Priestly ordination at Lantau abbey

HONG KONG (SE): Deacon William Young of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, sub-prior of Our Lady of Joy Abbey, Lantau, was ordained a priest by John Cardinal Tong Hon on October 19 having been with the Trappists for 13 years.

During the ceremony, Young was recommended by the abbot, Dom Paul Kao, to Cardinal Tong, who encouraged Young to be dedicated to his duty of shepherding the flock, proclaiming the gospel and explaining Catholic faith to the world.

Father Young, now in his 60s, was baptised in Hong Kong at St. Peter’s Church, Aberdeen, in 1976. He received his confirmation in 1980. He joined Our Lady of Joy Abbey in 2006, professing his temporary vow in 2008 and his permanent vow in 2012.

Among the concelebrants were two elderly Trappists, Father Benedict Chao and Dom Clement Kong. They returned to the abbey for the ceremony with the assistance of the sisters in their elderly care home. Both priests prayed over Deacon Young during the ordination ceremony and later during the Mass received the Eucharist from him.

At the end of the Mass, Father Young thanked God and people around him for their love so that he, “a former barber” as he humorously called himself, could be a monk. He recalled that before entering the abbey, he experienced many things in life: marriage, fatherhood, setting up a business with ups and downs and later, emigration to Canada. 

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The death of his wife when he thought he had achieved the stability of life was great blow, which made him think about his final destination. He then decided to join the monastic contemplative life.

At the ceremony were the members of Father Young’s family as well as the family of his late wife. His children and their families stayed in Canada.

Father Young is the third child of the eight children. His eldest sister told the Kung Kao Po that she was happy about her brother’s ordination. 

She recalled that the siblings lived in poverty and had a difficult childhood which built up her brother’s perseverance. However, she found it interesting that her brother often overslept on a school day, but now needs to wake up before daybreak to pray. 

Father Young’s aunt recalled that he was a mature child and never had conflicts with people. She remembered that he even helped at a barber shop to improve the family income when he was very young.

The Trappists lead a simple, contemplative life characterised by solitude and prayers. However, the abbey welcomes visitors to join Masses and the seven prayer sessions at different hours of the day. 

The monastery in Lantau is self-sustaining and produces goods for sale and also offers accommodation and spiritual guidance for people doing retreats.

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