Souvenir Magazine St. George's College Old Boys AssociationOntario Chapter

 

PROFILE

 

St. George's College 
Old Boys Association 


PROFILE 
on  
Georgians  

 

 

Profile on Fr. Richard HoLung
..... from STGCOBA (Ontario Chapter) 1998 Souvenir Edition
Father Richard HoLung
Sixteen years ago, Father Richard Ryan Ho Lung, a graduate of St. George's College and already a Jesuit priest for a number of years felt the call to respond more radically to the gospel challenge. Surrounded by desperate poverty in Kingston, where the poor suffered greatly, he had a strong feeling that God was urging him to respond immediately to their cry and to be with them in their suffering. At first he was reluctant to take up the challenge but did so in obedience to God's command.

In 1981 he made the difficult decision of leaving the Society of Jesus, which he loved, and founded a religious community of men who would dedicate their lives in the sole service of the rejected and the destitute. And so with Hayden Augustine and Brian Kerr they set about the task relying only on God's love. They moved into a house offered to them by the then Archbishop Samuel Carter from where they went out to work among the poor: wiped messy bottoms, bound wounds, shaved, bathed and fed the suffering ones. They went to Gun Court where hundreds of young men were locked up without a fair trial and taught them Scripture and skills.

In 1985 the first Apostolate, "Faith Centre" was opened to accommodate retarded and Down's Syndrome children and adults. In 1987 "Jacob's Well" came into being as housing for 60 destitute adults. In 1989 an unused warehouse which came to be known as "Good Shepherd" was acquired and converted into housing for 60 of the many homeless that were roaming Kingston. The calls for "help" far exceeded the capacity to respond. 1994 saw the opening of "Lord's Place". To date this is the largest enterprise, housing 95 persons of different ages and with different needs.

To do the work God has set out for them they needed more men so they ventured to the Far East to seek vocations. The first Mission was opened in 1992 in Warangal, India for lepers and railway children by Father Hayden Augustine. Young men were inspired and they came forward to join the Missionaries of the Poor. In September 1993 Father Brian Kerr, the only other Jamaican besides Father Ho Lung, and Brother Maximo Medina went to the Philippines to work in a slum in Naga City and have since added the care of 300 mentally retarded persons. In February 1994, two Missionaries of the Poor went to care for 150 sick and homeless persons in Cap-Haitien, Haiti.

All along the way, they received clear affirmations from God that He wants this religious community of men totally dedicated to Him and His poor. Mother Teresa visited their homes in Kingston in 1986; Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria celebrated the Eucharist with the Brothers in Kingston in 1990; His Holiness Pope John Paul 11 visited the ghettos of Kingston in 1993.

From a risky beginning of 3 men the Missionaries of the Poor now has 103 Brothers worldwide who are committed by vows to God, His people, and His Church. On October 7,1997 the Vatican gave formal recognition to the Missionaries of the Poor as an official Religious Community of the Church. To a packed audience at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on March 25, 1998, the first male religious community in the English speaking Caribbean, the Missionaries of the Poor, was formally erected to a Religious Institute of Diocesan Right by the Most. Rev. Edgerton R. Clarke, D.D, Archbishop of Kingston.

The Church in general, and in particular the Archdiocese of Kingston has acquired a precious jewel, not one of stone: something much more priceless. The Missionaries of the Poor life of service to the most destitute, reveals the face of Christ to the World. The Missionaries have chosen, "Mary, Cause of our Joy" as their Patroness. The motto is, "United with Him on the Cross, We will Serve Joyfully". What a challenge to our World today!

Contact in Canada for the Missionaries of the Poor is 905 940 2606.




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