Rev. TERUZZI, Emilio PIME 丁味略神父
* Birth in Lesmo (萊斯莫), Milan (米蘭), Italy: 17 August 1887
* Enter Novitiate: 29 September 1910
* Ordination: 29 June 1912
* Departure from Italy to Hong Kong: 2 November 1912
* Death in Hong Kong: 26 November 1942
* St. Francis’ Church, Wanchai: 1912 – 1913
* Nam Tau, San On District: Assistant 1914
* Sai Kung, New Territories: Director 1915 – 1927
* Archivist of the Mission: 1928 – 1938
* Master of Ceremonies: 1928 – 1938
* Holy Spirit Seminary: Director 1928 – 1934
* Chaplain to Victoria Goal: 1931 – 1938
* Leave Hong Kong: 1939
* Chancellor: 1940 – 1941
The Death of Father Teruzzi came as a great shock to all the Catholic people, for he was one of the leading figures among the priests of the Vicariate. He was Chancellor, and Master of Ceremonies at all the important functions in the Cathedral. He was fifty-five when he died, and he had been in Hong Kong for thirty years.
During most of the first twenty years of his life in Hong Kong he was stationed in the New Territories, in the District of Saikung, a place that was associated with the names of many great missionaries in the past. He followed nobly in their footsteps, and he came to achieve a position of leadership in that area which made him regarded by the people as their real “Father”. He was their intercessor in all their dealings with the Government authorities, and with the police too when someone was in trouble. Once the bandits in the hills took some of his people, and he went out alone in search of them, and did not stop until he reached the bandit chief and put his petition to him personally. He got all his requests and, what was more, won the friendship of the chief – a strange friendship which was of great benefits to his people on later occasions.
When Msgr. Valtorta was appointed Bishop he brought Father Teruzzi from his beloved Saikung to the Cathedral, and made him his right-hand man. There he organized the Bishop’s Curia, which had acquired a new importance since the institution of an Apostolic Delegation in China. He was Archivist as well as Chancellor, and he found time also for parochial duties, for work as chaplain to the prison, and to the hospitals, and he was closely associated with the Catholic Boy Scouts, of which he became the Colony representative.
When war came and there was less demand for official duties, especially as communication with the outside world was almost completely severed, it was natural for him to return to Saikung. There, because of his close association with the people, he was better able to help them than anyone else – and they were the oldest Catholic community in Hong Kong, some 2,500 Catholics spread over thirty villages, with many of the people Catholic for four generations.
It is believed that it was at the hands of some of the bandits who found their way into the Colony when they moved ahead of the advancing Japanese, that he met his death. It was a matter of distress to the Saikung people that it was among them that he was killed, and they were confident in their declaration “that it was none of our people who did it” – meaning by “our people” the unconverted who carried on their old trade of bandits, but would never harm one so well known and respected as Father Teruzzi.