Studium Biblicum Franciscanum Hong Kong. Chronicle 1999-2000,
Antonianum, 76/2 (2001) p. 392-394
Jubilee Year celebrations:
1. The SBF with the Diocesan Liturgical Commission organised solemn Vespers at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Hong Kong. A symbolic flame brought from the Grotto of the Nativity in Bethlehem by the Studium was presented to the Cardinal who in turn distributed the flame to all religious houses and parishes throughout the Diocese. The flame served as a symbolic union between Bethlehem and Hong Kong for the Jubilee Year celebrations.
2. To commemorate the Jubilee Year, we published a special edition of our Bible, limited to 1,000 copies. Covers made from olive-wood in Bethlehem were flown in specially for this edition. The texts were corrected in Nov. 1999 and a papal blessing and excerpts from Tertio Millenio Adveniente explaining the meaning of the Jubilee Year were added.
3. The ecumenical Bible 2000 Exhibition was organised by the Studium Biblicum and the Bible Society and drew over 17,000 visitors. It was hailed as the highlight of the Jubilee celebrations in the Hong Kong diocese. There were 150 Bibles exhibited which represented 2000 years history of the Holy Book of Christianity. These included early manuscripts, incunabula and rare editions of early chinese bibles from the 17th - 19th centuries. Participants of the exhibition include the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, the Hong Kong Council of Churches and the Jewish community.
Children Apostolate: The children’s Sunday lectionary “Je vais a la Messe” was published in chinese to encourage children understand the Sunday readings of Mass.
1. The SBF distributed 100 copies of the New Testament and over 200 copies of its magazines “Biblical Quarterly” and “Holyland” to all the shrines in the Holyland. In Israel there are some 50,000 chinese migrant workers from Mainland China.
2. The Studium helped to set up a permanent Bible museum for the Hong Kong Cathedral. The exhibits are divided into two sections: early Bible versions (primarily chinese editions) and cultural artefacts from the Biblical lands. To enhance the educational aspect of this museum, display boards explaining various biblical themes are mounted on the museum walls. These are changed every 3 months.
3. The Studium conducted a monthly weekend Bible retreat for the Hong Kong Diocese beginning from Jan 2000. The Sisters of St Paul de Chartres collaborated in this project by providing lodging and meals at their retreat centre.
4. The Studium also served the english-speaking communities of Hong Kong and Beijing by distributing the monthly Bible magazine “Word Among Us” as well as the monthly pamphlets “Scripture from Scratch” and “Catholic Update” published by St Anthony Messenger Press, USA.
1. We printed 10,000 large Bibles; 20,000 pocket size Bibles; 5,000 New Testaments and 3,000 Gospels with Acts of the Apostles (simplified characters). About 5,000 large Bibles were also printed in Mainland China in simplified chinese characters.
2. Biblical Quarterly: This magazine is aimed at the general reader with 3 aspects stressed: intellectual, pastoral (lesson notes for Bible teachers and activity sheets for students) and spiritual (guide to Lectio Divina).
3. “Holyland” magazine in chinese. This quarterly magazine serves to provide the historical/cultural background of the Bible, and is a means of contact between the Franciscan Custody of the Holyland and Chinese Christians
4. Enchiridion Biblicum: the translation from the original languages to Chinese was completed in May 2000.
5. “Introduction to the socio-cultural background of the New Testament” by Bro Paul Saw fsc, our collaborator from Malaysia, was published in the 1st quarter of 2000.
1. Revision of the Bible. With the revision of the New Testament well underway, we were fortunate to gather another group of collaborators to begin revising the Old Testament. The revised texts will be published separately in fascicles until the entire Bible is completed and a one volume edition can be published.
2. Revision of Bible Dictionary. The Bible Dictionary was revised on Phase 1 stage and was entirely imput into our computer. The data will then be used for our CD project.
3. Chinese Bible on CD Rom. With the complete chinese Bible online on the Internet in 3 different websites, we now have begun to contact various companies to study the possibility of making the Chinese Bible and Bible Dictionary available on CD Rom. Another project was a joint collaboration with Mustard Seedlings Ltd (Hong Kong): our Chinese text of the New Testament was used to produce 4 packs of children’s illustrated Bible with readings on CD.
4. SBF on the Internet. Our website www.sbofmhk.org was revamped in mid-2000 and we worked very hard at updating our pages as regularly as possible. We are still negotiating the terms with a company to have our publications sold online.
Pilgrimages: The Studium organised 5 study-tours to the Holyland.
Besides teaching at the Diocesan seminary, the Catechetical Centre and the Bible Institute, we also offered the following courses:, The Psalms (B. Leong), Latin 1 & 2 (B. Leong), Ancient Jewish Feastdays (Stanislaus Lee), The Temple: history and theology (L. Goh), Introduction to the Ancient Near East (L. Ng), Introduction to the Bible (L. Goh), A socio-cultural study of the New Testament (P. Saw). We also have 3 students studying for the BA in Bible Studies, 2 doing research for the MA (Bible Studies) and one doing a Diploma in Theology (Bible specialisation) with the University of South Africa.