Bishop Sees Shining Stars in Hong Kong

Says Catholic Education Helps Combat Drug Addiction

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HONG KONG, DEC. 23, 2009 ( The bishop of Hong Kong is observing the “stars” that light up his diocesan ministry, including a public debate that resulted in proposals for keeping kids drug-free.

“In the eight months that I have been the bishop of Hong Kong,” he said, “many shining stars have appeared in my pastoral ministry,” like the one that guided the Magi to the Baby Jesus.

The prelate expressed gratitude for those around him, Catholics, priests and coworkers who have been “shining stars” helping him in his ministry as head of the diocese.

He underlined the gift of the community of Holy Spirit Seminary, where he has lived for the past 40 years, and has continued to reside since becoming bishop.

The “orderly daily schedule enables me to share the devout, lively spirit of the seminarians and the seminary staff, and helps me to avoid giving in to the temptation of activism,” the bishop said.

“The community has therefore become a shining star for my priestly life,” he said.

Bishop Tong described an incident in which he saw other “stars.” In recent months, he said, the Hong Kong government authorities, “out of solicitude for our young people, wished to hastily implement a plan for drug-testing in schools.”

Public debate

In responding to this plan, he reported that he had an opportunity for a media interview, in which he “made clear the perennial goals of Catholic education: to encourage young people to love and care for one another, and to inculcate them with a correct outlook on life.”

“Indeed, only by pursuing these goals can we radically resolve the problems of drug addiction among students,” the prelate affirmed.

He continued: “What I said promptly sparked a public debate on the issue of drug addiction among students. 

“Of those voicing their opinions, many are people of insight who have come forth with valuable suggestions. 

“Their views are worth considering for shaping the young people of the future generations who, hopefully, will become more healthy, more mature and better disposed for a higher calling.”

The bishop explained that this helped him to see as “shining stars” the “people of insight from the Church or from society, who accompany us on our way to the full realization of the kingdom of God.”

He expressed gratitude to those who “share my daily life or my various responsibilities, and to all my benefactors who care and pray for me.”

“I will ask the Lord to reward them a hundredfold,” Bishop Tong affirmed, “when I celebrate the Eucharist on Christmas Eve, in communion with our Holy Father and the bishops and priests around the world.”

He concluded his message with a prayer to God that “the citizens of Hong Kong not succumb to excessive desires for material well-being, but rather look to you, the true light, and find in you their new hope.”

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