CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 18 May 2019

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Poor the top priority for bishop niece recalls

HONG KONG (SE): While Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung often reminded people of the needs of the least, the last and the lost, Karen Wu Yick-kwan, his niece, said during the vigil Mass on January 10 that she would also like to describe him with three “L”s—a person with “love” and “loyalty” who remembered his own needs the “least.”
 
Wu said Bishop Yeung had a deep love for life and his family. She said that, led by the bishop, the family was really united. He was also a passionate person who would sing a song when feeling joyful and cry when he saw the plight of the oppressed.
 
He often told her that problems cannot be solved by “hitting a hard brick wall.” On the contrary, he believed that communicating with love would help to break down the wall and create a door. 
 
Wu said Bishop Yeung was loyal to his faith. Two years ago, he considered the 40th anniversary of his priesthood a good reminder not to forget his vocation. She said he knew that God was numbering his days on Christmas Eve, so he celebrated midnight Mass in spite of his illness, giving a last reminder to people to pray for the Church in China and not to be indifferent to the situations of the poor.
 
Wu said the bishop remembered his own needs the least, as shown by the simplicity of the personal belongings he left behind. She said many rich people had tried to send him gifts, which he politely turned down, asking instead that they donate to Caritas. She said he would do anything for the poor as he put their needs at the top of his priority list.
 
In her sharing during the funeral Mass the next day, Wu recalled how Bishop Yeung did not allow himself to take a break, thinking that as a bishop there were responsibilities that he had to shoulder. Wu recounted that she once told him to rest, trying to persuade him with reasons like letting his team take on the job and that his contributions were great enough. The bishop simply replied that he should not slow down if God gave him chances to do his work.
 
In an article in the Kung Kao Po on January 9, Wu recalled Bishop Yeung explaining why he had to spend time in communion with his flock, saying, “If I am the shepherd, I have to know my flock and how can I miss the chances to know them?” They were among his last words to her.

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