Originally published on www.examiner.org.hk
HONG KONG: Father Dominic Fung King-ho of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate was ordained a priest by Bishop Stephen Chow Sau Yan, sj, on December 3 at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Caine Road. He is the first Oblate priest to have been born and raised in Hong Kong since the congregation came to Hong Kong in 1966.
Bishop Chow, completing the first year of his episcopacy, expressed his happiness at the ordination of Father Fung, whom he first ordained a deacon year ago. Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, the former Bishop of Hong Kong; Father Christian Fini, Provincial Superior of the Oblates of the Australian Province; Father Slawomir Kalisz, Delegation Superior and over 20 Oblates and other priests concelebrated the liturgy.
The liturgy began with Father Kalisz recommending Deacon Fung to the bishop for the order of priesthood. The bishop then explained the priestly duties to the elect. Fung professed before the congregation to be committed to his duties to follow Jesus Christ, shepherd the flock, proclaim the gospel, and be obedient to his bishop and superiors. Bishop Chow and the concelebrating clergy prayed for the elect through the imposition of hands after the choir led the congregation in singing the litany of the saints.
Father Kalisz; the vicar general, Father Paul Kam Po-wai; and the elect’s parents, Fung Chi-hei and Chan Yam-ngor; assisted him in vesting with the priestly stole and chasuble. As the newly ordained knelt before the bishop in priestly vestments, Bishop Chow anointed his palms with holy Chrism, consecrating them to serve the people by administering the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The parents brought the chalice and the ciborium to the bishop, who offered them to the newly ordained, reminding him to conform his life to the mystery of the Lord’s Cross.
The bishop and the clergy at the altar welcomed Father Fung into the priesthood of Jesus Christ with a fraternal kiss, which they all shared before he joined his parents for an emotional embrace.
An appointment letter for Father Fung, written on August 22 by the former superior general of the Oblates, Father Louis Logan, was then read out by Father Fini while Father Kalisz read its Chinese translation.
Father Fini thanked Bishop Chow for supporting the Oblates in the diocese and congratulated Father Kalisz for having a new priest after years of encouraging vocations and the formation of young people, following the spirit of their founder, St. Eugene de Mazenod. He also congratulated Father Fung on answering God’s call. “Love the people of God, and allow the poor as the compass to your journey as a priest. With those two things, you will never go wrong,” was his advice to the newly ordained, encouraging him to be dedicated to community life and the mission of evangelising the poor.
Father Kalisz said it was a special day as the first Oblate priest born and raised in Hong Kong was ordained that day. He thanked Father Fini for his presence. As the parish priest of St. Alfred’s Church, Tai Wai, he announced that Father Fung would be assigned to serve there and thanked him for his contributions. He encouraged Father Fung to be close to the poor, respect their values and wishes, and look for new ways to convey God’s words into their hearts.
Father Fung was overcome with emotion as he expressed gratitude to God and the people who stood by him during his vocation journey. He found it hard to believe that God showered him this great blessing to be his priest. He acknowledged that he could not have responded to the vocation alone without assistance from many others. He especially thanked the Oblate brothers for their acceptance and fraternal love, family and friends for their support, spiritual directors for their good examples and the formators in the Philippines and Hong Kong.
He had special words of gratitude for Cardinal Zen for showing him how to love the least by his example. He said he would never forget the cardinal’s care and concern when he got swollen feet after hiking with him and other young people during a formation camp. He was touched beyond words when the then-bishop of Hong Kong brought him hot water and medicine for his feet after dinner. He also thanked Father Kam for encouraging him to do small acts with love during the camp.
He thanked his parents, who taught him to be sensitive to the needs of others and be generous to others. “My anointed hands belong to God and every one of you. Let me serve you all, and this is my mission. Let’s accept this grace together and serve the Church in our own positions. I am not afraid of showing my weaknesses as in weaknesses we can see the power of God,” he said.
The father of the newly ordained said he was grateful for the priestly vocation of his son and his formation in the congregation. As Father Fung is his only child, he felt a bit reluctant when his son shared his decision to discern his vocation. But after some consideration, he thought he should let him choose the path he loves.
He shared that they are dedicated to serving as parishioners of St. Lawrence Parish, Cheung Sha Wan. Until now, Father Fung’s mother often helps clean the parish up. He also said the Oblates regarded his family as one of them and often invited them to their activities.
Father Fung, who is 35-years-old, served as an altar server when he was young. He started to pursue his vocation in secondary school and attended several vocation camps. He later joined the Oblate youth group in 2006. He also participated in small vocation groups in the diocese to strengthen his prayer life and discern his vocation.
He worked at the Oblate Primary School for six years after graduating from secondary school and was attracted by the spirit of the congregation. His formation as a novice and subsequent training in philosophy and theology took place in the Philippines after joining the Oblates in 2014. He made his first vow in 2016 and returned to Hong Kong in 2018 after completing his training. He made his perpetual vows in September last year and was ordained a deacon in December 2021.
Apart from serving at St. Alfred’s, where he was assigned, he has also been helping at the Oblate Store in To Kwa Wan, which was set up last year to support the congregation’s ministry for the poor by distributing food packets to low-income families.
Father Fung celebrated his first Mass at 10:30am at St. Alfred’s Church on December 4.
A number of young people from Hong Kong have responded to their vocations in recent years and joined the Oblates. One will make his perpetual vow as an Oblate brother next year, while two more seminarians are receiving training in the Philippines.
Father Kalisz said the Oblates will keep encouraging young people to respond to their vocations with good examples, cultivating a sense of belonging to the Church and serving the poor.