My Dear Wahyanites,
In times of uncertainty and controversy, what we need is calmness and wisdom, not violence. Democracy without loving respect would amount to crudeness and leadership void of the spirit of service would amount to authoritarianism. Neither crude democracy nor authoritarianism can bring joy and peace to our community.
What I have witnessed in the past couple of days was the mature disposition of our students at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, be they the ones who were joining class boycott or not joining. My colleagues have displayed superb professionalism as Ignatian educators as they counseled our students and provided learning opportunities to our students in class boycott. This is indeed heartening! Wah Yan College, Hong Kong has been under class suspension so far following the instruction of the Education Bureau for all schools in the Wanchai, Central and Western districts. But I can safely assume the same maturity is with our students and the level of dedication is with our educators of WYHK.
At this historic time of Hong Kong, it is understandable that our Wahyanites-in-school would like to take some supportive actions and contribute to the making of Hong Kong history. Whatever we do, we must stay calm and be wise with our actions. There are different ways for you to contribute at this historic time. So, please do not consider joining the mass on the street is the only desirable option. While the school cannot condone our students to join the mass movement on the street, please secure consent from your parents before you go to the street. Please do not let your loved ones worry about your safety. Your well-being is very important to them and Wah Yan. This sentence from our School Prayer is particularly meaningful to us at this juncture: “Be with me in the streets, so that I may be a credit to my school and to those who love me and to myself.”
My fellow Wahyanites, the future of Hong Kong is in your hands. Take up this sacred burden with a pure and sincere heart. Guard yourselves against any force, measures or actions that can corrupt your noble intention. At the same time, learn from the spirit of our Jesuit/Wah Yan education. We provide freedom and respect for the different perspectives to coexist and interact as we construct a creative synthesis based upon our common desire.
May God guard and bless our beloved Hong Kong!
Fr. Stephen Chow, S.J.