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Eveline Chen, left, Cronan Yu and Wai Po (The Catholic Weekly/Alphonsus Fok)

When Sydney’s Chinese Catholic community answered Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP’s call to empower future clergy through sponsorship, little did they know they would be answering their own prayers. Source: The Catholic Weekly.

“We’ve been praying for more Cantonese-speaking priests in Sydney,” said Eveline Chen, the 85-year-old matriarch of Catholic Chinese in Sydney and a major donor to the Sydney Archdiocese’s Seminarian Scholarship Project. 

Thanks to her generosity and the many benefactors from Chinese Catholic Community Inc (CCCI), those prayers have been answered as Cronan Yu, a 28-year-old Chinese-Australian from Sydney’s west, realises his dreams of becoming a priest.  

“When we heard about this opportunity to support future clergy through the scholarship program at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, we were happy to donate. The fact Cronan is Australian-Chinese is just extra special for us,” said Ms Chan, whose husband, the late Hudson Chen OAM, founded CCCI in 1982. 

On Sunday, a sense of hope and renewal filled the church of St Kevin’s in Eastwood as members of the CCCI gathered for a Mass and luncheon to hear Mr Yu, who is in his third year at Sydney’s Seminary of the Good Shepherd, speak about his pathway into the seminary and his gratitude for their generous donations, which made it possible.  

“The Chinese community has been a big part of my vocational story,” Mr Yu said.

“And this feels like home to be among all the aunties and uncles I grew up around. I just want to do God’s work and serve this community.

“I remember in my youth there was always a constant struggle because of the language barrier, to find a priest who could relate to the community and serve their pastoral needs.  

“We have a couple here who have done their bit for the Church, and I can’t wait to do mine.”  

For Wai Pon, CCCI president, Mr Yu promises a fresh new energy and perspective for their congregation and the Catholic community at large.  


Sydney’s Chinese Catholics hope seminarian Cronan Yu is the first of many (By Darren Ally, The Catholic Weekly)