The Catholic bishop of Hong Kong, Stephen Chow, will visit Beijing for five days in April, according to a statement released by the diocese on March 9.
The statement said the prelate will visit the capital of China upon the invitation of Bishop Joseph Li Shan of the Diocese of Beijing.
The invitation, which was reportedly sent and accepted as early as last year, was made “in the spirit of brotherhood in the Lord.”
Bishop Chow will be traveling with Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing and Father Peter Choy Wai-man, vicar general of the diocese.
The statement quoted Bishop Chow saying that his trip “underscores the mission of the Diocese of Hong Kong to be a bridge … and promote exchanges and interactions between the two sides.”
It will be the first time since 1985, when Hong Kong was still a British colony, that a bishop from the region would visit Beijing.
Pope Francis named Bishop Chow as bishop of Hong Kong in May, 2021.
A report on the Sunday Examiner, a Catholic online news service in Hong Kong, said Bishop Chow and his delegation will also meet with other bishops, members of the clergy, and the laity during the trip.
They are also set to visit the Beijing Major Seminary, the National Seminary of the Catholic Church in China, and other Church offices.
The report said that upon arriving in Beijing on April 17, Bishop Chow will participate in the vespers service and celebrate a thanksgiving Mass at the Beijing cathedral.
He will also visit the tomb of Father Matteo Ricci, who was recently declared venerable.