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Religion

City officials and Catholics pay tribute to late Hong Kong church leader Reverend Michael Yeung

  • Memorial service held for clergyman, who died last week
  • Book of condolence set up at Caritas House, Central
PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 January, 2019, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Monday, 07 January, 2019, 2:06pm

Hong Kong Catholics and city officials on Monday paid tributes to late church leader Reverend Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, who died last week.

City leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor arrived at Caritas House in Central at 8.45am to pay tribute to Yeung, who died in hospital from liver failure last Thursday, aged 73. She left after about 10 minutes, without saying anything.

Tan Tieniu, deputy director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong, also attended the memorial service on Monday. Auxiliary bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing and Reverend Dominic Chan Chi-ming attended too.

According to Ha, Yeung’s replacement will only be chosen after the funeral this Friday.

From Monday until Wednesday, a book of condolence will be kept at the Community Hall in Caritas House, where the public can sign and mourn the late bishop between 9am and 10am.

Mourners, silent and tearful, lined up in the hall on Monday morning, waiting to sign the book. Yeung’s photo was placed at the front. Some stopped and bowed in front of the bishop’s photo after signing the book. Reverend Chan was soothing tearful mourners at the hall.

“I was shocked by his death,” said Thomas Yiu, who has been with the church for some 30 years. “Bishop Yeung’s contribution to the Catholic Church was significant. He built up a diverse Catholic community in Hong Kong.”

“He spent all his life in our church as well as for all the Catholics,” said Yiu’s wife, Peggy Yiu, in tears. “It shocked us that he suddenly died and I hope all Catholics will spend some time remembering him and the great work he did.”

Underground Catholic bishop succeeded by party-approved cleric

According to the church, the body of the late bishop will lie in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception from 5pm on Thursday until the end of the funeral mass, which will be held at the cathedral at 10am on Friday, to be presided over by Cardinal John Tong Hon.

A vigil mass will be held at the cathedral at 8pm on Thursday, presided over by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun. Yeung will be buried at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in Happy Valley.