CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Kennedy Town parish celebrates 65 years

HONG KONG (SE): Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Kennedy Town marked its 65th anniversary with a Mass concelebrated by Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, parish priest, Father Pierre Lam Minh; assistant parish priest, Father Pierre Joseph Jeanne; Father Bruno Lepeu; Father John Zhang Xinghao; Father Joseph Yim Tak-lung and Father Mark Anthony Serna, on October 7. 
 
As it was the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the bishop urged those present to make reciting the rosary a daily habit and urged them to pray for world peace and reconciliation.
 
On October 28, a concert was staged at the parish in thanksgiving for over six decades of God’s blessings.
 
Over the past 65 years, the parish has dedicated itself to serving the people in need in the Western District. In 1953, Father Joseph Marious Madeore of the Paris Foreign Missions rented a unit on the second floor of a tenement building on Smithfield Road as a chapel. On the feast day of Our Lady of Rosary, Mass was celebrated there for the first time hence the church was named the Our Lady of Rosary Church.
 
One year later, Father Madeore established St. Claire School to provide poor children with an opportunity for education. The present church building was completed in October 1960 and Bishop Lawrence Bianchi celebrating the inaugural Mass on 18 December 1960. 
 
The number of people baptised increased every year as the parish dedicated itself to visiting families and making services available for children. During its first 10 years, as many as 3,079 people were baptised. 
 
Concerned about the lack of adequate housing, especially for the elderly who were living in caged tenements in the area, Our Lady of the Rosary parish organised fund-raising events in 1980 to help the old tenants who were finally granted public housing by the government.
 
The parish is also remembered for helping victims and affected families in the aftermath the landslide of Kwun Lung Lau, a public housing estate in Kennedy Town on 23 July 1994. The parish took the initiative in offering temporary accommodation by opening the parish hall and the classrooms of the school. 
 
Our Lady of the Rosary has always promoted the “parish as one family” and nurtures a team spirit and group sharing.  It has organised various pastoral programmes and social activities to help the community develop a caring mindset for the neighbourhood.

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