1920  — 1973

Xu Chenping

Francis Hsu

First Chinese bishop of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese (1969-73).

A gifted linguist, a good administrator, and organizer of the local church following the Second Vatican Council, Hsu was born into a Methodist family in Shanghai and studied at St. John’s (1936-40) and Oxford University (1944-47), graduating in English language and literature. While teaching at Nanking Central University, he joined the Catholic Church. In the early 1950s, Hsu took refuge in Hong Kong. From 1955 to 1959, he went to Rome to study philosophy and theology at Beda College, where he was ordained a priest in Mar 1959.

Once back in Hong Kong, Hsu worked mainly in the Catholic Center and was in charge of its administration and that of the Catholic Chinese and English press. He was consecrated auxiliary bishop by L. Bianchi in Oct 1967. After the resignation and departure of Bianchi, he was appointed first administrator and then bishop (27 May 1969) of Hong Kong.

When the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), launched its campaign for renewal, Hsu called a diocesan convention (1970-71) for an overall assessment of the general situation of the local church. He tried to improve Catholic commitment in Hong Kong society and lead the church toward mature relationships with other religious and secular institutions. He died prematurely, preventing him from completing his plans.


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, T., 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 Ticozzi, S., Historical Documents of the Hong Kong Catholic Church (1983) (in Chinese).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