Rev. PRIESTLEY, Seraphin OFM


* Birth in New Jersey (新澤西州), U.S.A. (美國): [3 March 1906]
* Ordination: [17 June 1945]
* Arrival in China: [31 December 1946]
* Death in Hong Kong: [17 May 1992]

Death of Father Seraphin Priestley O.F.M.

Father Seraphin Priestley OFM died on Sunday, 17 May 1992 at St. Marys Home for the Aged in Aberdeen after a long illness.

Father Priestley, who was born in New Jersey, U.S., had lived in Hong Kong since 1949. From 1956 until 1989 he was Superior and Procurator of the Franciscan Procuration in Kowloon.

Cardinal John B. Wu presided at the funeral Mass, which was followed by interment at the cemetery in Happy Valley.
22 May 1992

Father Seraphin Priestley O.F.M.
(1906 - 1992)

Father Seraphin Priestley was born 3 March 1906, in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A. He had a difficult life in his childhood and boyhood but he struggled bravely and worked hard for a good education all the way through college.

After his graduation from Columbia University, he worked for the government and made a successful and promising career in the banking business. But, on 12 August 1939, at the age of 33, he decided to leave the world and enter the Franciscan Order of the Holy Name Province, New York, in order to become a missionary to China.

After all the necessary stages of religious and priestly formation, he was ordained 17 June 1945. The following year, he volunteered for the Shasi Apostolic Prefecture, Hupeh, China. He arrived in Peking for language studies 31 December 1946.

In 1948, because of his special talent in finance he was assigned to help in the Franciscan Procuration of Shanghai and his own Shasi Mission.

In May 1949, Father Seraphin was sent by the late Delegate General, Father Alphonse Schnusenberg, to be the assistant of Father Virgil Manning at the Franciscan Procuration on Waterloo Road, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, until 1956.

From 1956 until August 1989, he was Superior and Procurator of the same Procuration.

During the peak of missionary expulsions from Mainland China by the Chinese Communists, he made daily trips to the border to meet the missionaries, bring them to the Procuration or the hospital, and make arrangements for their transportation back to their homelands.

Through all these years he made constant trips to visit the missions in Taiwan, Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Singapore to see if he could be of any help.

To say the least, without the special talents, hard work, and generosity of Father Seraphin, many of the missionary projects of various religious communities in Hong Kong, Taiwan Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Singapore would have had a very difficult time. Perhaps they would not have been able to continue in existence or to operate.

The Procuration is available not only to the expelled missionaries, but also to friars, to other religious and diocesan priests, passing through from all over the world.

Father Seraphin
s jolly, easy-going and warm personality made every visitor feel at home and have a good time, He kindly provided for all their needs.

On 5 August 1989, Father John Vaughn, General Minister, in his letter to Father Seraphin made him Procurator Emeritus and stated:
Over these 40 plus years, the whole Franciscan Far East was blessed by your presence and efforts. Shortly afterwards he stepped down.

After a brief visit to the United States, Father Seraphin came back to Hong Kong in January, 1990 and in the latter part of February, arrived in Taipei as a special guest of the former Shasi Mission Sisters in Yangminshan. He was noticeably weak and wornout.

Form March 1990 to January 1991 he was in and out of hospital all the time. In January 1991 he was accepted by the Little Sisters of the Poor at their St. Mary
s Home for the Aged, Aberdeen, Hong Kong, and received their excellent care.

In January of this year, he developed difficulty in breathing and was sent to St. Paul
s Hospital. Father Callistus Sweeney from Japan paid him visits at the hospital.

He died on Sunday, 17 May 1992, at the Little Sisters Home for the Aged in Aberdeen. Cardinal John B. Wu presided at the concelebrated funeral Mass which was followed by burial at the Happy Valley Cemetery.

29 May 1992



在 本 港 服 務 近 四 十 年 之 方 濟 會 士 蒲 師 禮 神 父 , 於 一 九 九 二 年 五 月 十 七 日 晨 在 黃 竹 坑 聖 瑪 利 安 老 院 蒙 主 寵 召 , 享 年 八 十 六 歲 。 並 於 本 月 二 十 日 舉 殯 , 安 葬 於 本 港 跑 馬 地 天 主 教 墳 場 。

蒲 師 禮 神 父 於 一 九 0 六 年 三 月 三 日 生 於 美 國 新 澤 西 州 。 青 年 時 代 攻 讀 銀 行 學 , 且 開 始 了 一 個 非 常 具 有 前 途 的 銀 行 事 業 , 在 他 卅 三 歲 的 時 侯 , 他 也 毅 然 地 放 棄 了 世 間 的 一 切 財 富 , 進 入 了 紐 約 方 濟 會 。 一 九 四 五 年 晉 升 鐸 品 , 次 年 來 華 傳 教 。

在 北 京 學 習 中 文 之 後 , 負 責 管 理 方 濟 會 上 海 的 帳 房 事 務 , 同 時 也 負 責 其 會 省 在 湖 北 沙 市 教 區 的 財 務 。 一 九 四 九 年 來 香 港 亦 負 責 帳 房 的 財 務 。 從 此 神 父 為 仍 居 留 在 大 陸 的 許 多 本 會 的 傳 教 士 作 了 有 力 的 支 援 , 尤 其 當 他 們 被 逐 出 大 陸 途 經 香 港 時 , 為 他 們 作 了 更 難 得 的 幫 助 和 服 務 。 在 這 四 十 年 之 中 , 神 父 竭 盡 心 力 為 遠 東 傳 教 區 作 了 非 常 大 的 貢 獻 。 香 港 、 台 灣 、 韓 國 、 日 本 、 菲 律 賓 以 及 新 加 坡 的 教 會 和 修 會 團 體 都 接 受 過 神 父 經 濟 上 的 支 助 。 除 此 之 外 還 有 一 些 修 女 會 是 在 神 父 的 支 援 下 , 開 展 了 他 們 的 傳 教 事 業 。

蒲 神 父 遂 漸 年 老 力 衰 , 記 憶 減 退 , 乃 於 一 九 九 一 年 元 月 十 一 日 進 入 聖 瑪 利 安 老 院 休 養 , 直 至 逝 世 。
1992 年 5 月 22 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.