Second Beginning

After Fr. Kolanczyk in 1951 had left Formosa, during some two years there were no SVD missionaries in Formosa. But the old China missionaries kept on urging, and also from Formosa invitations arrived. When Oct. 1, 1952 Bishop Niu, who had grown up under the SVD missionaries and whose last vicar general had been Fr. Kade SVD, invited Fr. Kade and other missionaries to his Chiayi Mission, Fr. General was willing to provide three former China missionaries who had not yet been appointed to other work (Letter of Nov. 6, 1952, GR No. 528).

In a letter of Feb 5, 1954 Bishop Niu declared himself willing to accept SVD Bishops and other missionaries, however these should have their own district in his Prefecture. Fr. General writes Feb 24, 1954 from Banningville (Congo) to his Assistant Fr. Kroes: “In the question of sending more China missionaries to Formosa, who should go there together with their former Bishops, we surely should still have thorough considerations, because not all China missionaries agree, that Formosa should be the given site of preparations for a return to China. There is no need of urgency in this matter. Maybe it is advisable, after carefully examining all circumstances, to privately get in contact with one or more representatives of the Propaganda.” (GR No. 683)

In the meantime in March 1953 the Fathers Kade, Tauch and Krieftewirth had gotten their appointment for Formosa. One year later March 13, 1954 Fr. Kade from Dounan, Formosa, sent his first greetings: “Last week we arrived here.” At their arrival in Taipei our missionaries were welcomed by Sr.Otgerina and two other SSpS Sisters, who also only shortly before had come to Formosa and worked with the Jesuits in Hsinchu. The Mother Superior General had in a letter of  June 27, 1953 to Fr. General Assistant Kroes spoken of the plan of the Sisters to work under the Jesuits. The fact that now the SSpS Sisters were in Formosa awakened among the old China missionaries every time again the longing to also go to Formosa. The letters of Archbishop Buddenbrock to a group of his confreres gives clear witness to this (Rome May 19, 1954). June 19, 1954 the Propaganda gave permission to Archbishop Buddenbrock to work with a group of missionaries in the district of Chiayi in Formosa. Bishop Niu who was informed by Riberi about the plans of Archbishop Buddenbrock, was willing to give part of Chiayi territory to Archbishop Buddenbrock, namely the districts of 1. Teh-Kang, 2. Si-Hu, 3. Shui-Lin, 4. Kou-Mu. The three SVD missionaries, who already stayed in Formosa, were asked in July 1954 to already take over this area. The Generalate sent a trial contract of Niigata, Japan, to Bishop Niu which would serve as basis for writing a contract with the SVD. July 26 , 1954 a first agreement was signed in Touliu by Bishop Niu and Fr. Krieftewirth. But because Fr. Krieftewirth had only given some of the points of the Niigata contract to Bishop Niu to sign, therefore, the Generalate thought this contract as deficient, and August 10, 1954 asked that further negotiations with Bishop Niu should be held.

But even before these negotiation were concluded, the Generalate withdrew from its plans to take over an own territory (Letter of Fr. General August 19, 1954). It is very clear, that it was mainly because of financial reasons, because Fr. Krieftewirth in order to at all be able to build some mission stations in the area, has asked for $ 20.000. Bishop Niu, Archbishop Buddenbrock and Fr. Krieftewirth were informed of this decision. It was a big blow for all of them.

About the future of the three Fathers already present the Generalate had no clear idea yet. Dec. 20, 1954 Fr. General writes to Fr. Krieftewirth: “In my considerations with the Generalate I was still unclear which directions you and the other confreres there should get with regards to your future work assignments.” But some time later the General Council returned to a letter of Fr. Kade of March 1, 1953, in which the prospect was given that Bishop Niu as before in Yangku would treat our Fathers as diocesan priests, that is to say would give them a salary. That, however, was certainly not the case, and therefore our three missionaries were in a uncomfortable situation. It is true that they via the procure in Hong Kong got the necessary money to live, but no support to open their own mission station. That is why the three missionaries tried to be become more or less independent. Fr. Kade already was employed by Bishop Niu as vicar general. Fr. Krieftewirth got permission to work as German teacher at the Medical College in Kaohsiung. Fr. Tauch preferred to first stay in the Pei-Kang area, where he in March 1955 with money begged by Archbishop Buddenbrock could acquire a small house and at the same time open a school for women catechists. April 7, 1955 Fr. General told them that all three confreres “should march separately”. He goes on saying: “The main thing is, that each in his place does something good for the Kingdom of God.” In this way a working method was set, which would last till 1959.

In a letter of Feb 28, 1957 Fr. Krieftewirth as superior communicated to Bishop Niu that Fr. Tauch would be transferred from Chiayi to become chaplain of the Sisters in Kaohsiung. Bishop Niu complained with the Generalate about the way Fr. Tauch without consultation was called back. The Generalate confirmed the decision of Fr. Krieftewirth in a letter of March 20, 1957. Fr. Tauch became chaplain in the Catholic Hospital in Kaohsiung and there also continued his school for women catechists. Until the establishment of the new China Region by F. General Schuette on Feb 16, 1959 nothing was changed in the situation of “the Three Wise Men”, as they called themselves. And it is fitting first to shortly describe the work of Fr. Krieftewirth, namely the Institute of the Women Oblates, as well as the School for Women Catechists of Fr. Tauch, which both of them each in their own way have been a blessing for the entire Formosa mission.