1829  — 1867

Louis Ambrosi

Fourth prefect apostolic of the Hong Kong Catholic Church (1855-67).

Born in Verona, Italy. Ambrosi was a committed coordinator of mission work in China and builder of the basic social and educational institutions of the Roman Catholic Church in Hong Kong.

Diocesan priest of Verona, Ambrosi arrived in Hong Kong in 1854 to help A. Feliciani in the Far East Procuration of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of Faith. He was appointed to succeed Feliciani as procurator and prefect apostolic of Hong Kong with the decree of 20 Jun 1855. He served in this position until his death in 1867.

In 1858, Ambrosi welcomed the arrival of the first members of the Lombardy Seminary of the Foreign Missions (later, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) as a solution to the staffing of the prefecture, which, up till then, was unstable since it was made up of transitory missionaries destined for mainland China.

In 1860, the prefecture was enlarged to include the entire San On (later, Po On) District in mainland China. In that same year, Ambrosi welcomed the first group of Canossian Sisters, who started educational and social services mainly among girls and women. In 1863, the West Point Reformatory was opened for training young delinquents, while in 1864 the Holy Savior’s College started classes for young men.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from A Dictionary of Asian Christianity, copyright 2001 by Scott W. Sunquist, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.


  • Hong Kong Catholic Church Directory, 1995.
  • Ryan, T., The Story of a Hundred Years (1959); 
  • Ryan, T., Catholic Guide to Hong Kong (1962).
  • Ticozzi, S., Historical Documents of the Hong Kong Catholic Church (in Chinese) (1983).

About the Author

Sergio Ticozzi

Spiritual Director, P.I.M.E. International Theological Seminary, Cavite, Philippines