Our Lady of Joy Abbey

Coordinates: 22°16′48″N 114°01′06″E / 22.2801°N 114.0184°E / 22.2801; 114.0184
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Our Lady of Joy Abbey
The abbey in 2020
Monastery information
Established19 February, 1956
Dedicated toVirgin Mary
DioceseHong Kong
LocationTai Shui Hang, Hong Kong, China
Our Lady of Joy Abbey
Traditional Chinese聖母神樂院
Simplified Chinese圣母神乐院
Cantonese YaleSing móuh sáhn lohk yún
Trappist Haven Monastery
Traditional Chinese熙篤會神樂院
Simplified Chinese熙笃会神乐院
Cantonese YaleHēi dūk wúih sàhn lohk yún
Interior of the abbey church

The Our Lady of Joy Abbey is a monastery at Tai Shui Hang (大水坑), on Lantau Island in the New Territories, Hong Kong.[1][2] It is home to a number of Roman Catholic monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, or Trappists. It was originally named "Trappist Haven Monastery", and founded by refugee monks from Our Lady of Consolation Abbey [zh] and Our Lady of Joy Abbey [zh].



During the Chinese Communist Revolution and Chinese Civil War, the Trappist monks from Our Lady of Consolation Abbey and Our Lady of Joy Abbey became refugees. Our Lady of Consolation had been located in Yangjiaping, Chahar province (now Hebei province), but had been destroyed in 1947 by Chinese Communist Party. Our Lady of Joy Abbey was located in Zhengding, Hebei province and its monks had fled after thirty-three of them were murdered.[3]


In 1947, the abbey was transferred to Xindu, Chengdu, Sichuan, a province located in western China. Father Paulin Li and forty monks reached their destination via Shanghai. They remained in Sichuan for two years, until the end of 1949, when the communist invasion reached there, too. By which time, north and central China were already taken over by communists. It became evident that the monastic community had to move again.[4][5] On Christmas Day, 1949, communists occupied the Chengdu Monastery and its surrounding land. A couple of the young monks were severely beaten, three were martyred after brutal torture, namely, Vincent Shi, Albert Wei, and Father You.[6] Father Paulin Li managed to transfer ten of the monks to Canada, including nine Chinese nationals and one Belgian.[5]

Hong Kong[edit]

The rest of these monks were dispersed across China until the government of Hong Kong and Bishop Enrico Valtorta offered to let them found a monastery on Lantau Island. They moved there in 1951 and began work on the monastery, which was officially opened on 19 February, 1956.[7]

It adopted its new, official name "Our Lady of Joy Abbey" on 15 January, 2000.[citation needed]

Monastic Community[edit]

[citation needed]

  • Dom. Paul Kao, Abbot
  • Rev. William Young, Sub-Prior & Treasurer
  • Rev. Giles Chong
  • Rev. Clement Kong
  • Rev. Benedict Chao
  • Rev. Raphael Kang
  • Rev. Andrew Qin
  • Rev. Bruno Sie
  • Rev. Deacon Paul Li
  • Bro. Peter Gao
  • Bro. Bosco Mo
  • Bro. James Truong
  • Bro. Simon Tsui
  • Bro. Antonius Yiu

Simple Vows: 1

Novice: 1

Past superiors[edit]

[citation needed]

Titular priors[edit]

  • Rev. Paulinus Lee (31/02/1941 – 03/02/1965)
  • Rev. Simeon Chang (21/05/1965 – 17/06/1974)
  • Rev. Benedict Chao (31/07/1974 – 04/08/1992)

Superiors ad nutum[edit]

  • Rev. Benedict Chao (04/08/1992 — 11/07/1998)
  • Rev. Mauru Pei (11/07/1998 – 05/09/1999)
  • Rev. Anastasius Li (27/07/2003 – 07/11/2004)


  • Dom. Clement Kong (05/09/1999 — 01/07/2003)
  • Dom. Anastasius Li (07/11/2004 – 07/11/2010)
  • Dom. Paul Kao (2016 - Present)

Notable monks[edit]

Consumer product[edit]

The monastery is known for producing the Trappist milk at its dairy farm, (known as 十字牌牛奶 or 神父牌牛奶 in Cantonese).[8] The factory, however, is now located in Tai Sang Wai, at 28½ miles, Castle Peak Road – Tam Mei, Yuen Long District.

Around the monastery some of the last free roaming feral cattle in Hong Kong can be seen, being the descendants of the cattle released after the closure of the dairy farm.


Tai Shui Hang Pier (大水坑碼頭) aka. Trappist Monastery Pier

The monastery is located on a scenic hiking trail leading from Discovery Bay via Nim Shue Wan to Mui Wo. It provides a resting point halfway through the hike.

The monastery can also be accessed by kai-to ferry from Peng Chau.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ China Tourism. HK China Tourism Press. 1992.
  2. ^ Fodor's ... Hong Kong. Fodor's Travel Publications. 1998. ISBN 978-0-679-03488-9.
  3. ^ "China's Modern Martyrs: From Mao to Now – Catholic World Report". 11 April 2020. Archived from the original on 11 April 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  4. ^ Ferreux, Octave (20 December 2022). "The Monastery of Our Lady of Joy (Zhengding) Evacuated". History of the Congregation of the Mission in China. Hyde Park, NY: New City Press. ISBN 9781565485464.
  5. ^ a b "聖母神樂院滄桑五十年簡史——乙、四川成都的【神樂院】(一九四七 ~ 一九五零)" [A brief history of the 50-year vicissitudes of Our Lady of Joy Abbey: The Chengdu Monastery, Sichuan (1947–1950)]. catholic.org.tw (in Traditional Chinese). Archived from the original on 3 December 2005. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  6. ^ Hattaway, Paul (2007). "Christian Martyrs in Sichuan: Vincent Shi, Albert Wei, & Father You". China's Book of Martyrs (Fire & Blood). Manchester: Piquant Editions. ISBN 9781903689400.
  7. ^ Nicolini-Zani, Matteo (21 October 2016). Christian Monks on Chinese Soil: A History of Monastic Missions to China. Liturgical Press. ISBN 978-0-8146-4600-7.
  8. ^ Brown, Jules; Gardner, Dinah (2002). Hong Kong & Macau. Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-85828-872-7.

External links[edit]

22°16′48″N 114°01′06″E / 22.2801°N 114.0184°E / 22.2801; 114.0184