Thirty-one parishioners from Sacred Heart Church depart today (15 May) with their priest on a pilgrimage to Rome. They are celebrating Father Carlo Tei’s 60th priestly anniversary. The main Thanksgiving and Mass will be at Mairago, Lombardy, but Sai Kung people who are not going on the trip can join in a mass here followed by dinner on 3 June.
Father Tei, who is now 83, has been Sai Kung’s Roman Catholic priest since hand-over day in 1997. All Catholic priests are expected to retire at 75 but Carlo was asked by John Cardinal Tong to stay on until he was 85.
Here are some of the highlights of the group’s 10-day pilgrimage: visits to, and masses at, St Mary Major “Our Lady of the Snows” Basilica, a shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary; St Peter’s Basilica; Archbasilica of St John Lateran; the Holy Stairs, 28 white marble stairs that Jesus is said to have walked on his way to trial; St Paul’s Outside the Walls Basilica, one of the four major papal basilicas in Rome; the Cathedral at Lodi dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary; the parish of Mairago in a farming community of Lombardy, where Carlo’s 60th anniversary Thanksgiving and Mass will be held; the Sanctuary of Madonna Della Costa at Sanremo; Caravaggio Church where the Virgin Mary reportedly appeared in 1432; and the Twelve Apostles Basilica where the remains of St James and St Peter are kept.
In Sai Kung on 3 June a Thanksgiving and Mass for Father Tei’s 60 years as a priest will be held at Sacred Heart Church from 4:00 pm, followed by dinner at the Hall of Sung Tsun Catholic School.
Carlo told SAI KUNG BUZZ Sai Kung has about 3000 church-going Catholics. “All over the world about 20 per cent of Catholics are active.” He first arrived in Hong Kong 56 years ago and served in several districts before being assigned to Sai Kung in 1997.