CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 13 July 2019

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A letter of condolence from the Diocese of Essen

On January 8, a few days after the passing of Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, John Cardinal Tong Hon, apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Hong Kong received a letter of condolence from Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck, the bishop of our sister diocese of Essen, in Germany. The bishop wrote:
 
Your Eminence, 
Dear Cardinal Tong, 
 
With great sadness and heartfelt compassion did I and did the whole diocese of Essen hear of the passing of your successor, Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung. He went home to God way too early at the age of 73. We all knew that he was suffering from a serious illness but we did not imagine that his life would be ending so soon. This past Thursday, 03 January 2019, he returned his life back into the hands of the almighty God. 
 
With great pleasure do I remember meeting Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung some years ago during my first visit to Hong Kong, our sister diocese. At that time, he was still serving as vicar general and director of Caritas-Hong Kong. Even more so do I remember his consecration as bishop August 2014 at which I had the opportunity to participate. His responsibilities with Caritas-Hong Kong and his attention to social problems did characterise his services during complicated times in which the relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the Holy See developed differently as before. 
 
During his short term in office as bishop of Hong Kong he often expressed how he felt close to the youth of Hong Kong. He felt especially close to those that he considered left behind in the economic development but he also felt close to those who he perceived as frustrated in their search for freedom and justice.
 
During the coming days, we will pray for God’s mercy for Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung in our diocese of Essen during the Holy Masses and Services. The Lord may reward his services for the Catholic Church of Hong Kong and his services for so many people in Hong Kong and beyond. May he live in Christ! 
 
Please extend my and our deepest, heartfelt sympathy to the whole diocese of Hong Kong. I will commemorate the deceased confrère and the whole diocese of Hong Kong in my prayers. May God the Lord bless you. 
 
Yours in Christ,
 
 
Franz-Josef Overbeck
Bischof von Essen

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