Hundreds of mourners pay final respects

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 12:00am

Hundreds of people, including representatives from the Hong Kong government and the Beijing Liaison Office, yesterday signed condolence books in memory of Cardinal Wu.

Catholics began pouring into the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and Catholic Diocese Centre in Central from 9am to remember the man honoured as a 'humble shepherd'.

Some prayed in front of a picture of Cardinal Wu, while most sat in deep contemplation.

Both places were decorated in purple and white, purple symbolising hope and white brightness.

Many parishioners burst into tears when talking about Cardinal Wu.

Housewife Choi Sau-fun, 43, who has suffered from breast cancer for a year, said attending church gatherings had helped allay her fears about death. 'Catholicism has helped me to go through a very difficult time . . . I just hope Cardinal Wu did not suffer much before he passed away,' Ms Choi said, sobbing.

The diocese's vicar-general, Father Dominic Chan Chi-ming, said a Cardinal John B. Wu Memorial Fund had been set up to help the needy. 'We have already received some cheques,' he said.

Asked whether they were worried about Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun's outspokenness, Father Chan said: 'Each person has his own style, but our main principle is to work for the benefit of Hong Kong people and society.'

A vigil Mass will be held in the cathedral on Friday at 8pm, while a Requiem Mass will be conducted at 10am on Saturday followed by Cardinal Wu's burial at St Michael's Catholic Cemetery in Happy Valley.

Father Chan said about 2,000 people would attend the services while others could watch via a live broadcast outside the cathedral and in the Caritas hall nearby.