Alfred Deignan SJ – Missionary in Hong Kong

father deignan

What it means to be a missionary in Hong Kong today

Alfred Deignan SJ

father deignan

One day when talking to a layman friend, he spoke with real appreciation saying, ““Father, we admire you missionaries , who have left your country, families, relatives and friends to come to Hong Kong and work among us, learning our difficult language.” This kind of appreciation and gratitude is part of our consolation and encouragement, which we receive from people we meet and work with.

Jesus said ““I came not to be served but to serve”. Yes, to serve -this is what it means to me as a missionary in Hong Kong – whether that service is in teaching, preaching, counseling, directing retreats, giving instruction, chaplaincy or parish work, helping the poor or sick.

I am happy that in God’s providence I was assigned to Hong Kong. There is so much service can be given. Even though I am involved in the very important apostolate of education, I always had opportunities of being involved in marriage counseling, in working for Aids patients and the formation of youth and teachers.

The majority of Hong Kong people are Buddhist or Taoists, but the Church is growing in numbers. Imagine 3,000 adult baptisms last year! The Church is a young Church and a Church of the young. The growth is partly due to the number of good Catholic schools in which there is a mixture of Catholic and non-Catholic students, and the vibrant life of the parishes.

Christ’s call ““Go and teach all nations ““is a call to missionaries and of course to all Catholics. Our answer is ““Here I am Lord, send me.” The Irish Jesuits have played an important role in the evangelization of the Chinese people and they are very grateful. Let us continue to pray for the millions of Chinese people who have yet to know Christ.