Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has worsened. The doctors, nurses and staff working in hospitals, as well as the sick and their families, are all suffering serious hardship. Added to that, the weather is extremely hot, and those who work outside or do menial labour must still wear a mask. To go to work in such conditions is really uncomfortable. School teachers and students all worry about their academic progress.
These days, many companies face the problem of closing or downsizing because business is bad. Both owners and staff face a drop in salary. Families have barely enough to live on. Many workers are laid off. Unemployment is on the rise. It is hoped that the government will embrace the plight of the unemployed, and start a system of unemployment insurance in order to lessen their worries.
When Jesus appeared to Peter after the Resurrection, he said to him three times: “Do you love me?” Each time Peter answered: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Finally, Jesus said to him: “Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). Since February, because of the coronavirus, the diocese has made several appeals to the faithful: to wear masks, to maintain personal hygiene, to observe social distancing, to limit gatherings of people and to pray for those who have contracted the virus. Our clergy and their pastoral teams have shown their pastoral concern for the faithful, even offering financial help. They are implementing what Jesus asked Peter to do.
As the local government has further tightened restrictions to combat the coronavirus, this brings a lot of discomfort to our daily lives. We hope the government will listen to the advice of experts and the voices of the citizens. We also hope that everyone will continue to be patient, and to be united to overcome this pandemic.
Now on behalf of the diocese, I would like to offer our deepest gratitude to all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff for the sacrifices they have made, and our deepest thanks to all levels of society for their unstinting service during these difficult times.
Jesus said: “Come to me all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) When we have no strength and no help, let us still trust in God, because He is always with us. Let us also ask Our Lord to give us the courage, wisdom and strength so that we can together overcome this present crisis.
May God grant everyone happiness and peace!
+ John Cardinal Tong
Apostolic Administrator of Hong Kong
29th July 2020