This year, H.E. Bishop José Lai Hung-seng is reaching 70 years of age and for health reasons and medical treatments he decided to present his resignation from office of Bishop of Macau to the Holy Father.
Pope Francis, to meet this legitimate desire of Bishop Lai, on 16 January 2016 has accepted his resignation and, at the same time, has appointed H.E. Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang who is at present Auxiliary Bishop of Hong Kong, as new Bishop of Macau.
Bishop Stephen Lee Bun-sang will take possession of the Diocese of Macau on Saturday, 23 January 2016, at 3 PM with the Eucharistic celebration that will take place at the Cathedral to mark the 440th Anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Macau.
The solemn event of 23 January will be also a happy occasion to welcome the new Bishop Lee and to thank sincerely Bishop José Lai Hung-seng for his generous episcopal ministry that he started on 23 January 2001 as Coadjutor Bishop and continued from 30 June 2003 as Ordinary Bishop of the same Diocese. Bishop Lai will remain in contact with the Diocese of Macau as Bishop Emeritus, after having spent a certain period of time in prayer and for resting.
These Pontifical provisions express the pastoral care and the love of Pope Francis and of the Holy See towards the Church in China and, in a special way, towards the Diocese of Macau which has been for more than four centuries a bridge of culture and Catholic faith between the East and the West.
CURRICULUM VITAE OF BISHOP STEPHEN LEE BUN-SANG (updated 18 January 2016)
Bishop Stephen LEE Bun-sang was born on 10 November 1956 in Hong Kong. He was baptized Catholic on 24 July 1976 at St Margaret’s Church in Hong Kong. He then went to England where he studied Architecture, first at the Oxford Polytechnic (1976-1977) and afterwards in the London School of Architecture. He obtained his architecture degree in 1981. In the meantime, in 1978, he joined the Opus Dei Prelature in London as a numerary member. He returned to Hong Kong in 1982 and started to work as an architect.
In 1984, he entered the international seminary of Opus Dei Prelature in Rome for his studies in Philosophy and Theology. He then continued further ecclesiastical studies at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain and obtained the Doctorate in Canon Law. There he wrote his doctoral dissertation Relaciones Iglesia-Estado en la República Popular China (Church-State Relations in the People’s Republic of China). He was ordained priest in Spain on 20 August 1988.
He returned to Hong Kong in 1989 and started his pastoral work as chaplain to some Opus Dei Centers and schools. He was appointed in the same year by the Bishop of Hong Kong as Defender of the Bond in the Diocesan Tribunal of Hong Kong. In 1994, he became the Supervisor of Tak Sun School of Hong Kong.
In 2012, he was appointed by the Prelate of Opus Dei Prelature as the Regional Vicar for the East Asia Region. At the same time, he has continued his pastoral work in preaching monthly recollections and retreats, and in giving Catholic doctrine classes for the Prelature, the Diocese, the parishes and different religious communities.
He was appointed by Pope Francis as Auxiliary Bishop for Hong Kong on 11 July 2014 and was ordained bishop on 30 August 2014. He has been in charge of formation of laity, schools, communications, liturgy, and building developments in the Diocese of Hong Kong.
After the resignation from office of Bishop José LAI Hung-seng, on 16 January 2016, he was appointed by Pope Francis as new bishop of Macau.