Role change for Father Ho Lung
BY BRIAN BONITTO
AFTER 33 years as head and founder of the Kingston-based Missionaries of the Poor, Father Richard Ho Lung has stepped down.
Ho Lung, 74, is succeeded by Bro Augusto Silot, a naturalised Jamaican, who was born in the Philippines.
The announcement was made at the Holy Trinity Cathedral on North Street in Kingston on Wednesday evening.
"I felt it was the right time. Younger men will have to step forward and lead the Missionaries of the Poor into the future. I will still help and be active," he told the Jamaica Observer.
Ho Lung, who had open-heart surgery 11 years ago, said most of his time will now be spent on teaching the brothers and establishing the missionaries' musical productions.
"Now I want to pay a bit more attention to the productions. My involvement in this area will be to the very end. It is something of great value to the people," he said.
Ho Lung has written over 20 productions including Acts of the Apostle, Jesus 2000, Candles in the Dark, Run Come, The Rock, and The Messiah.
"A lot of music has been done. The music and productions are food for the souls. It stirs people to a spirit of hope and joy," Ho Lung said.
Performing under the banner 'Father Richard Ho Lung and Friends', the proceeds from these events help to maintain homes for destitute persons, including abandoned, sick, disabled, or dying men, women, infants, and children.
Ho Lung, who shows no sign of slowing down, said he has some overseas dates for The Messiah.
"We'll be at the Napa Theatre in Trinidad on May 27 to June 1, and the Halton Theatre in North Carolina from August 8 to 10," he said.
Other dates include: Praise Him in Pennsylvania on September 4-7; Ghetto Priest for Montego Bay in the latter part of October, and in Toronto, Canada on December 7.
Started by Ho Lung in 1981, Missionaries of the Poor is an international Roman Catholic monastic religious institute of brothers dedicated to serving the poor. Chapters have been set up in The Philippines, Haiti, Kenya, Uganda, Indonesia and the United States.