Rev. ZELLER, Reinhold Romanus OP
Birth in Saar,
Germany: [21 May 1908]
Romanus R. Zeller, O.P.
Rev. Reinhold Romanus Zeller, O.P., the German Dominican priest who was a resident of Hong Kong for the last 28 years, died shortly after midnight on Tuesday, 30 August 1977, at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kowloon, suffering from cerebral hemorrhage.
Born 21 May 1908, of a staunch Catholic family in the town of St. Ingbert / Saarpfalz in Western Germany, as a young boy he received a truly Christian education. After graduation from secondary school he entered the Munich Art Academy to develop his exceptional skill in painting. While pursuing his studies there, Reinhold Zeller discovered his vocation to he priesthood. He entered to Munich Archdiocesan Seminary and studied philosophy and theology at the University of Munich, In 1932 he entered the Dominican Order, continued his theological studies and was ordained priest in July 1937. He volunteered for the Dominican mission in Fukien, China. In 1938 he came to Hong Kong to undertake further studies at Rosary Hill in preparation for his teaching assignment at the Regional Seminary of Foochow. Because of the outbreak of the Second World War he could not go to Foochow. Thus he was given another assignment as mission procurator: 1939 in Macao, 1940 in Swatow, 1947 in Shanhang. Shortly before the Communists took over the territory Father Zeller was transferred to Hong Kong to continue the procuration work for the missionaries in Fukien. Besides this work he did priestly and pastoral work in the German speaking community in Hong Kong and taught religion classed at the German Swiss International School.
He never forgot his vocation as an artist. Through his paintings he became very well known not only in Hong Kong but other countries as well.
Father Zeller had returned from a short furlough in his home country, Germany, just a few days before he was struck down by the fatal cerebral hemorrhage which brought his missionary life to an end.
On 2 September, 10am Bishop John B. Wu with several priests concelebrated a Requiem Mass in St. Paul’s Church, Hong Kong. The Regional Superior of Father Zeller, Father Theodore Kucznierz, O.P., in his eulogy characterized Father Zeller as a faithful priest, devoted Dominican and talented artist. Father Secondino Vincent, O.P., Sub-prior of the Spanish Rosary Hill community, gave the final absolution at the grave.
May the great soul of Father
Zeller, full of love for God and his brethren, by the mercy of God rest in
9 September 1977
本 港 道 明 會 會 士 崔 祿 神 父 於 上 週 二 (一 九 七 七 年 八 月 三 十 日) 突 患 心 臟 病 去 世 。 本 月 二 日 上 午 在 銅 鑼 灣 保 祿 會 聖 保 祿 小 堂 舉 行 殯 葬 彌 撒 ， 由 胡 振 中 主 教 主 禮 。 彌 撒 後 即 安 葬 於 跑 馬 地 天 主 教 墳 場 。
崔 祿 神 父 為 德 國 人 ， 是 著 名 畫 家 ， 對 碎 石 鑲 嵌 細 工 也 有 特 別 研 究 ， 他 的 作 品 售 出 款 項 全 部 幫 助 貧 困 人 士 。 今 夏 崔 神 父 返 德 度 假 ， 最 近 返 港 ， 不 料 即 患 病 逝 世 ， 聞 者 莫 不 哀 傷 。 因 崔 神 父 曾 幫 助 公 教 進 行 社 的 發 展 ， 故 於 本 月 二 日 下 午 五 時 一 刻 社 長 康 神 父 特 在 公 進 社 小 堂 為 他 舉 行 追 思 彌 撒 ， 求 主 賜 他 早 享 天 福 。
1977 年 9 月 9 日
◆ 先賢錄－－香港天主教神職及男女修會會士 (1841-2010), 天主教香港教區檔案處, 2010.