Hong Kong, 22 February 2018 -- To celebrate the Lunar New Year in the Year of the Dog, Salesians in the China Province came together at Aberdeen Technical School (ATS) in Hong Kong for the wonderful annual gathering of the Salesian Provincial Day.
The beginning of this festive occasion was marked by a basketball championship among the young confreres. Afterwards guided tours were arranged for the confreres to visit the newly renovated STREAM Room, which is specially designed to deliver quality interdisciplinary education integrating Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics as 'STREAM'. The teaching staff at ATS as our Lay Mission Partners conducted the practical demonstrations of how the state-of-the-art equipment can be used to facilitate the teaching of STREAM to students. Through such live demonstrations, our confreres experienced the power of advanced technologies in equipping our students for the creative industries in the global trend of technological adcancement in contemporary society.
Besides the demonstrations at STREAM Room, the confreres were led to visit the boarding section at ATS, which provides accommodation to 120 students with different educational needs. The confreres were introduced to the various schemes aiming to enhance the personal, intellectual and spiritual development of boarders.
After these engaging campus visits, the new life-size statue of Mary Help of Christians in polished white jade put up at the school main entrance was blessed by the Provincial, Fr. Lanfranco, who pray with all the attending confreres to our Blessed Mother to ask for Her intercession to protect ATS and all its members. Then the Solemn Vespers commemorating the feast of the chair of St. Peter was celebrated in the school chapel. In the following good night talk, Fr. Lanfranco shared that all Salesians are really impressed by the restoration of the boarding section at ATS with dedicated Lay Mission Partners accompanying the young people in need through tailor-made learning programmes. He firmly believes that the work at ATS is truly manifesting the Salesian charism. In fact, ATS is the very first school set up by the first batch of Salesian missionaries to Hong Kong. Before arrival, the missionaries had envisioned opening a technical school in Hong Kong. Therefore, they gladly took over St. Louis School from the then Bishop of Hong Kong, Bp. Raymondi, and Aberdeen Technical School became the second Salesian presence in Hong Kong. Moreover, Fr. Lanfranco highlighted that on the Provincial Day this year we also celebrated that precisely 100 years ago the Salesians began their educative-pastoral work in Shiuchow. In God’s mysterious designs, the Shiuchow missionary field was watered by the blood of the Salesian Protomartyrs, St. Luigi Versiglia and St. Callisto Caravario, the blood of three missionaries, Fr. Vincenzo Munda, Fr. Bassano Lareno-Faccini and Fr. John Matkovics, and the blood of our Chinese confrere, Fr. Simone Leong Shu Tchi. They all died for their fidelity to their vocation and mission. Fr. Lanfranco asks every one of us to keep the Shiuchow mission in our prayer, where the blood of martyrs will certainly be the seed of many, many new Christians.
After the Solemn Vespers and the good night talk, we had a good dinner in the school hall. The boarders, aspirant and confreres gave wonderful music and Chinese yoyo performance during the dinner. The Chinese New Year provincial celebration ended with the distribution of red packets by Fr. Lanfranco and the confreres enjoyed this joyful annual gathering while fostering fraternity in the family of the China Province.