CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Be missionaries Hong Kong’s Catholics urged

Hong Kong (UCAN): Hong Kong’s Catholics have been encouraged to study historical events so that they can carry on the work of missionaries to evangelise the territory.
Speaking at a March 23 event to launch a lecture series called Missionary History of Hong Kong Church in 20th Century Father Louis Ha Ke-loon, director of the Centre for Catholic Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, remarked that conducting historical studies does not merely involve digging out facts, but is a process of gaining an awareness of what our predecessors left for us.
The lecture series, co-organized by the Centre for Catholic Studies, the diocesan archives office and Chinese-language weekly newspaper Kung Kao Po, will conclude with an academic conference in December. 
Father Ha, who is the archivist for the Diocese of Hong Kong, explained that studying history helps us absorb wisdom from the experience of our ancestors and leads us to reflect on what we should do.
 “Different political and social incidents somehow affect the survival of the Church. The Church cannot isolate itself from the temporal and spatial background,” he told the Kung Kao Po on March 22.
Italian Father Gianni Criveller, of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), the main speaker at the event, shared the history of missionary work in Hong Kong.
He told about 80 participants including religious, theology students and Italian expatriates that Italian missionaries evangelised Hong Kong in three ways: creating Christian communities and parishes, education and formation, and social services and charities.
Print media also provided information to the laity. The Kung Kao Po was co-founded by Father Andrea Granelli in 1928, while its English-language counterpart, the Sunday Examiner, was started by Father Nicola Maestrini in 1946.
Established as an apostolic prefecture in 1841, Hong Kong was entrusted to the Institute of Foreign Missionaries of Milan, the predecessor of PIME, in 1868 before it became an apostolic vicariate in 1874 when then-Father Timoleone Raimondi was ordained bishop and made the territory’s first apostolic vicar.
Father Criveller called on local Catholics to take up more missionary work. He stressed that every baptised member of the Church has a vocation of evangelisation.

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