Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, S.D.B., member of the College of Cardinals, Bishop of Hong Kong (China), was born on 13 January 1932 in Yang King-pang, Shanghai, China. He was ordained a priest in Turin, Italy, on 11 February 1961 for the Society of Don Bosco, the Salesian Order. He obtained his Master¡¦s degree in Theology and his Doctorate in Philosophy from the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.
He has been a professor of theology and philosophy at the Holy Spirit Seminary College (Hong Kong) since 1970, and the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Holy Spirit Seminary College from 1984 to 1991.
Cardinal Zen served as Provincial of Salesian Chinese Province from 1978 to 1983, he also served as Supervisor of Aberdeen Technical School from 1986 to 1989 From 1989 until 1999, before he was prevented from going to China, Cardinal Zen taught in several China seminaries: Shanghai, Wuhan, Xi'an. Shijiazhuang, Beijing and Shenyang.
On October 20, 1996, he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Hong Kong and ordained on December 9, 1996. On September 23, 2002, upon the death of Cardinal John Baptist Wu, he was installed as Bishop of Hong Kong. He was Created and proclaimed cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 24 March 2006, of the Title of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore a Tor Bella Monaca (St. Mary Mother of the Redeemer at Tor Bella Monaca). He retired from Bishop of
Hong Kong on 15 April 2009.