20120814 13th Wah Yan International Conference
Your support has made the 13th Wah Yan International Conference, if not the best, at least one of the most memorable IC ever. Our class of ’71 sponsored the attendance of Fr. Deignan, Fr. John Russell and Fr. Stephen Chow. Fr. Deignan flew in from Ireland and my co-chair met him at the airport while I waited for his arrival at the conference hotel. Fr. Russell who is 86 flew direct from HK. This was his second time in the US but his first time in NY. Fr. Chow was in Boston for a Jesuit high school world-wide meeting before coming to NY (Principal Tam and Principal Tan also attended the meeting in Boston). Who else were at the IC? We’ve several former teachers and among them were Geoffrey Leung (lab Leung) and Helen Ho (Mrs. Lee). We’ve good participation from our class: William Wu (Bay area, CA), Alan Lo & wife (NJ), Patrick Lam (PA), John Fung & wife(PA), and from Toronto – Louis Huang, Paulus Ng, Li Shing Fu & wife and Lau Ming Jarm & wife. Ming Jarm was also one of the panelists who shared with us their experience of being Men for Others.
The conference was a two and a half day event. The theme of the conference was “Men for Others.” The ideal of helping others in need with compassion has been central to our Jesuit education. The registration and meet and greet reception was in the Friday afternoon. On Saturday we heard reports from the two schools and Fr. Deignan gave a keynote address on the modern challenges to our values. In particular he touched on two basic moral values: respect (inner attitude) and responsibility (points towards others). Fr. Deignan points out Men for Others are different; they can make a difference by living their values of respect and responsibility. After lunch Fr. Chow gave a presentation on the planning of the Jesuit liberal arts university in HK. It seems this project has occupied much of his time lately. About 100 people attended the conference (I counted 93 in a group picture). In the evening on Saturday was the gala dinner and it was attended by about 160 people. Fr. Russell said grace before the meal and he demonstrated his resourcefulness by showing us how to use a candle to thaw a frozen dessert that’s too hard to bite into. Sunday morning began with a Cantonese mass in the conference hotel given by Fr. Chow and co-celebrated by Fr. Deignan and Fr. Russell. This has to be an all time record (for a service not in a church). I counted about 70 people attended the mass. The morning continued with more presentations from different alumni chapters. In the evening we had a dinner cruise in the NY harbor. The highlight was a close approach to the Statute of Liberty.
Fr. Deignan was able to spend some time with his family. His younger brother a retired NY police came up with his wife from N. Carolina to visit with Fr. Deignan for a day on Thursday. A niece visited Fr. Deignan on Monday morning before he left for a short visit to Singapore to see a Jesuit friend who is gravely ill. Fr. Russell did some sightseeing too. He saw the Brooklyn bridge; did a downtown walking tour; visited UN and the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We also treated him to a dinner in Chinatown and another dinner in Little Italy.
Overall it was a hectic and busy three days. The generosity of the Class of ’71 was recognized in several places in the conference program book (I don’t have a soft copy to share with you yet): donors list, sponsors of the 3 fathers, and a 1-page ads I placed on behalf of the class (my donation).
Again, thank you all for your thoughtfulness and sponsorship of the fathers. The next IC will be in HK and I hope to see you there if not sooner.
Co-Chair of IC2012
14 Aug 2012, 12:31p.m.
(Forwarded by AK 20120814)