Hong Kong marks end of Year of Consecrated Life

The icon was the centrepiece of the celebration in Hong Kong during the 15 months of the Year of Consecrated Life.

China
February 18 2016, 4:36 PM
Hong Kong marks end of Year of Consecrated Life

Hong Kong diocese marked the end of the Year of Consecrated Life on February 2, the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, with a Mass celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Although becoming fewer in number, the presence of religious from various congregations and secular institutes of consecrated life are a precious part of the life of the Church, said Cardinal John Tong Hon of Hong Kong.

Franciscan Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing and the former bishop of Hong Kong, Salesian Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, also joined priests and religious at the Mass.

Likening the presence of religious in the diocese to a candle burning itself down to illumine the world, Cardinal Tong prayed for those who follow Christ as consecrated persons. He asked that they may enkindle the same zeal in their own hearts to lead more people to the Lord.

An icon of the Presentation in the Temple was carried in procession to the altar by members of the locally founded Precious Blood Sisters, as all present held candles symbolising the light of Christ illuminating the darkness of the world.

The sisters then enthroned the icon before the altar and the cardinal stood silently before it in prayer, as the smoke of the incense symbolically carried his prayer up to heaven.

The icon was the centrepiece of the celebration in Hong Kong during the 15 months of the Year of Consecrated Life. It was passed from congregation to congregation to serve as a centrepiece for prayer for vocations at gatherings and to encourage people to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

“It helped to broaden our horizons,” said Cardinal Tong adding that it is fitting that the Jubilee of Mercy is following the Year of Consecrated Life. “The consecrated life is intertwined with mercy,” he reflected.

The religious and priests then renewed their consecration to the service of God.

Bishop Ha, who chaired the organisational committee for the Year of Consecrated Life, thanked people for the enthusiasm they showed for the year and their hard work in organising and taking part in the various activities that took place during the year, while asking people to continue to pray and promote vocation to the religious life in the diocese.

Source: Sunday Examiner