Pope Francis has sent heartfelt condolences and a blessing to the Hong Kong Diocese following the Jan. 3 passing of Bishop Yeung Ming-cheung
at the age of 73. A Jan. 5 letter sent on behalf of Pope Francis conveyed his personal sadness to the clergy, religious and lay faithful there. "United with them in prayerful thanksgiving for Bishop Yeung's years of priestly and episcopal ministry, His Holiness commends his soul to our heavenly Father's merciful love," the letter stated. "To all who mourn the late bishop's passing, Pope Francis cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Risen Lord." The letter was sent by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state, via Hong Kong
representatives at the Vatican. Cardinal John Tong
was appointed to administer the diocese until further notice and a new bishop of Hong Kong will be chosen according to Canon Law. A book of condolences for the late Bishop Yeung is being kept at the Caritas Community Hall in the Caritas House in Caine Road from Jan. 7 to 9. His body will lie in state in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception from Jan. 10 when a vigil Mass will be presided over by Cardinal Joseph Zen and there will be overnight prayers. On Jan. 11, a funeral Mass will be concelebrated at the cathedral, presided over by Cardinal Tong. The burial rite will take place at St. Michael's Catholic Cemetery in Happy Valley, to be officiated by Hong Kong Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing.