11/01/2019, 08.00
HONG KONG – CHINA
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Jesuits to head Centre for Catholic Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

by Lucia Cheung

The Centre is part of the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Reconciliation and discernment, which are very dear to Pope Francis, will be among the topics to be studied.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The Centre for Catholic Studies will focus its research on a reconciliation and a discerning Church in the coming few years after it comes under Jesuit leadership.

A simple ceremony was held on 23 October, along with a lecture given by Fr Gerard Whelan on ‘A Discerning Church: Pope Francis and Theological Method’.

During the ceremony, Fr Stephen Chow, provincial superior of the Chinese Jesuit Province, said he was excited to see the Society of Jesus lead the Centre, which is part of the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The Chinese Jesuit Province has two centres, one in Macau and one in Taipei, plus another one in Beijing. For Fr Chow, Hong Kong’s Centre for Catholic Studies will bridge the existing gap.

Fr Whelan, SJ, a professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, explained the vision and approaches of the Church under Pope Francis, drawing on the thoughts by Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984), a Canadian Jesuit theologian.

The day before the ceremony, he gave another lecture on Reconciliation: Longeran’s Idea of Conversion, attracting about a hundred participants.

During the ceremony, Prof Anselm Lam, the Centre’s new director, said that the institute will conduct studies on reconciliation, hoping to make a positive contribution at a time when reconciliation is very much needed in Hong Kong’s socially divided society after months of violence caused by political discontent.

Hitherto, the Centre had been under the management of Fr Louis Ha Keloon, who retired last August, but remains the archivist of the Diocese of Hong Kong.

The Centre also has two other research projects. One is on the history of the Holy Spirit Seminary, which will mark its 90th anniversary next year. Previously, the school was formerly the Regional Seminar for South China, established in 1931. The other project concerns the history of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students.

Photo 1: The inauguration ceremony. From left to the right: Mgr Joseph Ha, auxiliary bishop of Hong Kong; Prof Tam Wai-lun, head of the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies; Prof Anselm Lam; Fr Stephen Chow; Fr. Stephen Tong and Fr Gerard Whelan.

Photo 2: Fr Stephen Chow, provincial superior of the Chinese Jesuit Province.

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