HONG KONG (SE): The people and priests of Hong Kong diocese gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on March 3 for the celebration of a Mass of thanksgiving and to welcome the newly appointed John Cardinal Tong Hon back home from Rome.
Attended by around 20 representatives of Christian denominations and religious faiths, as well as the former bishop of the diocese, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, people rose to applaud the new cardinal when he entered the packed cathedral.
Speaking in both Cantonese and English, Cardinal Tong outlined his vision for the diocese and thanked people for the ongoing support and dedicated witness to the faith.
He described his new role as offering a challenge to himself personally, saying, “The cardinal’s red hat is a symbol of martyrdom, which reminds me to make greater efforts in evangelisation, to guide the people of God, to serve society, to defend human rights, justice and peace, and to even give up my life without any hesitation for my faith.”
However, he added that it is also an honour to be shared by every member of the diocese, adding, “Since this honour of becoming a cardinal is also for the diocese, let us share this honour, as well as the responsibility entrusted to us.”
The gifts at the offertory procession were presented by the new cardinal’s sister, Annie, and his executive secretary, Sister Emelia Marcelo
The readings were presented in Cantonese, English and Mandarin.