over the past century. 
Construction of the 19th century neo-Gothic church, in the area of Glenealy, began in 1883 after the previous cathedral, which was located at the junction of Pottinger and Wellington Streets, Central, was destroyed by fire in 1859. 
The inaugural Mass for the new cathedral was celebrated on 7 December 1888, the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. 
It was damaged in 1941 when the Japanese Imperial Army attacked Hong Kong in World War Two, but it remained untouched throughout the occupation period. 
At present, the relics of over 10 saints are situated in the chapels of the cathedral for veneration. They include the relics of the 120 Chinese martyrs, who were canonised in 2000, and Pope Saint John Paul II. 
The remains of past apostolic vicars and bishops of Hong Kong are also interred in an under-floor columbarium in front of the altar of the Mission Chapel (Sunday Examiner, 5 April 2009 and 5 April 2015).
Listed as a Grade 1 Historical Building by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 1990, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was also given the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Conservation Award in 2003 (Sunday Examiner, 14 December 2003).
The concert is one of the events marking the 130th anniversary of the cathedral. 
Other events included a carnival held on April 29 to raise funds for major renovations next year, a thanksgiving Mass for couples on June 24 and a rosary concert organised by the Diocesan Choir on October 26. 
The Cathedral Joint Choirs are slated to celebrate a thanksgiving Mass at 3.00pm at the cathedral on November 18.

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