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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Opus Dei welcomes 29 new priests in Rome

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The Opus Dei community has welcomed 29 new priests. Among them is Wai Leung, a 35-year-old from Hong Kong who converted to Catholicism at the age of 17.

Now in Rome, he is preparing a thesis on the links between Christianity and Confucianism at a pontifical university.

“They both talk about family and also the community,” Fr Wai explained.

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“Because we don’t live alone. We are living with our friends, our family and also the openness to all.”

Fr Wai’s conversion to Catholicism encouraged his two younger brothers and, later, his own mother.

“My mum passed away last year. But she got baptised the year before,” he said.

“Actually, she passed away right on the first anniversary of her baptism. I take that as a sign of faith. I mean, it was a long journey, and my mum was baptised two years ago, at the Vigil Mass.”

Fr Wai says that in Hong Kong alone, in recent years, some 3,000 adults have been baptised each year. A figure that, he says, gives hope to the local church.

“I think it is a very positive future for us. Because the Gospel has not spread to all the corners of my country. So, people are open to the message of Christ.”

Another of the new priests is Fr Alberto Hikaru of Japan, where Catholics are a minority. In spite of this, Fr Alberto also sees elements of hope.

“I think that the Catholic Church, well Christianity, can contribute a lot to Japan, in the sense that it is a religion that speaks above all of concern for others, of living for others and Japan is a society that has traditionally valued that very much.”

Fr Hikaru says he sees an emptiness in society caused by the lack of faith and believes Christianity can shine a light in this area.

In college, after talking about Christianity with his friend he said his friend wished what he was being told about Christianity were true, that there was someone who loved him just for being him.

Fr Hikaru then realised that if people knew “that there is someone who loves them and has loved them before they realise it, it would help people a lot.”

Japanese Bishop Paul Toshihiro presided over the ordination of these new priests of Opus Dei, who hail from nineteen countries.

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