Bishop OSTE, Joseph CICM

* Birth in Zele (澤萊), Belgium (比利時): [28 March 1893]
* Ordination in Belgium: [21 November 1920]
* Consecrated Bishop in Peking: [28 October 1948]
* Arrival in Hong Kong: [12 December 1953]
* Death in Belgium: [19 January 1971]

Death of Bishop Oste

Bishop Joseph Oste, C.I.C.M. (Scheut), exiled Bishop of Jehol, died in Belgium on 19 January 1971, aged 77.

The late Bishop was born in Zele, East Flanders, Belgium, in 1893. He joined the Scheut Congregation, in 1911, but his studies were interrupted by World War I, during which he served as a stretcher-berarer from February 1916 to November 1918. He was ordained priest in 1920, and in 1921 he set out for China to serve as a missionary in the diocese of Jehol.

In time he was appointed Provincial Superior of the Scheut missioners and at the end of his term of office, he was elected to the General Chapter Scheut Congregation, held at Scheut, Belgium, in 1947.

On his return to China he found a telegram nominating him Bishop of Jehol. He was consecrated bishop in Peking on 28 October 1948. By that time the Communist forces had occupied Jehol, and Bishop Oste was never able to enter his diocese as bishop. He stayed in Peking; doing everything possible to help his tortured diocese - all the priests were either expelled or imprisoned - and helping to sustain the Catholics of Peking.

His wisdom and his strength of character made him one of the main supports of the Faith in Peking. This was recognized by friend and foe; it was therefore no surprise when on 12 December 1953, he was suddenly accused of having collaborated with Bishop Kramer, O.F.M., in organizing the Legion of Mary, and of counter-revolutionary activity.

He was condemned on the spot, given half-an-hour to pack, and budled out of China.

After expulsion he lived quietly in Hong Kong, putting himself at the disposal of Bishop Bianchi for confirmations and ordinations, and making friends everywhere, particularly among the mandarin-speakers who were delighted to find a mandarin-speaking bishop eager to help and console them. He obtained permission to start a Scheut mission for mandarin-speakers in Hong Kong and he himself was appointed superior.

Towards the end of 1955 his health began to fail. He was found to be have suffered cerebral thrombosis and he was ordered completer rest.

Though no longer able to do what he would have called work, he did not fade from the scene. He remained a well known and much loved figure in catholic circles. His commanding appearance never hid his gentle and friendly character. For some years he lunched almost daily in the Catholic Club with his close friend Brother J. Doronsoro, S.J. He was the most distinguished and the least demanding habitué the Club has had in its 25 years.

In 1969 his health became worse and he returned to Belgium, remaining there till his death.

A Requiem Mass will be offered for Bishop Oste in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Caine Road, at 6pm on Monday, 8 February.
5 February 1971



於 本 港 居 留 達 十 七 年 之 熱 河 德 化 隆 主 教 , 因 患 血 癌 不 治 , 於 一 九 七 一 年 一 月 十 九 日 在 比 國 聖 母 聖 心 會 會 院 逝 世 , 享 壽 七 十 六 歲 。

按 德 化 隆 主 教 比 利 時 人 。 一 八 九 三 年 三 月 廿 八 日 出 生 。 一 九 一 二 年 九 月 八 日 入 聖 母 聖 心 會 修 道 。 一 九 二 0 年 十 一 月 廿 一 日 於 比 國 晉 鐸 , 翌 年 被 派 來 華 , 學 習 國 語 後 , 開 始 在 熱 河 傳 教 。 一 九 四 八 年 在 北 平 擢 升 為 熱 河 主 教 , 但 因 赤 燄 高 張 , 未 能 到 任 , 在 北 平 會 院 留 居 五 年 , 於 一 九 五 三 年 十 二 月 乘 搭 「美 人 郵 輪」 由 天 津 抵 港 , 在 港 居 留 協 助 傳 教 工 作 , 直 至 去 年 , 因 病 返 比 國 醫 治 。 總 計 德 主 教 畢 生 在 中 國 並 為 傳 教 事 業 貢 獻 一 生 。 為 中 國 教 會 , 為 中 國 人 , 德 主 教 已 獻 出 了 一 生 精 力 , 再 沒 有 為 自 己 留 下 甚 麼 。 去 年 聽 上 峯 安 排 , 依 依 不 捨 地 離 港 回 國 治 病 , 與 病 魔 搏 鬥 多 時 後 , 藥 石 無 靈 , 於 上 月 十 九 日 安 逝 主 懷 。 本 港 有 關 當 局 定 於 本 月 八 日 (星 期 一) 下 午 六 時 , 在 無 原 罪 總 堂 , 為 德 主 教 舉 行 安 所 彌 撒 , 望 各 教 友 為 德 主 教 代 禱 , 望 主 賜 其 早 息 安 所 。
1971 年 2 月 5 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.
先賢錄--香港天主教神職及男女修會會士 (1841-2016), 天主教香港教區檔案處, 2016.