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Hong Kong prayers for quake victims

Tourist tells of ' frustrated, helpless' experience in Tokyo as crisis struck

Leung Sau-wai (far right) shares her family’s quake experience in Japan at the prayer gathering Leung Sau-wai (far right) shares her family’s quake experience in Japan at the prayer gathering
  • ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong
  • March 22, 2011
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Experiencing Japan’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks was like being on a spiritual journey, according to a Hong Kong catechumen.

Leung Sau-wai was sharing with more than 120 worshippers her first ever quake experience during a prayer gathering for victims of the earthquake.

The Order of Friars Minor in Hong Kong organized the gathering at St. Bonaventure’s Church yesterday, which comprised adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, psalm-readings, hymn-singing and testimonies from other quake survivors.

Leung was visiting Tokyo Disneyland with her family when the huge quake struck on March 11.

“I felt so frustrated and helpless when we could not make a phone call or find any transport to leave the park,” recalled Leung, who doesn’t speak Japanese.

With help from staff and other tourists, she and her husband found shelter that cold night where they were able to feed their two-year-old son.

“I kept praying to God for strength, health and safety,” she said, adding that when they finally reached the airport five days later, “it had seemed like a spiritual journey to find light amid the darkness.”

In his sermon, Franciscan Father Stephen Chan Moon-hung said God has not removed suffering from humankind, but through this catastrophe, God has awakened many merciful hearts.

Japan is Hong Kong’s third biggest trading partner, shares a similar pop culture, and is a favored destination for tourism and study for many Hong Kong residents. Thus, news of the quake, the nuclear crisis and the effect on regional economies has aroused great concern in Hong Kong.

Except for this Friday, which is the Annunciation of the Lord, there are prayer rallies and Masses every weekday evening at different parishes in response to Bishop John Tong Hon’s appeal to pray for the victims and survivors of the quake and tsunami.

A Mass at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on March 26 will conclude a special week of prayer.

Catholics also made a special offertory during Sunday Masses on March 20. They are also donating money via Caritas-Hong Kong.

Related reports
Caritas plans Sendai relief response
Asia steps up response to quake crisis
Pope calls for prayers for Japan

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