Early history of Ma On Shan

In 1869, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (P.I.M.E.) started their work of evangelization in the villages in Wu Kai Sha while the mining industry in Ma On Shan was flourishing。

An influx of refugees from China resulted in a large number of miners working in Ma On Shan after World War II.   


The Parish on and at the foot of the hill

In 1952, Fr. Eleutherius Omer Van Hoye from the Franciscan Order began his evangelization work for the mining population through establishing St. Joseph’s Chapel and St. Joseph’s Primary School up on Ma On Shan Hill.

In 1955, to better serve the growing population, the Franciscan Friars established a new chapel, St. Francis Chapel, at the foot of hill along the coast. 


St. Joseph’s Primary School cum Mass Centre

St. Francis Chapel was erected as St Francis Parish on 1st July 1979. 

In 1984, Ma On Shan was developed into a new town.  St. Joseph’s Primary School was relocated to Hang On Estate.

In May 1987, St. Joseph’s Primary School was used as the location for Ma On Shan Mass Centre.


Relocation of St. Francis Chapel – St. Francis Parish

St.Francis Church was constructed and located at Hang Kwong Street, Ma On Shan in 1996.

St. Francis Church was consecrated on 5th October, 1996.

The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong took over the management of St. Francis Church in 1999. In September, 1999, St Joseph’s Chapel on Ma On Shan Hill was closed.


Parish Priest Rev. Henry Woo, O.F.M. with His Eminence Cardinal John B. Wu Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong (Middle) at the consecration of St. Francis Church on 5th October 1996.