Florence Li Tim-Oi

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Florence Li Tim-Oi
Born 5 May 1907
Hong Kong
Died 26 February 1992(1992-02-26) (aged 84)
Venerated in Episcopal Church USA, Anglican Church of Canada
Feast 24 January (Episcopal Church USA); 26 February (Anglican Church of Canada)

Florence Li Tim-Oi (Chinese: 李添嬡 Cantonese Lei Tim'oi, Mandarin Li Tian'ai; 5 May 1907 in Hong Kong – 26 February 1992 in Toronto) was the first woman to be ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Communion. Already appointed as a deacon to serve in the colony of Macau at the Macau Protestant Chapel, she was ordained priest on 25 January 1944, by Ronald Hall, Bishop of Victoria, in response to the crisis among Anglican Christians in China caused by the Japanese invasion. Since it was to be thirty years before any Anglican church regularised the ordination of women, her ordination was controversial and she resigned her licence (though not her priestly orders) after the end of the war. When Hong Kong ordained two further women priests (Joyce Bennett and Jane Hwang) in 1971, she was officially recognised as a priest in the diocese.[1] She was appointed an honorary (nonstipendiary) assistant priest in Toronto in 1983, where she spent the remainder of her life.

In 2003, the Episcopal Church fixed 24 January as her feast day in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, based on the eve of the anniversary of her ordination.[2] In 2007, the Anglican Communion celebrated the Centennial of her birth.[2]


  1. ^ "When Hong Kong ordained two further women priests in 1971 (Joyce Bennett and Jane Hwang), Florence Li Tim-Oi was officially recognised as a priest by the diocese." http://anorderlyaccount.com/index.php/static2/the_ac_tec_and_acna
  2. ^ a b Mary Frances Schjonberg, "Communion to celebrate first woman priest Li Tim-Oi on anniversary of birth," Episcopal News Service, May 4, 2007, found at Episcopal Church official website. Text of Resolution A059 to Approve Liturgical Calendar Commemorations. Retrieved January 13, 2009.

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