CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 7 September 2019

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Centre for the disabled marks silver jubilee

HONG KONG (SE): The Diocesan Pastoral Centre for the Disabled, Homantin, celebrated its silver jubilee on October 27 with an open day.
 
During a sharing session, Peggy Fung Pui-kay, chairperson of the centre, talked about its services, which include a Mass for the physically disadvantaged on the first Sunday of the month followed by lunch. She invited people to volunteer to help.
 
Veteran volunteers then spoke about the skills needed to help physically disadvantaged and visually-impaired people on an outing.
 
Teresa Tam Ting-sin, a member of the Diocesan Commission for Pastoral Services to the Disabled, also shared her experiences in leading physically-disadvantaged people on pilgrimages overseas remarking that the centre has been organising them every three years since 1990.
 
Speaking of a trip to Israel undertaken in 2011, Tam said it was a journey of faith as they met many difficulties despite the preparations beforehand. However, she said the trials were blessings that deepened their faith.
 
Tang Yuen-mei, said she was glad to give her life testimony on various occasions. She lost her eyesight due to an illness a few years ago. However, after joining a rehabilitation class, she came into contact with people whose kindness reminded her of the story shared by a teacher during her school days about Jesus’ footsteps always being beside ours. So she joined the catechism class of the centre and was baptised in 2014. 
 
After the sharings, students of the two catechism classes, which are held in Sai Ying Pun and San Po Kong, danced and sang hymns of thanksgiving for God’s blessings.
 
Vicar general, Father Benedict Lam Cho-ming, then celebrated a Mass in which sign language was used. 
 
In his homily, Father Lam said that the Diocesan Pastoral Centre for the Disabled is not only a place for mutual help and support, but also a place for people to gather in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
He said that when trials or shortfalls happen, the focus should be on first seeking and seeing Jesus Christ amid the difficulties in order to find ways to overcome them. 
 
The centre was set up on the former campus of Valtora Primary School, Homantin, in 1993, with the financial support of the diocese. By the time the renovation was completed, a recording room, consultation room and multifunctional hall, braille readers as well as other audio-visual facilities were available.  
 
In January 1995, a rehabus was donated by the Li Ka Shing Foundation to help the physically disadvantaged people travel around more easily.
 
Apart from a monthly Mass, the centre also organises 24-hour Eucharistic adorations, retreats, prayer meetings, festival celebrations as well as other activities to encourage support for physically-disadvantaged and promote unity in Christ.
 
The staff at the centre is responsible for the work of the Diocesan Commission for Pastoral Services to the Disabled as well as for coordinating activities.

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