By SCO (CIN)
Hong Kong, China, 28 September 2023 -- Hong Kong was paralyzed by flash flooding after the heaviest rainfall since 1884 on the night of 7 September. Metro stations were submerged with muddy water, and drivers were trapped on the roads. The Eastern side of Hong Kong Island, where the Salesian House of Studies (Shau Kei Wan) is situated, was seriously affected. The flood and sandy mud badly damaged the Salesian House of Studies. The affected area includes the Salesian Youth Ministry Office, the Social Communication Office, the Chinese section of the seminary Library, and the new wing, Our Lady’s House. One-third of the books were washed away. The elevator and activity room were filled with mud. Offices were left chaotic without anything in their original position. Computers and servers were soaking wet. Both electronic data and hard copies of documents were lost. It all happened overnight.
The clean-up work took place 3 days after the heavy rain when the weather became stable. Our SYM youth leaders and young Salesians in formation are called to remove the broken furniture, shovel the mud, and unclog the drainage. These works were unprecedented to them. Sometimes, they had to use their bare hands, sometimes with tools. Out of their love and belonging to this place, where they prayed and passed numerous joyful moments, they worked from morning to night. Here is truly their second home.
The situation of the seminary library would be heartbreaking for those who love books. You had to literally step on the books in order to get into the Library. Thanks to the organization of the Salesian Alumni, various groups of people - adults, youth, and children - came to assist with the clean-up. Among them worth mentioning is a group of volunteers from the government Department of Correctional Services.
The clean-up took almost 2 weeks to complete. Repair and Renovation would take a long time. It is moving to see how everyone, especially our SYM youth leaders, devoted themselves. It is also opportune to express here our heartfelt gratitude for the generous assistance of alumni, parishioners, and members of the Salesian Family. They have expressed in concrete actions the family spirit. A thorough sterilization will take place in the affected area. Offices are transferred to a temporary location. The activity room, retreat center, and the Province’s website are temporarily suspended. For the time being, news of the Province is released on the Facebook page “Salesian Family” and WhatsApp announcements. May we continue to pray for the Seminary and the Youth Ministry Office so that normality may be resumed swiftly. May we render our services for the good of the young and the Salesian Congregation.