This article first appeared in the July-August edition of Focus.
“To” the East
In 1609, a year before his death, and 46 years after Father John Leunis formed the First Congregatio Mariana in 1563, Matteo Ricci established Congregatio Mariana in Peking, the imperial capital of the Kingdom of Ming, with about 40 members. In the late 17th century emperor Kangxi, a student of Ferdinand Verbiest, of the Kingdom of Qing, which defeated the Ming Kingdom and ruled, almost baptized to become a Catholic. However, probably due to the belief that the emperor is the Incarnation of Mañjuśrī, Buddha of the Manchurian, Tibet and Mongolian people, he was forbidden to do so. Yet he has written a plaque ‘True origin of all things’ which still hangs in a church in Beijing. If he was baptized, the history will surely be rewritten…
After the Society of Jesus became the sponsoring body of the Wah Yan Colleges in 1932, Sodalities of Our Lady started to developed in Hong Kong. 90 years later, there are now more than 160 members in CLC (HK) with 15 groups and 4 student groups.
“Back” to the West
In the past few years, over 144 thousand Hong Kong people moved to the UK out of the 7.4 million population. The figure for CLCers is 11, which is more than 3 times the percentage of the general population. Some of us have been in CLC for 3 decades while some just a few years. There are lots of challenges ahead of us, including language problems in practising our faith and the pandemic, which made joining local CLC groups a complicated and difficult task. Yet finally we realized that we have quite a large number to form a group, which made sharing our faith and continuing our CLC journey in our mother tongue Cantonese language possible.
The next challenge, the geographical barrier, where some of us live as north as Manchester while some as south as Brighton, is also overcome with technology – meeting through Zoom monthly is our present solution. We are also happy to have a new joiner, who is the husband of a CLCer, when we form the group!