|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||Catholic Church in the Orient|
j Catholic Cpurthln the Orient J The Soc iety of Foreign Missions, Hue du Bac, Paris, has issued its report containing a general table of missions, with results obtained in IS9S. We make some very interesting gleanings concerning: missionary work in China, Japan and Corea. Manchuria This extensive region of the Chinese empire has lately been divided di-vided into two vicariates northern and southern. The northern comprises the provinces of Ghirin and of Hei-long-kiang, and is under the charge of Monsignor Mon-signor Guii'lon, and his newly consecrated conse-crated ciadjutator. Monsignor Lalou-j Lalou-j er. The southern vicariate, consisting of the vast, province or Leao-tong, with Mukden Ms chief town, is under the di- jeeUOU 11 iW UIIIMII'OX jfci'ii"wvv., consecrated vicar-apnstolie of the province prov-ince Dec. l'.t. 18'.T. We will now follow their lordships Monsignors Guillon and Lalouyer in the visitation t'hey made fo their vicariate in 1S97 and North m Manchuria Their first visit was to Ghirin, which may be considered the capital of the province. This province prov-ince in length covers fiOo miles by 750 in width. Its total population is between .S.uuO.ono and 0,0tu,000. The number of Catholics, according to the census taken by the fathers in l:tS, is T.r.G. At Ghirin their lordships had a very sitisfactorv interview with a quondam very unsatisfactory Tartar marshal, governor of the town. They obtained his consent to the acquisition of some property east of the town, and at -once proceeded to establish a mission there. At Pei-lin-tze Monsignor Lalouyer blessed the new presbytery built by Father Georjon. "1 was much struck," writes his lordship, "with the fervor and assiduity with which his flock as-.j as-.j sisted at the instructions 1 gave." At Ilou-lan. the scene of the martyrdom, of several of the fathers, a marked increase in-crease in the number of converts was noted. A new station was opened at Ta!-ping-kiao. But for a devastating and death-dealing fever the present number of Catholic? would have exceeded ex-ceeded rnit. Seventy-five were confirmed. confirm-ed. "On my arrival here ten years ago." writes Father Monnier, "1 heard 433 confession the- iirst year. Last vear 1 heard J.fiSO. Ten years ago my Catholic Cath-olic population was (M: it is now 1.700." Father Samoy at Siao-pakia-tze continues his work of extension in and around his district, and has. established several new centers of neophytes at Koan-tcheng, where the college of the northern province has been transferred. Father Leon Fai. a. native priest, is the superior, and devotes the spare time he has to the instruction of converts. con-verts. Southern Manchuria This province from Fort Arthur on the extreme sout'i to Ta-pa-kia-tze on the extreme north, covers some 4"i0 miles; and from the great wall on the west to the confines of Tong-hoa-s'ien on the east, some 750 mile. The total population is estimated estimat-ed at 30,000.000, the Catholics at 17,433. For the convenience of the missionaries the whole province has been divided into live grouis of twenty-five districts. The Western Group Father Bourgeois, Bour-geois, in charge of the Leen-ehan district, dis-trict, writess: '"The harvest is not, perhaps, very abundant, but it must be many vears since twenty-one adults were baptized in one day. There is in 1 n IS Ulf-LI ICl il . Jllxi ncu in,)..... - wards the faith. In and around Lecn-chan Lecn-chan 1 have between thirty and forty familics lately received into the chinch." Fathers. Viaud find Agnius have a glorious record to report; "1,200 annual confessions, '!75 -confirmations, 674 adult baptisms: last year the number num-ber of our eatc.humens was 2.K00; it is now G.OUO." Southern Group Father Beaulieu. in charge of Tcha-Keon and Kai-tcheou. has opened three new oratories and schools for catechumens. Father Chou-Ict Chou-Ict has succeeding in rebuilding his church at Ing-tze, and, with the help of his nuns, has baptized 191 adults and 6 children in articulo mortis. Father Letort has acquired land at Hou- tchouang-louen, 'a rising town. Heavy is the work of Father Flandrin, who alone is in, charge of the scattered districts dis-tricts of Niou-tehouang and Hai-tching. Hai-tching. yet he has made fresh con quests of three towns close to the Core;', Co-re;', n frontier. Central Group Father Kmonet, stationed sta-tioned at Mukden, greatly aided by the Sisters of Providence, is able to report the baptism of close upon DOO adults and of 1.91'7 pagan children; 1.630 new catechumens under instruction and anxiously awaiting baptism. A malicious malic-ious native sect, the Tsai-li-ti, have sacked and burned a Catholic station near Mukden, and seem disposed to treat others similarly The authorities have not yet thought lit to interfere. Father Conraux at Chalons' writes in great spirits: "Thanks to the zeal and devotion of the Sisters, I have been a bio to register 43 baptisms of pagan children. Since their arrival a marvel-tuis marvel-tuis ehange has come over the village within sixty miles around. Sister Baihilde herself baptized )."() children." Northern Group The event of the year was the opening of the mission .and its dependencies at Tie-ling. Signs of persecution were visible, and Father Ilen'n experienced considerable diffi- ; cu"ity in calming the fiery zeal and devotion de-votion of his flock, only too eager to bring to book their tumultuous brethren. breth-ren. Ka.lern Group This region is comparatively com-paratively fresh ground and close to the Corea n frontier. Four new districts have been opened by Father Ville-rreuve, Ville-rreuve, of whose noble and self-sacrilic-ing exertions Monsignor Guillon writes; "At Tong-hoa I found Father Ville-neuve, Ville-neuve, in a miserable mud hovel, at once bus church, his presbytery and his school. He has lately bought some land 'and Is busy constructing his first gre.-i t set tie men t." "We may close this short and inadequate inade-quate record of Catholic missionary progress in Manchuria with Monsignor Guillen's reference to his summary at Mukden and his schools: ' In consequence of the departure for the missions of six probationary theologians, theo-logians, the Seminary has: been almost deserted this year: asi from time to time they returned, I resumed my theo- ! . . logical class. Soo". I intend to recall Sit them in preparation, for their ordina-i ordina-i fri tion. and it is more than probable I j stateshall have to be their nrofessor. The '! stitut chools'are prosperous; eighty-six boys' j chools. with I.Sjj scholars; sixty-nine iJrls' schools, with 1,577 children, and ! You i our twelve orphanages we have 1.477 ' v , hans. Her? 1 must again render 1 our c'!,n;ipre xo the zeal and devotion of the your others 0j providence. Their dispensar-the dispensar-the libs have been the means of enabling exprfaiem to baptize 3,551 pagan infants." acl- Corea In spite of party political dis-turbahces dis-turbahces and of occasional risk in con. . sequence the year has been one of hir prosperity and steady progress. For-b' For-b' tunately in Corea the authorities' hand t is a quick and heavy one in the quelling quell-ing of riots, though, as in China, the ubiquitious riff-raff are prompt to peize an occasion to pillage and destroy. de-stroy. There is an increase in the baptism bap-tism of adults of 500 over those of 1S97. In the Hoang-rai-to district. Father Wiihelm baptized 3S1 adults, founded two residences, built four chapels and opened ten new stations. Father de Gendre has rebuilt and considerably enlarged en-larged the residence at Hpyeng-yang. Father Bret has had a difficult and dangerous time in Hak-kyeng-to, situated situ-ated in the northeast. Ills attempt to found a station at Hoi-ryeng a town bordering on Manchuria, was resented by. the natives: but Father Bret suc-?eeded suc-?eeded in founding his mission only to ee it sacked, and destroyed the moment mo-ment his back was turned. The attitude atti-tude of his neophytes and catechumens was admirable, and in spite of petty persecution and menaces their number has largely increased. Father Curlier tells a very touching story of an old lady, one Agatha Tchoi, f ' I -S: - - .... J 3 . 1 a convert in the days of Father Ferron, ! and now 79 years of age. On the out-l out-l break of the bitter and bloody persecu-i persecu-i tion of 1866. she and her baptized chil-I chil-I dren sought refuge in Po-ryeng. Here i she passed many years. From time to i time news of the arrival of Europeans in the country reached hor, but she thought they would only be traders and merchants. The family around her grew in numbers and as each little stranger made his or her appearance she hastened to give it to God in holy baptism, and she gathered them round her as they grew up, and taught them what prayers and practices her memory mem-ory yet allowed her to retain and fulfil. ful-fil. Her son. Cosme, a fervent convert, in one of his journeys heard the almost incredible news that the Fathers were at the capital, Seoul. Immediately the old lady gathered together her children chil-dren and grandchildren and hastened to the nearest town in which the Fath-. ers had settled. There she and hers formed the nucleus of a new settlement, settle-ment, conspicuous for its fervor and constancy. Father Peynet observed that in the province of Seoul the increase of converts con-verts is larger in the new stations than amongst the old ones of the north. The orphanage and dispensary established at Chemulpo under the Sisters of St. Paul are doing a great work. Coiean medicine-men, it wouid appear, have drastic and vigorous notions as to the application of remedies. The knife plays a prominent part, as also hot irons. It is hardly surprising, therefore, there-fore, that the ingenious natives flocked around the Sister's dispensary to partake par-take of treatment which, if it did not heal, certainly did not harm the recipient. re-cipient. A dose that cured at once rose in favor, and upon it there was a demand de-mand from all sufferers of every possible possi-ble and impossible illness. This blind confidence often leads to amusing scenes. in Seoul the consecration of the Cathedral, Ca-thedral, on May 29. 1898. was a func. tion of unusual splendor. Over 3.000 persons assisted. The diplomatic rep-resenativea rep-resenativea of France, Russia. England, Eng-land, Germany, United States, China and Japan were present, together with the whole elite of the native population. popula-tion. Monsignor Mutel brings his narrative of the year's events to a close with a sensational piece of intelligence, to-wit: The conversion of the reigning emperor's empe-ror's mother. She was baptized and received into the Church in October, 1596. A year later she made her first Confession and Communion. On her death-bed sha was assisted in her last moments by a Catholic idy-in-wait-mg. Owing to her exalted rank and the necessity of consequence, of profound pro-found secrecy, it was not found possible for anv of the Fathers to visit her. She died Jan. 8. 1S98, aged SO years. Tokio Archbishop Osouf, of Tokio, referring to a slight decrease in the returns re-turns for 1898 compared with, those of 1597, attributes the cause, in some measure, to the prolonged' illness of Father Vigroux, as also the great difficulty diffi-culty in fully preparing and instructing the neophytes and catechumens in the outlying districts, owing to the great distances separating tlhem. Yet, in his efforts and those of his clergy have not been as fruitful as His Grace could wish, there are assuredly not wanting reasons for courage and consolation. Father Balette's pretty little church at Honjo. built in commemoration of the twenty-six Japanese martyrs, has been solemnly blessed. Father Muga-bure Muga-bure has been instrumental in bringing about a great revival in the faith in his district of Shizuoke. He writes: "Near heie there is a populous village in which my catechumens and myself have held meetings, most numerously attended, and during -which great enthusiasm en-thusiasm was displayed I still go to Mishima once a week, where I continue the duties of pastor and professor. pro-fessor. Our meetings are held in the police station, and it is indeed amusing amus-ing to see the native guardians of the place vielng one with the other in their struggles to master French. Many are under instruction, several have become Christians." The Maronite College shows a decrease in numbers, due to Dad limes aim imuc. j nc uhc.tv scholars appears general to all colleges about here. But in the convent schools at Yokohama and Tokio there is a marked increase. The leper hospitals at Gotemba, Xagoya and Tsukiji are full. Fathers Peri and Lemoine Jiave started a magazine in the native language lan-guage called Tenchijin. Heaven, earth, man, political, social, philosophical, religious re-ligious and economical questions are dealt with. It is a. journal of recognized recog-nized influence and standing. Other publications for more general reading, dealing mainly with religious subjects, are also being issued, and they meet with a ready and appreciative circulation. circula-tion. All this has. of course, for its object the unravelling of errors, and the exposure of falsehoods, so freely issued and read, and emanating chielly from French and English sources. Nagasaki. Monsignor Cousin, the vicar vi-car apostolic, in his summary of the year's work, writes: "The year's confessions con-fessions and Easter communions are more numerous than ever the general statistics shew a slight increase nearly all along the line." Father Fraincan has a flock of o.SOO Catholics in his district of Urakami. He remarks a growing tendency on the part of many of his people to leave their native na-tive hearth and homestead to embark on some wild and risky venture for money-making. This fever, probably of European importation, has laid hold of many promising neophytes and catechumens, catech-umens, and it is to be feared that theiy losses wi'l be not only of a material nature, na-ture, but spiritual. Xorth of Nagasaki and coastward a large series of islands is-lands are met with to the straits of Hirado. Within a distance of sixty miles no less than seventeen stations have been established; indeed, they may be said to stand out as land- marKs. uvcr j,pi jatnoncs innamt these parts. The Groto group of islands is administered by Father Pelu and two other fathers, with two Japanese priests. There are over 10,500 Catholics, twenty-five churches and twenty oratorios ora-torios in the district. The leper settlement settle-ment at Honmioji has been taken over by the Franciscan Sisters of Mercy. Father Honda, the native priest in charge of the province of Chikugo and its throe districts, struggles manfully against many difficulties: two in particular. par-ticular. The first is the habit the Christian Chris-tian natives follow in sending their children of the age of 12 and upward to live among the native pagans, with whom they stay until their marriage. The second is that the youth of the locality, lo-cality, not to be behindhand or deficient defi-cient in the games of their pagan neighbors, neigh-bors, introduce and eagerly participate in the relaxations they afford, but too often open to objection. New stations have been opened in the pagan districts dis-tricts of Kurume, Yanagawa and Fu-kuoka. Fu-kuoka. Kokura, from being a small and steady little center of missionary life, has "become a busy military station, sta-tion, and the inhabitants are more busv making money than in attending to the ministrations of either the nriests or the bonzes. Father Bichard, "in charge of Urakami, has a pleasant incident to relate indicating a spirit of justice among the authorities. A vacancy existed ex-isted for a schoolmaster in one of the municipal schools. It was open to competitive com-petitive examination. It was urged against the successful candidate that he was ineligible, as both his father and mother were Catholics. Consternation among the Catholics parents! The sub-prefect sub-prefect of the district upheld the objection, ob-jection, but on appeal to the prefect the ruling was quashed and the sub-prefect dismissed; further, a proclamation was issued to the effect that no such connection must ever again be raised. Military conscription is a source of constant con-stant trouble to sacerdotal students a I Japanese barracks more than tests, it often destroys religious vocations. Osaka. "We are still busy sowing,' writes Monsignor Chatron; "time, cir-I cir-I eumstances and political events all tend j to render the ground hard and arid; I but my clergy are not discouraged, con-' con-' vineed that the day must come when so 'many sacrifices and efforts will bear fruit. The sacraments are fervently and j regularly frequented, and if the num-; num-; ber of our Hock show me no very large increase in quantity it certainly does in quality." At Tisu, Father Birraux has opened a new church. He mentions that in the adjoining town of Yamada a fire made away with a pagan temple containing the ashes of many ancestors of the mikado. A period of publio mourning was officially ordained, and j officially observed, but the unofficial remarks and comments of the pagan natives w?re suggestive that they held the old religion in scant respect. The Angelus now rings out three times daily and gaily from the steeple tower of the cathedral of Osaka. Monsignor Chatron blessed the bell, the Julia An-selma, An-selma, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1S97. Father Mutz died on Sept. 3, 1S93 at the age of 39, of which thirteen years had been given to God in the foreign missions. The Maronite Fathers from Tokio are to open a school at Osaka. At Yamaguchi, Father Cettour finds making headway very laborious and slow. The town is the seat of a university, and from thence is spread, with dire effect, a spirit of unbelief and theism. A station has been opened at Matsuye. in the province of Izumo, in the northwest. The natives are very backward and ignorant. When Father Angeles had succeeded in persuading per-suading them that he was neither a French nor Russian spy, they . took more kindly to him. Father Ferrand, at Maysuyama, is laboring in the midst of a tlosk probably the poorest and most suffering in Japan. His heroic, unwearying zeal among these unfortunate unfortu-nate creatures has won him the respect and admiration of all the officials. The better to meet the incessant claims upon his ill-garnished purse, he gives lessons in French to members of the civil service, ser-vice, and he has often the consolation of winning souls to God and help for his poor. Father Charron, at Uwajima, is spending his few leisure moments in translating Abbe Darras' "History of the Church" in Japanese. Monsignor Chattron writes hopefully of the future in Japan. The authorities look with respect re-spect upon the missionaries, and Catholics Cath-olics are admitted to teach in the state schools. The influence of Buddhism and Shintoism is slowly on the wane. Hakodate. Monsignor Bedlioz bears out Monsignor Chatron's impression that the situation in Japan has improved. im-proved. More missionaries are wanted. The districts are too far apart. Cistercian Cister-cian fathers and nuns have settled close to Hakodate. Those who fancied they knew the Japanese character prophesied prophe-sied that the fathers would find no recruits re-cruits among 'them, lovers of personal liberty and enemies of silence and routine, rou-tine, but in less than a year seven natives na-tives presented themselves. Father Lafon, at Sapporo, has opned a winter school for the children of the country districts. It is proving a great success. The numbers are increasing and the attendance at-tendance is good. The immense district of Yezo, North and South, is under the dirftinn of TTq tlir. T3iliiat 1 well of his work. The new and commodious com-modious residence at Amori was but recently the shrine of a Shinto diety. Father Deffremus, at Morioka, reports that the number of communicants on the first Sunday of each month is steadily increasing, and that the school under the sisters of St. Paul more than hold their own with those of the state. The death of their superior is a sore loss to all eighteen wears of her life had been spent in Japan. Divorce seems to be asieasy in Japan as in other countries coun-tries laying claims to a higher standard of civilization. Father Marion of Iwate finds that the facilities for obtaining ob-taining it are largely made use of, but there seems to be same chance of a legislative check forthcoming. ' In the development of commercial relations between be-tween Japan and other countries he sees a hope for the disappearance of much prejudice and ignorance. At Ni- gata, Father Christmann has instituted the recital of nigh tprayers in common com-mon in his church, and he speaks with enthusiasm of the growing attendance.