Chapter 24 St. Ignatius Chapel


For the last forty years, I have been saying Mass in St. Ignatius Chapel. It was in this Chapel that I was ordained a priest on 15 May 1965. It is then part of my life.


Nine months before I came to Hong Kong, St. Ignatius Chapel was formally blessed by Bishop Lawrence Bianchi, in December 1959. He also ordained me five years later. The Chapel was planned when the College was opened in September 1952, but financial restrictions delayed its building. It was Fr. Herbert Dargan, as Rector of the College, who eventually had it built. It is a magnificent structure, fitting the grandeur of the College.


The purpose of the Chapel was for the students and their parents, for the past students and friends and anyone else! In terms of the government, it is the College Chapel, which has always been accepted in the UK as the centre of a College. Permission was given for its building, but government did not finance it, nor contribute to its running. The Chapel in that sense has been independent of Wah Yan College, Kowloon.


The year 2006 saw renovations in the Chapel, in terms of its Baptismal Pool, the mosaics on its floor, and other alternations. Air-conditioning was introduced in 1996, to bring it in line with many churches that already had it, and the general life style of Hong Kong. But there was another big change in 1988, when it became a pastoral zone at the request of the Bishop, who asked us also to take pastoral responsibilities of an area near us. After this date, there could be Baptisms and Confirmations in St. Ignatius Chapel. But to the disappointment of many past students, the Chapel is not licensed to conduct weddings.


There have been many Jesuits in charge of the Chapel. It used to be the responsibility of the Minister of the Community, people like Fr. McGovern, Fr. Corbally and Fr. Francis Chan. But Fr. Francis Chan continued to be in charge even after he served his six years as Rector. He changed the Chapel. Since 1976, he embarked on a very Jesuit activity of gathering people from outside Wah Yan to take instructions to be Catholic. He gave instruction courses, which we call Catechism. This continues even to this day, with infant baptisms and groups of adults becoming Catholic. Fr. Chan also founded various Catholic pious associations, like that of Our Lady of Perpetual Succor. Fr. Chan certainly made St. Ignatius a very important Catholic activity centre in the Hong Kong Diocese. It could be said that he was the leader of Catholic activities in St. Ignatius Chapel from 1974 to 1991, when he went to London, St. Patrick’s Chinese Parish and died in 1994 in Dublin.


After Fr. Chan, Fr. Stanislaus Yuan served as the Pastor from 1991 to 1994, when he was succeeded by Fr. George Zee, who is a past student of the College. Fr. Zee was the pastor for eleven years and was responsible for all the renovations which were finished happily at Easter 2006.


Since 1980, Fr. Chan had the voluntary service of a Secretary, Mrs.Emily Siu who served until 1993. She was succeeded by Mrs. Cecilia Leung who has been devoted to the activities of St. Ignatius, together with enriching it with her management skills and finances until March 2006. Along with her, the pastoral Council manages the numerous committees in the Chapel. This included a large Sunday Sunday School ( of about two hundred children), celebrations and tours.


My place in all this was to celebrate Sunday Mass, which I did in turn with three others in the community. I also took my turn to say the 7.15am Mass during the Week, along with four other Jesuits.


All along, the Catholic students of Wah Yan, have used it for their meetings, and of course, the opening and closing School Masses held there.


When people ask where I say Mass, I mention St. Ignatius Chapel, which I am so proud to be associated with. It is well known and a very special “Church” in Hong Kong. ( 686)

S
t. Ignatius Chapel façade 2004



School Monument for 50th anniversary of WYK 1974


第二十四章 我在香港耶穌會的生活


我的宗教家庭生活


我是在一九五零年決定成為耶穌會神父的, 我知道我喜歡與其他神父一起生活, 即是說我喜歡在神父的社區中生活, 我的一生不能只是與一個團體或一個組織有聯系, 我要在一個緊密相扣的社區中, 有耶穌會士特定目的和特別的生活方式。


我回頭看自己, 我並不覺得自己有能力供養一個家庭, 我並不歡喜那種有夫妻, 兒女, 親戚一起的家庭生活, 我喜歡神父活躍的生活, 奉獻給其他人和祈禱, 我 的理想, 並不適合一般人所謂的家庭生活, 我的理想是成為耶穌會士。


具體來說, 我一定要承認我只需要有一張床和一些書, 更特別是每天望彌撒, 最重要的, 我需要跟隨耶穌, 和為他人服務的方向上得到支持, 我小心謹慎地選擇我所參加的團體, 感到我是跟隨著聖靈的指引。 這個團體(耶穌會)照顧我很好, 我永遠不需要為金錢傷腦筋, 祇要依著上主的旨意行事, 我感到安全, 並得到親切的照顧。


我和其他的耶穌會士的友誼很深厚, 我們有共同的理想和人生目標, 我大部份時間是住在九龍華仁書院, 這是一個理想的位置, 我就住在我教學的課室樓上, 同時, 從這堥鴗E龍、新界或香港任何一個地區, 都極方便, 還有那媟|比像京士柏公園的園林地帶的環境更佳。


不過 , 令生命充裕的, 是人與人的交往, 這是我從其他耶穌會士, 學校老師和我教的學生中發現的, 還有, 我不能隱藏我的其他朋友和聯系, 他們是各種各樣的和豐富多采的人, 對很多其他人來說, 我只能希望有這樣一個 「家」。


其他耶穌會士的生活


很少提及香港華仁書院, 我一定要表示我與它的聯系, 事實上, 我們九龍華仁在多方面與香港華仁書院是同一間學校 。


直至一九六五年, 九龍華仁是香港華仁書院的分校, 那時, 九龍華仁與香港華仁時常互相交換耶穌會士的教師, 但在一九六五年之後, 教育署認為九龍華仁是一間獨立書院, 如果要交換老師, 便要通過教職位的申請過程, 當是聘請新的教師。事實上 , 自一九六五年至今, 已很少有耶穌會會士老師的互相交換。


一九六七年, 博神父Fr. Derek Reid來到當九龍華仁書院校長, 多年後至一九七八年, 狄文神父Fr. Alfred Deignan 來出任校長, 實際上, 他來自利馬竇宿舍, 他是那裡的舍監, 但在此之前, 他同樣是在香港華仁書院的。


近年, 已經開始在制度上, 將兩間書院合併起來。由於大家都由同一個創辦人創辦的, 有相同的根基, 相同的精神, 相同的耶穌會的理念方向, 例如, 在二零零零年發起的「華仁是一家」, 事實上, 兩間書院的校長都是對方管理委員會中的一位委員, 這是第二個例子, 兩校的學生會定期互相交流訪問, 還有一個兩校聯合舉辦的老師進修日, 還有其他的形式, 接躍而來。


當一九五二年九月窩打老道56號華仁書院開幕時, 香港羅便臣道的下午班和夜班前來加入, 兩間學校都是由耶穌會士主辦, 至今有耶穌會士任教已超過五十年。


以我來說, 我從沒有在皇后大道東281號教書, 與那處的老師也很少接觸 , 這可能表示我真正的興趣並不在教書, 另一方面, 這兩間學校也有不同的地方, 有人怎至說, 兩間學校有各有自的內在文化! 九華座落在旺角與油麻地地區, 而港華是在跑馬地與灣仔區。九華有廣闊的土地, 而港華有的空間很有限, 一如在香港島的其他事物, 九華學生數目較多, 有一個大聖堂, 舉行很多彌撒。 香港華仁有聯繫小學, 大部分的學生是由保育小學升上來的, 九龍華仁沒有直屬小學, 但從各間小學收錄優良的學生。兩間學校的老師很少見面, 但是, 現在已實行一些措施, 令大家有更多聯絡交往和互相分享。


除了兩間華仁書院之外, 自一九二九年開始, 耶穌會士已在香港大學的利馬竇堂, 很多華仁舊生住在利馬竇堂, 但我很少與大學的圈子聯絡, 由於, 自一九二九年開始利馬竇堂已是耶穌會士最歷史悠長的社區, 它一直是耶穌會士的管理中心, 我時常到那裡去, 覺得這是香港耶穌會士生活的核心地方。


在一九六四年以前, 香港仔的神聖書院Holy Spirit College (前稱為南華區神學院), 在香港, 這是其中一個耶穌會士最重要的活動, 由一九三一至一九六四年, 每年超過六位耶穌會士負責成立和培訓修士, 之後耶穌會士繼續教授神學, 我很少與聖神書院聯絡, 但自我來到香港之後, 我常與在書院任教的耶穌會士來往。


最後, 便是長洲山頂道 27號的靜修院, 我喜歡這裡, 自一九六零年, 我來到香港, 便在那裡住了兩年, 間中也會回去靜修, 但也沒有深刻的交往, 在耶穌會士的眼中, 常有一個先後次序的重點, 這一個地方是供神操及靈修和心靈指導之用。


我與這些耶穌會士的活動沒有太多聯系, 除此之外, 我卻與各處的耶穌會士有很好和緊密的私人交往, 他們都是我的宗教家庭成員, 我為他們感到榮幸。


最後, 還有在香港過境的耶穌會士, 他們來自馬來西亞、台灣、菲律賓、澳洲、愛爾蘭和世界各地, 我們都是一個全球性的耶穌會, 一起為天國服務。