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Bishop of Hong Kong To Deliver 2024 Commencement Address

Stephen Chow, S.J., bishop of Hong Kong, former provincial of the Chinese Jesuits, and a proponent of restoring ties between the Vatican and China, will deliver Boston College’s 2024 commencement address on May 20, according to a University release.

“Cardinal Chow has expressed desire for his native Hong Kong to be a ‘bridge-building’ church that will promote cordial exchanges between Rome and Beijing,” the release reads.

University President Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J., will award Chow with an honorary degree at the ceremony, according to the release.

Chow works to solve historic tensions between China and the Vatican, the release said. 

“The two severed diplomatic ties in 1951, and there have been tensions related to the dual existence of an official, state-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Church and an underground Church loyal to the pope,” the release reads.

Last year, Chow became the first bishop of Hong Kong to visit Beijing in nearly 30 years, according to the release.

“Last November, shortly after he was made a cardinal by Pope Francis, he initiated a reciprocal invitation to Beijing Archbishop Joseph Li, whose stay in Hong Kong was the first ever by a Beijing bishop,” the release reads.

Leahy will also award Dana Barros, Sister María Teresa de Loera López, James O’Connell, and Mary Skipper with honorary degrees at the commencement ceremony.

Barros, BC ’89, is a former NBA player and an adviser to BC’s Men’s Basketball Player Mentorship Program; Lopez, BC ’19, leads a religious education program in Mexico; O’Connell is the founding physician and president of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program; and Skipper is the superintendent of Boston Public Schools.

April 11, 2024