John Paul II Continues to Inspire Vocations

HONG KONG, JULY 30, 2010 ( One of Hong Kong’s four new permanent deacons says his vocation is linked to Pope John Paul II, and particularly to the Pontiff’s death.

Deacon Stephen Kwok Ping-fai was one of four to be ordained July 24 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Hong Kong.

Decon Kwok, 45, recounted to the Catholic Weekly that the news coverage of the Pope’s death in 2005 led him to reflect on his baptismal vocation.

“Pope John Paul II lived out the teachings of Jesus Christ in his life,” the deacon said. “He led the Catholic Church to search for the reconciliation with the Orthodox Churches and the Protestant communities, with the desire to strive for peace.

“At that time I thought: John Paul II passed away, who will follow his footsteps and continue his missions?”

Deacon Kwok is a radiographer at the faculty of medicine of the University of Hong Kong.

He is the youngest of Hong Kong’s 15 permanent deacons, and according to UCANews, his ordination helps dispel the idea in Hong Kong that the permanent deaconate is for retired men.

In addition to the diocesan deacons ordained July 24, a Dominican deacon was ordained in Hong Kong on July 1, and a Jesuit priest and Jesuit deacon will be ordained Saturday.