Vatican City, May 17, 2021 / 06:00 am
Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Stephen Chow, S.J. as the next bishop of Hong Kong.
Chow, 61, has served as the provincial of the Jesuits’ Chinese Province since 2018. In that role, he led the Jesuit order in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China as the Vatican-China deal was first signed and during the crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy protest movement.
The Vatican announced Chow’s appointment on May 17, more than two years after the death of Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung left Hong Kong without a permanent bishop.
Fr. Stephen Chow Sau-yan, 周守仁, was born in Hong Kong on Aug. 7, 1959. He studied in the United States, earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, before entering the Society of Jesus in Dublin, Ireland at the age of 25.
During his Jesuit novitiate, he obtained a licentiate in philosophy in Ireland and then returned in 1988 to Hong Kong, where he was ordained to the priesthood on July 16, 1994.
Chow continued his studies at Loyola University in Chicago, where he earned a master’s degree in organizational development in 1995. He spent the next five years working as a campus minister, vocations director, and ethics teacher at Wah Yan College in Kowloon and Hong Kong.
In 2000, Chow began a doctoral program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education studying development and psychology. He graduated with a Doctorate in Education in 2006.
The following year, he made his final vows in the Jesuit order and worked as an assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong from 2008 to 2015 and Jesuit Formator from 2009 to 2017. He also served as the president of the Chinese Jesuit Province’s education commission since 2009 and the Hong Kong Diocesan Council for Education since 2017.