This year St. Vincent’s Chapel, in Hang Hau, marks five decades of Eucharistic celebrations in the current church building. The present-day church was completed in December of 1969 and Mass began to be celebrated in English for the foreign community as well as in Cantonese.
The history of St. Vincent’s, however, stretches further back.
Established as a parish in 1958 to serve the local community, St. Vincent’s was originally under the CICM (Scheut) Fathers who, along with the ICM Sisters and other religious strove to improve the lives of villagers.
Working together with local residents, they first built a school that allowed the children of fishing families to complete primary education, as well as a chapel, a clinic and houses for the poor, and helped to bring electricity and running water to the area.
They also worked in education and health and social services throughout Hong Kong. Following the development of the Hang Hau area in 2008, St. Vincent’s became part of St. Andrew’s Parish and now serves as its English-language Mass centre.
The community is highly international. The majority hail from the Philippines or from Hong Kong, but others come from Indonesia, Korea, mainland China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ghana, Italy, Nigeria and other parts of the world.
To commemorate 50 years of international fellowship, on the occasion of the feast of St. Vincent, an anniversary Mass to be celebrated by Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun is scheduled for Sunday, September 29 at 10:30am.
A potluck lunch and party will follow and we hope to see many old parishioners as well as new community members attend.
St. Vincent’s will also organise a number of special activities over the coming months, including a Children’s Carnival and Bazaar on October1, a Community Sportsfest on October 7), a Missionary Concert on October 27 and a programme to involve more community members in corporal and spiritual acts of mercy.
Please join us—everyone is welcome at St. Vincent’s!