CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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I offer my pains to glorify the Lord

I knew Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung for more than 45 years. We spent our seminary days together at the Holy Spirit Seminary. He was very good in Chinese culture, history and literature. I have fond memories of him playing football where he was always the goalkeeper. When he joined the seminary, he was at least 10 years older than us and used to call me “little boy” and would joyfully spent his time with us. 
 
While working with Caritas, because of the enormity of the work and facing many problems, Bishop Yeung used to share his difficulties with me. He always felt the weight of responsibility was too heavy for him until we found Father Joseph Yim Tak-lung to help him with his work. 
 
He had been fighting with liver health issues for more than 10 years. When the Vatican asked him to be auxiliary bishop, he informed told them of his reluctance due to ill health. However, finally accepted the appointment in obedience. Once he accepted the office, in spite of being in pain because of his sickness, he was always positive, and I can say he did his very best. 
 
He loved and lived the present moment. He was much concerned about the life of children and the future of the Church. So he liked to talk and participate in all the activities of the youth. He was in the office just for 17 months and during this period, one of his major concerns was the youth, and that resulted in the Year of the Youth. I remember him joining our parish youth when they gathered for some hotpot. He liked to talk to them and his oft-repeated message for the youth was: “Young people, I love you!” 
 
I would describe him in two words: a man of prayer and a good pastor. He spent almost five hours every day in prayer. Every morning you could find him meditation for more than an hour. He slept very little. Even during the daytime, he could be found in the little chapel on 14th floor in the Diocesan Centre. 
 
He used to say, “Before, I used my energy and strength of serve and praise the Lord, but now I offer my pains to glorify the Lord.”  It is not important how much we do, but what matters is how much we love. 
 
He had strong character. In spite of being in sickness and pain, he would reach out to people who asked for help. 
 
The day we celebrated the 130th anniversary of the cathedral, Bishop Yeung was to be  the main celebrant. Usually he would be in the chapel 30 minutes prior to the Mass, but that day he was late by 15 minutes. I went up to his room to look for him. He was in difficulty, but he insisted on coming down and celebrating the Mass. 
 
Similarly, on December 7, when the diocese celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, he fell down on the floor and bruised his face prior to the Mass. Nevertheless he insisted on going ahead with celebrating the Mass. 
 
This was his motto: “Arise, let us go forth from here” (John 14:31). And he lived up to it till the end. He was indeed a good pastor. 
 
 
Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming 
Vicar General 

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