A Journey of Faith

Hong Kong’s Holy Spirit Seminary visits Macau

O Clarim News Bureau

In the vibrant tapestry of the Catholic Church, fostering collaboration and unity among different dioceses and seminaries plays a crucial role in nurturing the faith of its members. One way this is achieved is through the exchange of experiences and ideas. On August 20, 2023, St. Joseph Seminary of Macau welcomed the seminarians and formators of Holy Seminary of Hong Kong.

The seven seminarians were accompanied by the Most Reverend Joseph Ha Chi Sing, OFM, Auxiliary Bishop of Hong Kong and rector of the Holy Spirit Seminary, Rev. Joseph Ng Shu Shing (spiritual director), and Rev. Benedict Lam Cho Ming (pastoral formator). They stayed in Macau until August 22, 2023, visiting historical places and churches, among them St. Pius X Music Academy, St. Joseph’s University, St. Joseph’s Seminary and St. Lawrence Church. This unique opportunity allows these future priests to broaden their perspectives, deepen their understanding of pastoral ministry, and strengthen their commitment to serving the Church and its diverse communities.

Embracing Diversity

The Catholic Church spans continents, cultures, and languages, creating a rich and diverse spiritual landscape. A visit by seminarians to a different diocese exposes them to this wonderful diversity. By immersing themselves in a new environment, they encounter unique traditions, customs, and spiritual practices. This firsthand experience broadens their horizons and fosters a deeper appreciation for the universal nature of the Church.

Learning from Different Perspectives

Each diocese has its distinct challenges, strengths, and pastoral approaches. Although they stayed briefly, the visit of the Hong Kong seminarians to Macau offered them a valuable opportunity to learn from the experiences and insights of local clergy and the faithful. Engaging in informal dialogue with priests, other seminarians, and lay people from the Catholic Diocese of Macau enables them to witness firsthand the various ways the Church responds to the needs of its members. It is hoped that this exposure has given them some insights and understanding of pastoral ministry and will equip them with a diverse range of perspectives as they prepare to serve their own communities.

Building Inter-Seminary Relationships

Visiting another seminary provides seminarians with a chance to forge lasting relationships with fellow seminarians and clergy from different backgrounds. These connections extend beyond geographical boundaries and create a network of support and collaboration that can endure throughout their ministry. Shared experiences, mutual encouragement, and the exchange of ideas contribute to the formation of well-rounded priests who are grounded in the universality of the Church.

Deepening Spiritual Formation

The journey of these young men from Hong Kong is not merely a geographical transition; it is also a spiritual pilgrimage. Seminarians experience personal growth as they embrace new spiritual practices, encounter sacred sites, and participate in local devotions. They joined the Macau seminarians during daily their prayers and Mass. The opportunity to deepen their spiritual formation in unfamiliar surroundings fosters a sense of adaptability, resilience, and openness to the movement of the Holy Spirit—an essential aspect of their future ministry.

On the last day of their visit, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Macau and rector of St Joseph Seminary, Bishop Stephen Lee, handed the seminarians and formators souvenirs. The seminarians of St. Joseph seminary assured them prayers as they continue their journey and formation to the priestly ministry for the Diocese of Hong Kong.