Pope Francis names Jesuit as new bishop of Hong Kong

Bishop-elect Stephen Chow Sau-yan of Hong Kong (Photo courtesy of the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus via America magazine)

Jesuit priest Stephen Chow Sau-yan, 61, has been named the ninth Catholic bishop of the Chinese special administrative region of Hong Kong on Monday, May 17.

The Diocese of Hong Kong has been without a bishop since Jan. 3, 2019, when Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung died after leading the diocese for just 17 months.

Cardinal John Tong Hon, 80, who succeeded Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kuin and was bishop of Hong Kong prior to Bishop Yeung, served as apostolic administrator since then.

Bishop-elect Chow was born in Hong Kong on Aug. 7, 1959. He obtained a master’s degree in education and psychology in 1984 from the University of Minnesota.

He joined the Society of Jesus in September of that same year, at the age of 25, and did his novitiate in Dublin, Ireland.

After gaining a licentiate in philosophy in Dublin, he took his first vows on Sept. 27, 1986.

He then taught at the Jesuit-run Wan Yan college in Kowloon from 1988 to 1990, and then studied theology at the Holy Spirit seminary in Hong Kong from 1990 to 1993.

He was ordained priest by Cardinal John Baptist Wu in the cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Hong Kong on July 16, 1994.

He later went to the Loyola University Chicago to study organizational development and obtained a master’s degree.

From 1996 to 2000 he taught, did chaplaincy work, and was school manager at Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

After gaining a doctorate in human psychology and development from Harvard University in 2006, he took his final vows as a Jesuit the following year.

He then went on to serve as supervisor of the Jesuit Wah Yan colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon from 2006 to 2021.

In 2017, he was appointed provincial of the China province of the Jesuits that includes Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China.

There are more than 300 priests in Hong Kong, most of whom are members of religious orders, serving a diocese of more than 600,000 Catholics. - LiCAS.news