I would like to extend my sincere greetings to you all under the shadow of the raging pandemic. I hope the COVID situation would ease as soon as possible, and everyone can return to their normal everyday life. May the merciful heavenly father lead us out of this predicament so that we will be able to glorify God with our prayers in patience.
As of 10th February, due to the escalated COVID situation, the Diocese, at the request of the Government, has suspended the opening of churches, chapels, and mass centres where public masses are regularly held, and while any other physical religious gatherings are temporarily suspended. Although we have to maintain social distancing with each other during the pandemic, our communion with Jesus and our brothers and sisters in Christ has not been affected. We can even better experience our dependence on God, as well as our care for each other. Through mutual prayers and caring, we can better perform our mission of being "salt and light of the world".
While "A House Among Houses Fund-raising Concert" has to be postponed, donations from faithful and passionate donors never cease. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their enthusiastic support. Meanwhile, the organising committee is still diligently preparing for this event. Once the venue and new date are confirmed, we will make every effort in presenting the most meaningful concert and we look forward to your continuous support.
Ever since the pandemic, the works of the Diocesan Fund-raising Commission for Church Building and Development has never been slacked off. We are making every effort to use various information platforms to maintain close contact with the faithful and report on our work progress. We are going to implement various columns on this website to publish news and information regularly. We have also established our social media platforms in Facebook, IG and YouTube to foster closer contacts with you all. Other than that, the Commission is planning more online fund-raising events as well as creative ideas to compensate the inadequacy of physical campaigns due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic measures and we are soliciting your continuous support.
Riding on the success of "Thy Kingdom Come - Online Exhibition & Charity Bidding" in 2020 and upon robust demand, another phase of "Thy Kingdom Come – Online Exhibition & Charity Bidding 2.0" is preliminarily scheduled in the fourth quarter of this year. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, the Commission has concluded various short and mid-term projects on the drawing board and hope to work with you all in our church building and development works.
On behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, I would like to thank all our donors for their contributions to our Diocesan Church Building and Development Fund. All proceeds will go towards the funding of church building and parish development projects. We are hoping to raise HK$500 million in the first phase to support the construction of Fanling St Joseph Church, the planning works of the new Tung Chung parish and expansion of niches in the cemeteries. Thanks to the generous donations, we have so far raised HK$60 million, which is 12.5% of our target. As the superstructure and most of the internal works of Fanling new church are already completed, we expect to obtain the occupation permit in the third quarter of the year to start interior decoration. Part of the early phase construction fee has been covered by the funds raised. We are working closely with the government on the land purchase for our Tung Chung project and we expect to incur considerable fees in the short future. As such, there is enormous pressure to raise funds to cover the necessary cash expenditure imminently. May I therefore appeal to your support to complete this challenging yet divine mission together.
We are actively promoting regular periodical contributions to establish recurrent income source for our fund. At the moment, there are 152 faithful signed for periodical donations. I would like to express my gratitude to their generous support and hope their participation can motivate more faithful to join the pool so as to enable a more stable growth of the development fund.
In the meantime, let me invite you all to pray together for God's guidance to accomplish this meaningful task together. "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35) May God bless you with an abundance of grace, peace and happiness.
Rev Dominic Chan
Diocesan Fund-raising Commission for Church Building and Development