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Deacons Reinforce Works Of Mercy Among The Disadvantaged In The Community During Lockdown

During their monthly meeting in March, the permanent deacons of the Catholic Hong Kong Diocese shared their charity experiences during the lockdown wherever they were called, including 9 parishes, the Hong Kong International Airport, prison chaplaincy; working in cooperation with Caritas Hong Kong, Catholic Commission For Labour Affairs, Diocesan Pastoral Commission For Marriage & The Family, and Society of St. Vincent de Paul, going into the neighbourhood with parishioners to distribute facial masks, sanitizers etc. to janitors as well as needy ones and delivering reliefs to the unemployed. They also visited the homeless as well as the quarantined to offer them food and consolation.

Bild vergrößern Reverend Deacon Edwin Ng told Kung Kao Po (KKP) on April 3 that works of mercy is an essential diaconal ministry. During lockdown, deacons need to work harder with other ecclesiastical groups to help the needy weather through this pandemic. “Caritas Hong Kong and the other diocesan commissions have been serving the needy all along. Working with them allows us to discern more clearly the most disadvantaged in the community.” Deacon Edwin said that many marginalized groups, such as asylum seekers and “McRefugees” who are homeless and spend the nights in 24-hour fast food chains, have been ignored. Deacons lend them a helping hand, taking care of their material as well as mental needs.

Himself a prison chaplain working for the Correctional Services Department, Deacon Edwin said that all volunteer visits have been suspended. Together with their spiritual directors, these volunteers switch to writing the inmates compassionate letters. Chaplains can still visit inmates in case of emergency.

Earlier on, His Holiness, Pope Francis donated US$100,000 to the Diocese of Hong Kong to support needy families and people affected in the pandemic. The Diocese has channelled the fund through parishes, Catholic Commission of the Labour Affairs and Caritas Hong Kong to those in need.

Mr. Francis Tang, a diaconate candidate serving the Mother of Good Counsel Church in San Po Kong told KKP on March 30 that every parish was given HK$10,000 to subsidize the needy. The MGC Church works with Caritas Integrated Family Service Centre – Tung Tau, combines the fund with donations from parishioners to purchase rice and supermarket coupons to relieve 120 families. Francis said that many residents who are living in subdivided flats rely on food banks which supply canned food only. Supermarket coupons allow them to enjoy fresh food.

Bild vergrößern Due to newly introduced legislation restricting the gathering of people, 80 families took turns to collect the subsidies from the Caritas Centre in March. The remaining ones are expected to be able to obtain theirs in mid-April. Francis further said, “Parishioners have been very enthusiastic. Early in March, they came together in Church, masks on faces and gloves in hands, to wrap up relief items with greeting cards. Others take an active interest in the needs of neighbours. At the end of March, Legioneries of Mary visited the elderly and brought them facial masks and sanitizers.”

Deacon Simon Chan

Original source: KungKaoPo-HongKongCatholicNews


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