Fr. Joseph Tan was born into a sixth-generation Catholic family in Shi-Jia-Zhang, Hebei, China. He studied Philosophy and Theology at the Dioecesis Cemtimensis Holy Spirit Seminary, Hebei in 1995, and in 1998, entered the Society of the Divine Word in Beijing. Fr. Joseph left for Australia to complete his Philosophical and Theological training at Dorishimaru SVD and obtained his BA in Biblical Studies and MA in Missiology in Melbourne, Australia. He was ordained as a priest on 9th December, 2006 in Australia.
In January 2007, Fr. Joseph commenced his first mission in the Philippines to serve in two Chinese Parishes as Assistant Parish Priest. At St. Therese Parish, he served as Director for the Chinese Community, and at the same time, Principal of the Divine Word Academy in Dagupan, Pangasinan.
In June 2011, Fr. Joseph started his missionary life in Hong Kong, first serving as Assistant Parish priest at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Kennedy Town for 14 months, then from August 2012 at St Margaret’s Church, Happy Valley where he stayed for over five years. During his service, he formed a Putonghua Community, founded the first Putonghua catechism class in HK, and the only Putonghua Weekday Mass on the Island, plus an intense and interesting Putonghua bible study class.
In November 2017, Fr. Joseph was assigned to St. Joseph’s Church, Garden Road as Parish Priest. He established the first English RCIA class for the parish and also introduced the first-ever Cantonese Mass in its 127 years of history. With the majority of its parishioners being foreign workers, Fr. Joseph established the Home- Away-From-Home programme which strives to accommodate and serve parishioners with an open heart.