The Diocese of Brooklyn is hosting a Mass celebrating the 100th anniversary of the priestly ordination of Bishop Francis X. Ford, M.M., Servant of God, at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral, 856 Pacific St. in Brooklyn, Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3 p.m.
Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio will be the principal celebrant. Father Kevin Hanlon, M.M., will deliver the homily.
In addition to marking the centenary of Bishop Ford’s priesthood, the liturgy will support his cause for beatification and canonization.
Ordained for the Maryknoll Fathers on Dec. 5, 1917, the Brooklyn native arrived in China the next year, one of the first American priests to serve there. He opened the first Maryknoll mission in China in 1921.
He was consecrated a bishop in 1935, and Bishop Ford was appointed the first bishop of Kaying, now Meizhou, in 1946. With the Communist takeover in 1949, Bishop Ford and his secretary, Sister Joan Marie Ryan, M.M., were placed under house arrest and charged with espionage.
The bishop was publicly paraded and beaten in cities where he had served as a missioner. The savage treatment took its toll, and Bishop Ford died in prison in Guangzhou on Feb. 21, 1952, at age 60. He was Maryknoll’s first martyr.