I am Sr. Shinoby Thomas, working as a Pastoral Sister in St. Thomas Apostle Parish in Tsing Yi, Hong Kong. By way of extending pastoral service, I keep visiting St. Joseph’s Higher Secondary School run by Caritas in Hong Kong.

In recent years the number of Mandarin speaking students has increased considerably. Each time I visit the students, there are Cantonese speaking students who help me in my conversation with the Mandarin speaking students.

young people catholic

My experience and observation after being with them is that they are very simple and seem to be lacking many things like family affection, care, understanding and support. Every student considers the school as his/her home. I do see also the teachers put in lot of effort to help these students to feel accepted, understood and given support. Recently the school received a request from some of the Main Land Chinese families of students who wish to have their education here in Hong Kong. They have expressed two main purposes: first, they have to take long journey daily to go to school; second, they wish to stay in a catholic family in order to know more about catholic faith and the way of living it.

Sometime ago we held an activity in the school for the newcomers from Main Land China. There were altogether 20 students aged from 7 to 15 years. I was invited to explain Catholic religion to these students and the language used was English. I prepared some games, videos, pictures through which to explain the Catholic religion and the importance of faith in our life. While I joined with them in the activities, I felt happy and connected to them. The younger students were continuously talking to me in Mandarin, and I in turn tried to interact and tried my best to respond to them through sign language.

Well, by being with the poor and less fortunate I learned that the language of love is the most essential thing that we need to make them know that they are valued and valuable beings, through our gentleness and sincere love. I wish and pray that God may bless these young ones with His guiding grace as they face the challenges and opportunities in their lives here in Hong Kong.


Sr. Shinoby Thomas, Hong Kong – China


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