Father Dominic Chan celebrates Mass in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Hong Kong on Sept. 23, 2018. Public Masses resumed in the Chinese territory on June 1. (Photo: AFP)
The Diocese of Hong Kong resumed public Masses on June 1 after suspending them for more than three months, but parish activities are limited and the number of attendees is restricted.Cardinal John Tong, apostolic administrator of the diocese, last week announced the resumption of public Masses, saying the decision came after the government relaxed restrictions.The Chinese-administered city flattened the pandemic curve by mid-April and currently has fewer than 50 active cases. Of the 1,088 cases reported by May 30, at least 1,037 had recovered, with only four deaths so far.However, Catholics worried about the possibility of contracting the virus by attending Mass can continue viewing online Sunday Masses, Cardinal Tong said.The diocese suspended public Masses on Feb. 15, initially for two weeks, but extended the suspension as the situation worsened. Catholics in the diocese had no public celebration of Ash Wednesday or Easter or Masses until this week.
"They are happy and joyful to participate in the Mass and receive the Holy Eucharist," Father Leung said. "There are also parishioners who are worried, but parishes can only do their best to prevent the disease."St. Edward's parishioner Agnes Lam, who was active in weekday and Sunday Masses before the pandemic, confessed that she was "looking forward to but a little nervous" to attend public Mass.She said most of the 200 people who attended Mass on June 1 were familiar and elderly parishioners "who were thankful that they could attend their first Mass more than three months after the event."