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Easter pastoral letter from our bishop

 

 Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, 

The public of Hong Kong, in general, might take the Easter celebrations as just another long weekend, an ideal time for a restful vacation. For us Catholics, this is the most joyful event in the year. 

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A different take on fasting comes out of the Byzantine Church tradition

HONG KONG (SE): An afternoon of instruction on Lent and Easter, or Pasqua, as practiced in the Byzantine rite of the Catholic Church, began and ended with a bit of hands-on prayer, Byzantine style.

Father Richard Soo, a Jesuit priest from the Catholic Byzantine Ukrainian Tradition in Canada, introduced the 30 or so people present at the Diocese Centre in Hong Kong on March 9 to his tradition of prayer.

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Bishop calls for prayer for universal suffrage

HONG KONG (SE): “Let us pray for the progress of political reform in Hong Kong. May universal suffrage be implemented as soon as possible, so that all citizens of Hong Kong may fully exercise the civil right of taking an active part in politics,” reads a prayer that the bishop of Hong Kong, John Cardinal Tong Hon, asked to be included at Mass on March 25, the day of the closed circle-selection process for the next chief executive.

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Cardinal Tong looks to opportunities in China

VATICAN (SE): “Through dialogue we can always achieve a win-win situation,” newly created cardinal, John Cardinal Tong Hon, told Gerard O’Connell in a wide-ranging interview at the Vatican published by the Vatican Insider on March 19.

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A time for healing and forgiveness not grilling

HONG KONG (SE): On the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent, parishes preparing to welcome adults and older children as new members of the Church through baptism at Easter, celebrate what is known as the scrutinies.

As the name suggests, the scrutinies involve a questioning of those presenting themselves for baptism. However, rather than an examination, it is regarded more as a rite of healing and strengthening.

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A wakeup call on the cash splash

HONG KONG (SE): Spending is a culture deeply ingrained in all of us. We can splash the cash and wave the credit card almost as compulsively as we breathe the air.

The moment we wake up we are already pondering our choices, from breakfast to the daily newspapers, magazines and a host of other things.

However, what we want may not always be what we need. We buy out of habit and, because we have the money, spend without thinking.

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Salesians farewell remarkable confrère

 

Hong Kong (SE): On March 9, his 86th birthday, Salesian Brother Joseph Ao Hoi-in died at around 10.30pm, at Pamela Youde Eastern Hospital, Chai Wan. 

His rector, sole surviving cousin and a friend were with him. Only two hours earlier, Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, the former bishop of Hong Kong, with his young confrères had come to pray at his bedside. Brother Ao had been rushed to hospital that morning suffering from cardiac arrest.

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The hour the earth shook and the waters swelled

HONG KONG (SE): As the clock ticked down to 1.46pm on March 11, the hour that the earth began to shake last year and the mighty tsunami that swept into the province of Fukushima, Japan, began to swell, Frances Tong and Anglican Pastor Fung Chi Wood, laid a wreath before a large photograph of the stark trunks of two trees standing desolate in the snow, at the opening of a photographic exhibition in Central Plaza, Wanchai.

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Gala welcome home for new cardina

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.

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