In our Institute, the head man is called the Superior General. He lives at our motherhouse in Rome and his tenure of office is for seven years, renewable. During his tenure, he tries to visit each country where our mission of education is conducted.
It was the turn of Hong Kong for a visit. We made our preparations and everything was ready. The airport at the time was situated at Kai Tak, very close to La Salle College where the Superior would be staying. Three or four of us were delegated to meet him at the airport.
We were in good time and waited -and waited -and waited. There was no sign of the Superior. When we were sure all passengers of his flight had passed through we headed back to the College, scratching our heads.
When we came through the school gate, the first thing we saw was our Superior walking up and down reading a book. It turned out to be the divine office, the book of daily prayers. The security guards, not having been forewarned, had refused to allow him to go up to our residence on the fifth floor. It was considered a ‘no-go’ area without permission.
We were all embarrassed and apologetic. But he soon calmed us down, insisting that the guards were only doing their job and had in fact done a good job. He said he was impressed.
We wondered how we had missed him at the airport. The Superior was well known for being a fast mover. On the way out to the Arrivals Hall he had spotted an exit door and thought it must be the way out. Outside, a taxi happened along and he was soon on his way to the College. He had beaten us to it. I had a sneaking suspicion he was secretly pleased.
From the book “Light Touches” by Br. Patrick Tierney FSC
Artwork by Mr. Li Tak Po