The Early Years of Childhood of John Tong

Activity: Conference/talk/lecture/symposium/speech/workshop, etcEvent organized by non-HKBU units


John Tong’s family was merely following the tide of historical events and trying their best to stay alive. Nevertheless, when John recalled those war days, he felt that it was “a blessing of God” that he was a “wartime child.” He said, “This childhood experience has been a source of inspiration throughout my life.” The poverty of the Chinese and the bravery of the priests strongly affected him, and he later became an altar boy. The war made a strong impression on him, and he found love in his faith in God.

Of course, his parents did not imagine that he would later become an important figure in the Catholic Church. His impact extended from Hong Kong to the Vatican, which is remarkable given the different interpretations of the nature of the Church in mainland China. Hong Kong has long served as a link between the East and West, even during the odd circumstances of the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Could the Catholic Church in Hong Kong become a bridge between mainland China and the Vatican? What were the merits of Hong Kong as a colony? The Church in Hong Kong could help the mainland Church modernize and develop. Nevertheless, there were undeniable difficulties. Only time would tell.
Period2 Aug 20235 Aug 2023
Held atJohn Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland