1804  — 1842

Theodore Joset

First prefect apostolic of the Hong Kong Catholic Church (1841-42).

Born in Courfaivre, Switzerland. Joset was one of the most diligent procurators of the Roman Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (SCPF) in the Far East. Foreseeing the bright future of Hong Kong, he took up the heavy responsibility of starting the Catholic Church there.

Joset was a secular priest who was sent by the SCPF to Macau in 1833, first to help its procurator, Raphael Umpierres, and then to succeed him in 1835. On 17 Dec 1839, he was also appointed consul general to H. M. Charles Albert, king of Sardinia.

On 22 Apr 1841, Joset was also appointed prefect apostolic of the newly established prefecture of Hong Kong, where he settled on 3 Mar 1842 after being banished from Macau by the Portuguese authorities. He not only diligently carried on his duties as procurator, but also started at once to build the Mission House, arrange for a site and building materials for the church, and level sites for the cemetery, the seminary, and other institutions until his early death. His tomb is located in the Catholic cathedral of Hong Kong.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright � 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • Hong Kong Catholic Church Directory 1995; Ryan, To, The Story of a Hundred Years (1959); Catholic Guide to Hong Kong (1962). Ticozzi, S., Historical Documents of the Hong Kong Catholic Church (1983) (in Chinese).

About the Author

Sergio Ticozzi

Spiritual Director, P.I.M.E. International Theological Seminary, Cavite, Philippines