Tripod


Autumn 2006 Vol. 26 - No. 142 Fujen at 80 Christian Education in China


 

A Brief History of the Regional Seminary for South China and Its Influence on the Catholic Church Today
0
Anthony Lam, Translated by Purple Kwong

The Chinese original of this article appeared in Tripod, No. 135, Winter 2004.

The Origin

        Archbishop Celso Costantini, the first Apostolic Delegate to China, summoned the First Catholic Synod of China in Shanghai in 1924. One of the resolutions of the conference was to establish a network of 14 regional seminaries in China. By 1936, 11 regional seminaries had been established, and the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen in the Diocese of Hong Kong was one of them. In fact, this seminary has lasted longer than any of the others. Due to the political changes in China, this Regional Seminary in Hong Kong, accepted a large number of seminarians from other dioceses in China. It was also the cradle for many bishops in China, thus playing an important role in the development of the Chinese Catholic Church in the second half of the 20th century.

        As early as 1922, Archbishop Costantini already had in mind the setting up of a regional seminary in Hong Kong to receive young Catholics from South China who aspired to become priests. In a reflection he wrote for the silver jubilee of the South China Regional Seminary in 1956, Cardinal Costantini recalled:

        A little time after my arrival in China as Apostolic Delegate in 1922, I was fully convinced that it was necessary to erect a Regional Seminary in Hong Kong for the missions in the South of China. The seminary in Penang, praiseworthy for many reasons, was too distant from China and because of the attendance of students of other nations could not include in its school program the study of Chinese. This was a very important factor. Chinese priests must have a sufficient culture of their own difficult language.[1]

        
        Classes first commenced in October 1931, and 33 years passed, before, in 1964, the seminary was handed over to the Diocese of Hong Kong and renamed Holy Spirit Seminary. The other regional seminaries in China ceased operation within a few years after the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Reasons for Establishing a Regional Seminary in Hong Kong

        
The background for the establishment of a Regional Seminary in Hong Kong can be seen in a letter Archbishop Costantini, Apostolic Delegate in China, wrote to the Prefect of Evangelization of Peoples.

        When I was in Hong Kong, I had discussed the matter concerning the establishment of a seminary for South China with Bishop Valtorta, Bishop Antonius Fourquet, a Salesian who was Vicar Apostolic of Shaozhou, and the bishop of Macau, and they all agreed that a seminary should be built for all the Apostolic Vicariates in South China. I had also discussed it with the Governor of Hong Kong. Personally, he was willing to help facilitate the provision of a piece of land for the seminary and other related matters. He might mean granting us a piece of land and exempt us from land rent, or just take a nominal rent.

        I had looked around for a piece of land in the suburbs of Hong Kong, and found one in the foothills, in a nice location not far from the urban area, with convenient transport by land and sea. The best price I could get for this land of 100,000 m2 was approximately US$3000.

        Now is time for the purchase of land and construction of the seminary. Despite political and economic crises that might occur, Hong Kong is under British jurisdiction and is a rather safe place. It is also at a convenient location to keep in touch with other Apostolic Vicariates in South China. Furthermore, it seems that a seminary will not be much involved in political matters.[2]

        One of the reasons for choosing Hong Kong was that the government was willing to provide land. Political stability was another reason. A letter located in the Hong Kong diocesan archives, dated March 11, 1927, to the administrators of dioceses in South China, said:

        For some time, the project of a Regional Seminary has been in the minds of the Bishops. The present state of unrest in China has, necessarily, accentuated their desire of providing the very best course of training, in the most favourable circumstances, for those destined to be teachers and pastors of the people. No better spot could be selected than Hongkong, with its spirit of peace and order.[3]

        Political stability may have been one of the reasons for establishing the regional seminary in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, in Mainland China, which was politically unstable, 11 regional seminaries were being built correspondingly. Perhaps there was another reason. Fr. Philip Chan Chi-Yan, who originally belonged to Guangzhou Diocese, analyzed the situation. He said that at that time the Apostolic Vicariate of Guangzhou was under the supervision of the Paris Foreign Mission Society, and the French government had always been against the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Vatican and China.[4] If the regional seminary was to be located in the Mainland, only Guangzhou had the required conditions. But then it would be under the French Protectorate. Thus if it was to be free from French protection, it had to be located elsewhere. Thus Hong Kong became the next best choice.[5]

Human and Financial Undertaking

        Now that the plan for a regional seminary was decided upon, the next question was the matter of resources, both of personnel and finances. In the same letter that Archbishop Costantini wrote to Prefect of Evangelization of Peoples mentioned above, he said:

Due to the above reasons, we have to make the following decisions:

        We ask St. Peter's Construction Department of the Holy See to pay for the entire cost of constructing the Seminary for South China first. Then all the Apostolic Vicariates of South China will reimburse part of the cost over a period of 20 years, each year reimbursing 2.5 percent of the total amount. Buying the piece of land and building the seminary together require approximately US$100,000. This will be repaid in installments. In 1926 we only have to pay for the land; in 1927-28 we have to pay approximately US$75,000; the rest will be paid later.

        We need to find a religious order to run the seminary. The Dominican Order has refused the request, and we will see if the Society of Jesus can take up this duty.

        When we have got a religious order to run the seminary, I will inform the Vicar Apostolics, and have them accept all the proposals...

        Dioceses that send seminarians here for formation should bear 2.5 percent of the cost.[6]

        Finally, the South China Regional Seminary was entrusted to members of the Society of Jesus from Ireland to manage. Thus the first six rectors were all Irish Jesuits. This is a characteristic of the development of the Catholic Church in mission lands. Whenever the Church wants to start a new ministry or open a new mission territory, it will entrust responsibility for it to a religious order or a missionary community.

        Regarding finances, since it was a regional seminary, established by and for several dioceses, in principle all the dioceses involved had to share the financial expenses. However, there were different ways to calculate the proportion each diocese should bear. At the same time, since the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples decided on the establishment of this Regional Seminary, it should also be responsible for part of the cost.

        The first way to apportion the cost was that each diocese would contribute an equal amount. This method of calculation was used for apportioning the cost of the first phase of building the seminary. In his original proposal, Archbishop Costantini requested, "dioceses that send seminarians here for formation should bear 2.5 percent of the cost." In 1931, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Fujian Provinces had the following dioceses:

        Guangdong Province: Guangzhou Diocese (administered by the Paris Foreign Mission Society), Shantou (Paris Foreign Missions), Jiaying (Maryknoll Fathers), Jiangmen (Maryknoll Fathers), Shaozhou (Salesians of Don Bosco), Beihai (Paris Foreign Missions), Hong Kong (P.I.M.E.);

        Hainan Island: Hainan (Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary);

        Guangxi Province: Nanning (Paris Foreign Missions), Wuzhou (Maryknoll Fathers);

        Fujian Province: Fuzhou (Dominican Order), Funing (Dominican Order), Xiamen and Tingzhou (Dominican Order).

        At that time there were no dioceses in South China administered by Chinese Clergy.

        A second way of sharing the cost was based on the number of seminarians sent by each Apostolic Vicariate, that is, by "head count." Each Apostolic Vicariate had to provide the living expenses of the seminarians it sent to the South China Regional Seminary. However, due to jurisdictional problems, it was sometimes unclear who should pay for the livelihood of the seminarians. Archbishop Costantini had mentioned that: "In my opinion, the Regional Seminary for South China is under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples."[7] Hence the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples should pay for seminarian support for those Apostolic Vicariates that could not afford to pay.

        Fr. Philip Chan Chi-Yan also said, "The dioceses were subsidized by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples to pay the tuition of the seminarians. The Congregation apportioned the subsidy according to the number of seminarians."[8] According to Fr. Simeon To Shing-Cheung, among the dioceses mentioned above, Meixian, Guilin, Jiangmen and Wuzhou were entrusted to the Maryknoll Fathers, so the Maryknoll Fathers sent seminarians to the seminary and also paid for their expenses.[9] Fr. Thomas Wei Si-Sin, who was transferred from Yingkou Diocese in the northeast to Shenyang Diocese, also mentioned that every year the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples provided a budget to the Shenyang Diocese, and the Paris Foreign Mission Society managed the money. The tuition and living expenses of the Shenyang seminarians in Hong Kong were paid from this money given to the diocese.[10]

        Nevertheless, according to The Code of Canon Law, all dioceses involved should share the operating expenses of the regional seminary.

        Can. 1356 defines in detail the administration of the seminary tax.[11] We do not know whether the Hong Kong Diocese or other dioceses of South China had imposed levies on the Catholics to provide for the needs of the seminary, but according to the Canon Law, dioceses did have the right to call for support from the faithful. After 1949, due to the drastic change in Mainland China's situation, many Catholic seminaries could not continue with their normal operation. Large number of seminarians migrated southward, and there was a sudden influx of seminarians to the South China Regional Seminary. Apart from financial support from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and from the various dioceses and missionary congregations, the seminary also initiated new sources of funding. Among these was to look for benefactors for the seminarians. Each seminarian would have one benefactor who would financially support the seminarian for his tuition and living expenses. The money was sent directly to the seminary, and not to the seminarian, but pocket money was given to the seminarians directly.[12]

        Fr. Vincent Lau Wang-Sun pointed out that not every seminarian had a benefactor. The seminary would only look for benefactors from different countries for poor seminarians. The seminarians would then write thank-you letters to their benefactors.[13]

        Bishop John Tong recalled that the Jesuits advertised in newspapers in Europe, listing the names of all the seminarians at South China Regional Seminary, and appealed for support. A British soldier who was serving in Cyprus saw the advertisement and picked two seminarians (one of them was today's Bishop John Tong). He then wrote to the South China Regional Seminary in Hong Kong expressing his interest in supporting them. This British soldier later settled in Germany with his German wife. Bishop Tong went to visit them in Germany after he was ordained a priest, and he learnt about the appeal for benefactors in the European newspaper from this British couple.

        The Impact of the Communist Regime in China on the Regional Seminary for South China

        Since the late 1940s, due to the changes in the political situation in Mainland China, the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong took in a large number of seminarians from other dioceses in different parts of China. Since seminarians from different parts of China gathered at the seminary in Hong Kong, it became a "national" major seminary. Fr. Philip Chan Chi-Yan said that due to changes in the seminary population, it was not easy to adapt to the way of life. Nevertheless, the Regional Seminary tried to accommodate all the seminarians that had come from different parts of China.[14] For example, difference in dialects caused many problems in everyday life. In these circumstances, local seminarians learned Putonghua, but seminarians from Mainland China did not learn Cantonese. They thought that they would be returning to the Mainland in two to three years. So they did not see the need for learning the local language. Fr. Chan pointed out that there were only two reasons for seminarians from the Mainland to learn Cantonese: one was that they would be ordained priests very soon and they needed Cantonese for their pastoral work; the other reason was that they intended to leave the seminary, and they required a mastery of the Cantonese language to make a living.

        Most of those ordained priests in the Mainland before the outbreak of the China's Civil War (1946-49) remained in the Mainland. Quite a number of those who came from the Mainland after 1949 to study in the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong returned to the Mainland after their studies. Among them were Bishops Jin Peixian and Lin Bingliang.

Matters Concerning Appointment and Affiliation of Seminarians after Graduation

Basically, after graduating from the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong, the seminarians would return and serve in their own dioceses. However, some dioceses were under the jurisdiction of religious orders or missionary congregations, which might present other options.

        Due to the political situation in Mainland China, only few seminarians in the 1950s could return to the Mainland. As a result many of them stayed and served in the Hong Kong Diocese. However, they were not listed as members of the Hong Kong Diocesan Clergy, but were still considered as belonging to their original dioceses. Other priests were assigned duties by the religious orders or missionary congregations that administered their dioceses. For example, Fr. To Shing-Cheung belonged to the Guilin Prefecture, which was under the jurisdiction of Maryknoll Fathers. Thus when Fr. To was ordained a priest after graduating from the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong, he was still a member of the Guilin Clergy, seconded to serve in Hong Kong, with Maryknoll supporting his living expenses. In 1970 the late Hong Kong Bishop Francis Hsu announced that all graduates of the Regional Seminary of Hong Kong who had come from other dioceses and were living in Hong Kong, were welcomed to join the Hong Kong Diocesan Clergy. That ended the situation of seconding priests from other dioceses to Hong Kong.[15]

        According to seminary regulations, seminarians could not change their diocese of affiliation during the course of their studies.[16] In normal circumstances, when a diocesan priest or seminarian, or a priest of a religious order changes dioceses, it requires the consent of the superiors of both dioceses, or of the religious order and diocese. However, if a seminarian in the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong wanted to change his diocese of affiliation, apart from the consent of the aforementioned parties, it required the consent of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples too.[17] Hence we can see how cautious church authorities were in dealing with the matter of changing dioceses.

        When a seminarian was ordained a priest, he could choose to belong to another diocese. Fr. Li Yu-Ming was ordained a priest in Hong Kong, and he wanted to stay and serve in the Hong Kong Diocese after his ordination. So he applied to Bishop Bianchi of Hong Kong and was accepted as a member of the Hong Kong Diocese.[18]

        Some seminarians had been to several dioceses before settling down. Fr. Wei Si-Sin originally belonged to Shenyang Diocese, but he could not return to Shenyang after he was ordained a priest. Upon the request of the Apostolic Delegate in Korea, Fr. Wei went to South Korea to take care of the Chinese Catholics there. The appointment was scheduled for one year, but it turned out to be 12 years. In 1972 when Fr. Wei passed by Hong Kong and visited the late Bishop Francis Hsu, Bishop Hsu asked him to return to Hong Kong. He eventually joined the Hong Kong Diocese.[19] It is worth noting that in the 34 years that the Jesuits were in charge of the South China Regional Seminary, they did not ask a single seminarian to join the Society of Jesus, nor did they send their own seminarians to study in the regional seminary. So the Jesuits' work at the seminary was their selfless contribution for the dioceses in South China, which is worthy of our respect and appreciation.

Bishops that have studied at the Regional Seminary for South China in Aberdeen, Hong Kong

        In the 34 years of history of the Regional Seminary (1931-64), 230 of its graduates were ordained priests. Among the priests, there are one cardinal bishop, one archbishop, and 15 ordinary or auxiliary bishops. This number tops the 11 regional seminaries in China. Furthermore, among the graduates of this Regional Seminary are a number of priests who are/have been administrators of their dioceses, shouldering responsibilities similar to that of a bishop. Below is a brief account of each of them, according to the information that is available.

Bishop Yip Yam-Wan, Joseph: Born in 1902, studied theology at South China Regional Seminary in Hong Kong, 1931-34, and was ordained a priest in 1934. In 1962 the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association elected him Bishop of Huiyang Diocese. In 1981 he became Bishop of Guangzhou. He died on March 13, 1990.

Bishop Cheng Cheong-Sing, Joseph: Born in 1913 in Longtian Village, Guhuai Town, Changle County Fujian Province. From 1933-35 he studied theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong, and was ordained a priest in 1937. He went to Taipei for further study, and then returned to Fuzhou. In 1952 he was appointed Vicar Capitular of the Fuzhou Diocese. From 1955-83 he was imprisoned, and underwent reform-through-labor. On February 5, 1991, he was elected Bishop of Fuzhou Diocese, and was consecrated on February 25, 1991.

Bishop Wong Tze-Yuk, Joseph: Born in 1911, and studied at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong, 1931-34. Later he went to the Pontifical Urbanian University in Rome for further study, and was ordained a priest in Rome in 1938. He served as Vicar General of the Xiamen Diocese, and in 1952 was appointed Vicar Capitular of Xiamen Diocese. He spent long years in reform-through-labor camp during the Cultural Revolution. He was consecrated Bishop of Xiamen in Beijing on November 30, 1986. He died on April 8, 1991.

Bishop Lam Sing-Yan, Joseph: Alias Lam Chuen, studied at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1933-35, and was ordained a priest in Fuzhou in 1937. In 1962 the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association elected him Bishop of the Fuzhou Diocese, and he was consecrated bishop in Beijing on January 24 that same year. He resigned from the clergy in 1990.

Bishop Lam Bing-Leung, Jacob: Born in 1913, his native place is Guangzhou. He studied philosophy and theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1931-41. Due to rheumatism he suspended his study from 1936 to 1939. During this time he taught catechism in Guangzhou, was secretary to the bishop, and worked in the hospital. He was ordained a priest in Guangzhou in 1941. In 1982 he became parish priest of Shishi Catholic Cathedral in Guangzhou. He was elected Bishop of Guangzhou on April 16, 1990, and was consecrated on May 6, 1992 in Guangzhou. He died on May 25, 2001.

Bishop Choi Sau-Fung, Benedict: He studied theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1946-48, and was ordained a priest in 1948. He taught for a time at the Pingnan minor seminary. He became Vicar General of the Wuzhou Diocese, Guangxi Province, in 1950. He was imprisoned by the Communists in 1956. In 1993, he was elected bishop of Wuzhou. The consecration took place at the Shishi Catholic Cathedral in Guangzhou on December 3, 1993.

        Bishop Chung Tsuen-Cheong, Anthony: Born in October 1921, he entered the Meixian St. Joseph Seminary in 1943, and studied theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1945 to 1948. He was ordained a priest in Meixian on July 16, 1948. On May 7, 1989, Fr. Chung was consecrated Bishop of Meixian. He died on January 28, 2000.

Bishop Chan Tsui, Joseph: Born in 1922, he studied theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong in 1947-48, and was ordained a priest in Guangzhou in 1949. He then taught in the Minor Seminary of Beihai Diocese, and later became its Vice Rector. In 1950, he was arrested and put in prison. He was elected Bishop of Zhanjiang Diocese on November 16, 1994, and the consecration took place in Zhanjiang on March 19, 1995. He died on March 19, 2003.

Bishop Tsoi Tai-Uen, John: Born in 1920, he studied theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1945-48, and was ordained a priest in 1949. He then taught in Jieyang Minor Seminary, and later he was imprisoned for promoting the Legion of Mary. In 1981 the Catholic organizations of Shantou City elected him Bishop of the Shantou Diocese. He was consecrated bishop in Guangzhou on September 27, 1981. He died on November 14, 1997.

Bishop Jin Chuanzhi (Peixian), Pius: He is a Manchu, born in 1924 in Yulinbao in Gaizhou City. He entered Fushun Minor Seminary in 1936, Changchun Catholic Seminary in 1944, and from 1949 to 1951 he studied theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong. He was ordained a priest in Shanghai in 1951, and then returned to his original diocese to serve there. In 1989 he became Bishop of Liaoning Diocese.

Bishop Lei Wang-Kei, Peter: Born on March 29, 1922 in Guangzhou, he began his studies at Holy Ghost Minor Seminary, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, in 1939. From 1945 to 1952 he studied philosophy and theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong, and was ordained a priest in 1952. After his ordination, he taught at Holy Ghost Minor Seminary. In 1970-71 he was Vicar General of the Hong Kong Diocese, and simultaneously parish priest of the Cathedral. In 1972-73 he was Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary. He was appointed Bishop of Hong Kong in 1973. He died from heart attack on July 23, 1974.

Cardinal Wu Cheng-Chung, John Baptist: Born in 1925 In Wu Hua, Meixian, he studied philosophy and theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong in 1946-52. He was ordained a priest in 1952. A year later he was sent to Rome to study Canon Law at the Pontifical University Urbaniana, and obtained a Phd Degree in 1956. In that same year, he left for the United States. On April 12, 1975, Pope Paul VI appointed him Bishop of the Diocese of Hong Kong, and in May 1988 Pope John Paul II elevated him to the rank of Cardinal. He received his "red hat" in Rome on June 28, 1988. Cardinal Wu died on September 23, 2002.

Archbishop Chung Hoan Ting, Peter: He studied theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong in 1949-50, and was ordained a priest in Macau in 1954. He then left for Borneo and carried out missionary work in Sarawak. In 1963, the Bishop of Kuching sent him to study in Pontifical University Urbaniana in Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in Canon Law in 1966. He returned to Sarawak and became Rector of the minor seminary. In 1972, he became Vicar Apostolic of Kota Kinabalu. In 1975, he was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Kuching, Malaysia, and then made Archbishop of Kuching in 1976. He retired on June 21, 2003.

Archbishop Cheng Tsai-fa, Joseph: Born on July 4, 1932 in Xiamen of Fujian Province, he studied philosophy at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong in 1950-51, and was ordained a priest in Rome on December 21, 1957. He then went to Louvain University in Belgium to study for a Master's Degree in Education. On December 22, 1990, he was appointed Bishop of Tainan Diocese, and was consecrated on February 2, 1991. In February 2004, he was appointed Archbishop of the Taipei Archdiocese.

Bishop Lin Thien-Chu, Joseph: Born in Yunlin County of Taiwan on January 7, 1935. Joseph Lin studied philosophy and theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1955-58. He then went to study at the Pontifical University Urbaniana in Rome, and was ordained a priest in Rome in 1961. He then returned to Taiwan and became Rector of the minor seminary of the Kaohsiung Diocese, and parish priest of the Cathedral in Kaohsiung. On December 14, 1985, he was appointed Bishop of Chiayi, and was consecrated in Chiayi on January 12, 1986. He was the first native Taiwanese to become a bishop. Bishop Lin died in 1994.

Bishop Tong Hon, John: Born in Hong Kong on July 31, 1939, he studied philosophy and theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1957 to 1964. He went to study in Rome in 1964, and was ordained a priest in Rome in 1966. Since 1970 he has been teaching at the Holy Spirit Seminary College, and at the same time was Chairman of the Theology Department. From 1980 onwards, he has been Director of Holy Spirit Study Centre. He has been one of the Vicars General of the Hong Kong Diocese since 1992. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Hong Kong in October 1996, and consecrated bishop on December 9, 1996.

Bishop Wang Chung Chang, Ignatius: Born on February 27, 1934, Ignatius Wang is a Manchurian from northeast China. He entered the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong in 1952, and was ordained a priest in 1959. He went to Rome for further study, and then served in the West Indies. He then went to California, USA, and served in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. He was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco on January 30, 2003.

        Administrators that have studied at the Regional Seminary for South China in Aberdeen, Hong Kong

        Some graduates from the Aberdeen Regional Seminary have become administrators of dioceses. Although they are not bishops, they have carried out, or are now carrying out the duties of bishops.

Fr. Tu Min-Cheng: (Taiwan) He entered the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong in 1931, but in 1933 due to poor health, he returned to Taiwan for recovery. In 1934, he went to study in the major seminary in Xiamen, and was ordained a priest in 1936. Fr. Tu was the first native Taiwanese to be ordained a priest. In 1946 he was appointed administrator of the Taiwan Prefecture. Fr. Tu has since passed away.

Fr. Hong Yeng-Nin, Anthony: (Jiangmen) He studied theology at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong in 1933-34. Then he went to Rome, and returned to Jiangmen after graduation. He was ordained a priest in 1940, and had been elected Bishop of Jiangmen, but was not consecrated before his death in 1982.

Fr. Lam Kwok-Yung, Paul: (Jiaying) He studied at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong in 1934-35, and then completed his studies in Rome, obtaining degrees in Philosophy and Theology. He was ordained a priest in 1941. Fr. Lam returned to China after the war, and taught in the minor seminary in Jiaying. He was Vicar Capitular of Jiaying Diocese from 1949-89. He died in 1991.

Fr. Tse Sui-Kwong, Longiaus: (Hainan) He studied at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1935-43, and was ordained a priest in 1943. He was Administrator of the Hainan Diocese in the 1980s, and died in 1996.

Fr. Wong Chung-Man, Thomas: (Hainan) He studied at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1935-43, and was ordained a priest in 1943. After his ordination, he taught at the minor seminary in Hainan. In the 1980s, he served as an Administrator of the Hainan Diocese. Fr. Wong has since passed away.

Fr. Chan See-Nip, Luke: (Shantou) He studied at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong in 1937-38, continued his studies in Rome, and obtained degrees in both theology and philosophy there. He was ordained a priest in 1945. Fr. Chan returned to China and taught at Fujen University in Beijing. He was imprisoned in 1954. He is now Administrator of the Shantou Diocese.

Fr. Lam Cheuk-Wai, Gabriel: (Hong Kong) He studied at the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong from 1962-68, and was ordained a priest in 1967. Fr. Lam was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Hong Kong in 1974, and was Vicar Capitular of the Hong Kong Diocese from July 23, 1974 to July 25, 1975. He was Rector of the Holy Spirit Seminary from 1984-93, and then served as parish priest of St. Teresa's Church, Kowloon, for many years.

Conclusion

        Limited by space, in this article we can only mention very briefly the contributions graduates/past students of the South China Regional Seminary in Hong Kong, have made, and the important roles they have taken up in the Church.

        The South China Regional Seminary has made wonderful contributions to the formation of leaders and ministers for the Chinese Church. This is obvious from the long list of bishops and administrators mentioned above. The positions they have achieved could partly be attributed to the circumstances of the times, but their own efforts should also not be overlooked.

        Establishing the South China Regional Seminary in Hong Kong was certainly a far-sighted decision. The work of the Regional Seminary was very important, and many dioceses supported it. Even overseas dioceses offered help in the formation of the seminarians. Seminary formation is the foundation for the development of the Church.

        As Catholic faithful of the Hong Kong Diocese, we are grateful to the Jesuits for their contributions to the Seminary, and for the respect the many dioceses and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples have shown to us.

Endnote :

[1] Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, Silver Jubilee Record of the Seminary of Our Lady Queen of China, 1931-1956, p. 5.
[2] 田英傑,《天主教掌故》,聖神研究中心暨聖神修院校外課程部,香港,1983,215-216頁。(English translation by Tripod staff.)
[3] Archive of the Diocese of Hong Kong, "Records of the Regional Seminary for South China."
[4] 羅光,《教廷與中國使節史》,台中,光啟出版社,1961。 (English translation by Tripod staff.)
[5] Interview of Fr. Philip Chan Chi-Yan on August 28, 2002.
[6] 田英傑,《天主教掌故》,聖神研究中心暨聖神修院校外課程部,香港,1983,216頁。(English translation by Tripod staff.)
[7] 田英傑,《天主教掌故》,聖神研究中心暨聖神修院校外課程部,香港,1983,216頁。(English translation by Tripod staff.)
[8] Interview of Fr. Chan Chi-Yan on August 28, 2002.
[9] Interview of Fr. To Shing-Cheung on September 6, 2002.
[10] Interview of Fr. Thomas Wei Si-Sin on March 11, 2003.
[11] Bouscaren, T.L., et al., 1966.
[12] Interview of Fr. Francis Li Yu-Ming on February 28, 2003.
[13] Interview of Fr. Vincent Lau Wang-Sun on October 11, 2002.
[14] Interview of Fr. Philip Chan Chi-Yan on August 28, 2002.
[15] Interview of Fr. To Shing-Cheung on September 6, 2002.
[16] Interview of Fr. Li Yu-Ming, February 28, 2003.
[17] Interviews of Fr. To Shing-Cheung on September 6, 2002, and Fr. Cheng Joi-Fat on December 4, 2002.
[18] Interview of Fr. Li Yu-Ming on February 28, 2003.
[19] Interview of Fr. Wei Si-Sin on March 11, 2003.
Tripod 2006 Autumn Vol. 26 - No. 142

Back to The Index

 

 Copyright© Holy Spirit Study Centre. All Rights Reserved.