The Very Beginning
The dawn of the history of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong almost coincides with the foundation in the Island of a British Crown Colony. The Procurator-General of the Propaganda Fide in Macau, Father Theodore Joset, was transferred to Hong Kong on 22nd April 1841. Moreover,he was appointed as Prefect Apostolic, with jurisdiction on the Island and the territory around it within a radius of 18 miles.
In 1845, a number of Portuguese began to abandon Macau to find a living in Hong
Kong, and they formed the nucleus of a Catholic population deeply attached to
the faith of their forefathers. Here, as elsewhere, the Church did not falter
in her mission of "Teaching all Nations", and from the outstart the ecclesiastical
authorities took in hand the organization of Catholic schools.
These Catholic schools, however, for lack of support, did not flourish, so that when in 1858 the Fathers of the Foreign Missions of Milan first arrived in Kong Kong, the work of religious education was non-existent; but Providence just then sent zeal and indomitable energy: Father Timoleone Raimondi. In 1860 he opened in Staunton Street a school for European children, which began to supply the local offices with English-speaker Portuguese clerks, and in 1864 a commercial school, St. Saviour's College, was established.
The zealous Prefect Apostolic however, was not content until he had secured the services of a religious congregation for his schools: he felt that this alone could continuity. The immediate needs of urban centers were far more important than the insignificant Catholic settlement of Hong Kong and that had to be settlement of Hong Kong and that had to be satisfied first.
On 17th November 1874, Manager Raimondi was made Bishop of acanthus and Vicar-Apostolic
of Hong Kong. His consecration took place five days later, 22nd November, 1874.
The new Bishop soon left Rome for his mission, now dearer to him than ever,
and was solemnly received at the Cathedral on 19th January 1875, amid the general
enthusiasm of the Catholic population and the respectful sympathy of all the
religious-minded people in the Colony.
During his short stay in Europe, Mgr. Raimondi had made all arrangements with the Superior General of the Brothers and he was expecting these daily.