HONG KONG: Three new auxiliary bishops ordained

Delia Yiu

Pope Francis has named three Rev. Michael Yeung Ming-cheung (diocesan priest), Rev. Stephen Lee Bun-sang (priest from the prelature of Opus Dei) and Rev. Joseph Ha Chi-shing (Franciscan priest), as auxiliary bishops for the Hong Kong diocese. The Episcopal Ordination was held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the afternoon of 30 August. 

The ceremony was celebrated by Bishop of Hong Kong Cardinal John Tong, and concelebrated with nine bishops from other dioceses, representing the collegiality of bishops as well as showing the unity of the universal church.

Photos by John Chiu
Photos by John Chiu

The bishops concelebrating the episcopal ordination included: Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun (Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong); Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai (Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples); Bishop of Macau Jose Lai Hung-seng; Archbishop of Taipei John Hung Shan-chuan; Archbishop Emeritus of Taipei Joseph Ti Kang; Bishop of Essen, Franz-Josef Overbeck (Germany); Bishop of Niigata, Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi (Japan); Bishop of the Military Ordinariate, Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il (Korea); and Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of San Francisco, Ignatius Wang (USA).

Photos by John Chiu
Photos by John Chiu

Different Christian religious representatives were invited for this historical ceremony. The cathedral was packed with faithful two hours before the ceremony, and the overflow crowd had to proceed to the adjacent Caritas Hall to enable their participation through the big screen. The three-hour ceremony attracted more than an estimated 2,000 faithful.

According to the liturgy, the ordination requires the the presentation of the bishops-elect, followed by reading the apostolic letter from the Roman Pontiff. Rev. Benedict Lam Cho-ming, a member of the Council of Priests, presented the three bishops-elect to ordaining bishops. The papal mandates were held aloft for everyone to see, and were read by Rev. Lawrence Lee Len, the chancellor of the diocese.

Three bishops-elect gave their promise to serve the diocese before the congregation, and prostrated as everyone chanted the litany of the saints. Cardinal Tong and other concelebrating bishops laid hands on the three, before pronouncing the ordination prayer, anointing them with the chrism oil of catechumens and placing the Gospel on their heads as a mandate to preach the good news of Christ.

Photos by John Chiu
Photos by John Chiu

Each of the three was presented the insignias of bishop: a ring as a seal of fidelity to the Catholic Church; a miter as the sign of bishop; and a crosier as the sign of a shepherd of God’s flock.

In the homily, Cardinal Tong reminded the three newly-ordained that the office of bishop is not an honor, but a position of service to the people. Especially in today’s society full of confusion, and people lacking a sense of moral values, he should feel the urgency to lead the church as a pastor. He encouraged the newly-ordained to use fatherly and fraternal love in caring for all people that God has entrusted to them, including all priests, the poor and the needy.

Cardinal Tong also reminded all the faithful to pray constantly for all bishops and clergy with a joyful and thankful heart. He encouraged all the clergy and faithful to realize the importance of humility and constant learning, together in spreading the Kingdom of God.

Each of the three newly ordained bishops gave a short speech after communion. Bishop Ha first thanked his family members and Franciscan-brothers, who have given him support and tolerance that have contributed in his spiritual life. He expects, like the depiction of his coat of arm, that all faithful can continue to be his companion in proceeding to Christ, who himself is peace and kindness.

Bishop Lee first thank God for all the graces and sufficient guidance that let him joyfully to accept the will of God in serving the diocese. Bishop Lee also exhorted the faithful to use all the graces they receive to be a good Christians. He encouraged all faithful to pray more and meditate more on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as spreading the good news, in order to reach the goal of his motto “Ut Omnes Unum Sint” (That they all may be one) – to live unity within the church, and contribute to a healthy society.

Bishop Yeung thanked the commission and trust from the Holy Father, and he accepted the appointment joyfully. He also thanked all the support and advice from all parishioners, students, family and friends, that have helped in shaping who he is. Bishop Yeung also asked all faithful to continue pray for him, so that he can be a loyal servant of God, as well as a charitable bishop filled with faith and grace.

The three auxiliary bishops (Bishop Yeung, Bishop Lee and Bishop Ha) celebrated their first mass the following day at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and St Bonaventure Church respectively. They also attended a reception to introduce them to the members of he government, diplomatic corps and civil society on 1st September (Monday).

Photos by John Chiu
Photos by John Chiu

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