Msgr Francis Lau sharing many fond memories of the late Archbishop Gregory Yong during the memorial Mass on the 10th anniversary of his passing.

Jared Ng

Remembered by many as a simple and humble man, the late Archbishop Gregory Yong was loved by everybody and was a joy to be with, said Msgr Francis Lau.

Speaking during the memorial Mass on the 10th anniversary of Archbishop Yong’s passing, the former vicar general shared fond memories of his time under the tutelage of the man he described as “always smiling and
happy”.

The special celebration, held at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd on June 28, was attended by some of Archbishop Yong’s relatives as well as Religious Sisters who had worked with him.

Archbishop Yong loved the poor tenderly, recalled Msgr Lau, who worked with Archbishop Yong in the Archbishop’s
House.

He recalled that the poor who visited him at his residence “would always walk away with something in their
hand”.

On his prayer life, he said Archbishop Yong prayed the rosary everyday and “his homilies were always well-prepared and practical.”

Fondly recalling Archbishop Yong’s love for durians, Msgr Lau said that he has many memories of the two of them enjoying each other’s company while eating the fruit.

He noted that the late archbishop gave away most of his possessions before he died.

“He died a poor man but was loaded with gifts from heaven,” Msgr Lau said. 

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Life and times

Archbishop Yong was ordained a priest on Dec 3, 1951.

On April 2, 1977, he was installed as Archbishop of Singapore at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd.

On his 75th birthday on May 20, 2000, he submitted his resignation letter to Pope John Paul II in accordance with canon law. It was accepted and made official on Oct 14, 2000.

On July 25, 2001, he moved from Archbishop’s House at 31 Victoria St, where he lived for the past 24 years, to his new home at the St Francis Xavier Minor Seminary in Upper Serangoon Road.

In September 2004, he was transferred to St Joseph’s Home in Jurong because of poor health.

He returned to the Lord on June 28, 2008.


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