The Chinese University of Hong Kong Department of History Department of History
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Research Grants/Awards

Title of Project:
The Social Contributions of the Jesuits in Hong Kong, 1926-2007

Total Fund Awarded:
HK$283,360

Principal Investigator:
Professor CHEUNG Hok Ming Frederick, Department of History, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Funding Source:
RGC General Research Fund 2009/10

Abstract of Research:
        The Jesuits in Hong Kong since 1926, in addition to their core religious activities such as preaching, have contributed much to the Hong Kong society in many other aspects, such as education and social welfare. Education: (1) in the tertiary education, the Jesuits established their basis at Ricci Hall at the University of Hong Kong on Hong Kong Island, and later at Adam Schall Hall at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Shatin, and Fr. Ladany led a group of scholars publishing articles and books on studies of modern China; (2) in Catholic education, the Jesuits were entrusted with the then South China Seminary (now the Holy Seminary) in Aberdeen for a few decades; and even though they have returned it to the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese later, some of them are still actively teaching there; and (3) in secondary school education, the Jesuits have been most successful in bringing their model for high school education to Hong Kong, and have established two highly prestigious schools: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and Wah Yan College, Kowloon, which have produced many local elites including high officials as well as successful businessmen and professionals in all sectors. Social Welfare: some Jesuits have been involved in helping the poor Hong Kong Chinese set up cooperatives, for instance, the late Fr. John Collins pioneered and promoted the Credit Union Movement in Hong Kong, and other Jesuits have been working for social concerns and social justice.

        This research project proposes to compile biographical notes on the significant Jesuits in Hong Kong since 1926. The Principal Investigator will collect data (through studying their diaries and interviewing the living Jesuits) and write on about thirty influential Jesuits who have contributed much in various ways to education and social welfare in Hong Kong.

        The biographical notes will concentrate on the social and educational contributions of the Jesuits, including their ideals and ideas; their Irish model and their adaptation in the Hong Kong society; and their social teachings and services in Hong Kong, China, Asia, and from world perspectives.