CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Centenarian Salesian marks jubilee the goes to final rest

HONG KONG (UCAN): Salesian Father Paul Fong Ting-chung (100 years old) passed away on the evening of August 16 at St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, the 204th birthday of Don Bosco. 
 
John Cardinal Tong Hon, the apostolic administrator of Hong Kong, presided over the concelebrated funeral Mass held at St. Antony’s Church, Pokfulam, on August 24. Father Fong, who was 100-years-old, was then laid to rest at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in Happy Valley.
 
Father Fong was the first Chinese Salesian Rector in the history of the China province (Beijing Don Bosco School, 1952 to 1954). He was one of the 16 Salesian confessors of the faith, who witnessed to Jesus and the pope spending 37 years in detention—15 in prison, 22 years in a labour camp—for his Catholic faith and his fidelity to the pope as the Vicar of Christ. However, those many years in prison did not stop him from reaching the 80th anniversary of his religious profession.
 
On the morning of August 16, at Braga House, the Salesian’s Hong Kong facility for sick and senior confrères, Father Ángel Fernández Artime, the visiting rector major of the Salesians, spent a good time in dialogue, prayer and admiration with this extraordinary Salesian. 
 
He found him very peaceful and serene, but didn’t realise that a few hours later, while when the whole Salesian Family in Hong Kong was celebrating the Eucharist of thanksgiving for Don Bosco, Father Fong would die peacefully in the hospital where he had spent the past two months.
 
After his release from detention in 1954, Father Fong was able to come across to Hong Kong. In spite of his age he was always present as assistant during recess time at the Salesian school and was, for many years, a much-requested confessor and spiritual guide for a large number of Salesians. 
 
Even on his last day, some confrères took advantage of his return from hospital and received his absolution. He was cheerful and a servant of others. May he rest in peace.

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