The Roman Catholic Church in Hong Kong was established as a mission perfecture in 1841; became a vicariate apostolic in 1874; and a diocese in 1946. There are about 246,000 Catholics in Hong Kong served by 291 priests, 68 brother and 502 sisters. There are 52 parishes, comprising 41 churches, 31 chapels and 28 halls for religious services conducted in Cantonese; three-fifths of the parishes also provide services in English and, in some cases, Tagalog, the Filipino language. The diocese has its own administrative structure while maintaining close links with the Pope and other Catholic communities around the world with whcih it shares the same creed, scripture, liturgy and organisation.
Along with its apostolic work, one of the prime concerns of the diocese is the well-being of the community as a whole. The diocese has 297 Catholic schools and kiindergartens catering to about 240,000 pupils. The schools are assisted by the Catholic Education Office. Medical and social services are provided to at least six hospitals, 13 clinics, 39 social and family service centres, 18 hostels, 13 homes for the aged, 20 rehabilitation service centres and many self-help clubs and associations. Caritas -- Hong Kong is the official social welfare arm of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong. These services are offered to everyone and, indeed, 95 per cent of those who have benefited from them are not Catholics.
The diocese publishes the two weekly newspapers -- Kung Kao po and the Sunday Examiner. It also produces cultural and educational programmes for broadcast on TV and for incorporation in DVDs for distribution. Other meida activities are generally coordinated by the Hong Kong Catholic Social Communications Office.
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