@

about svd

@

svd in taiwan

@

svd in hongkong

@

newsletter

@

SVD Member ONLY

@

our saints

@

contact

@

contact: lito@catholic.org

@

@

@

news

Flower vendors on the street
SVD History
Socio-Cultural Context
Formation
Ministry

@

Introduction

The Divine Word Missionaries were founded as a missionary congregation at the service of the Church. All her activities, diverse though they might be, are ultimately intended to help the Church fulfill its missionary task.

@@When St. Arnold Janssen founded the SVD in 1875 against the odds his first concern was China with its huge non-Christian population. And there he sent (in 1879) his first missionaries, Fr. Anzer, who was made a bishop and Fr. Freinademtez, who became a saint. The SVD mission in China within 70 years grew into a vast undertaking with a huge investment of personnel and funds, with missionaries working in various provinces of Mainland China, concentrating on evangelization, pastoral work and education.

@@With the communist take over in 1949, however all seemed to have come to an abrupt end. All foreign missionaries were forced to leave the country. What had been considered an achievement, great success by the missionaries was dismissed by the new rulers as an insult to their people and an obstacle to the communist revolution. The expelled missionaries left, very sad, knowing that the Christian communities would have to face very difficult times, but also confident that the Christian faith had taken roots in the hearts of the converts deep enough to withstand the trials ahead. And there were the many loyal Chinese priests who would stay with their flock to guide and comfort them.

@@The foreign SVD missionaries either returned to their home countries or were sent to other SVD mission countries like the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Africa, and South America etc. The idea to consider Formosa, as Taiwan was called at that time, as a possible mission area for the Divine Word Missionaries, had already come up. In 1948 the Generalate had made inquiries about the situation in Taiwan and was thinking of sending some of the expelled missionaries to Taiwan. At a conference in Shanghai, which was attended by Fr. General Grosse Kappenberg and his secretary, Fr. Spreti, concrete plans were made for an involvement in Taiwan and potential superiors were taken into consideration. However the plan was suddenly dropped by the new superior general, Fr. Schuette, who himself had been a China missionary. He thought that sooner or later the communists would conquer Taiwan too. The one who had been tentatively sent to the island, Fr. Kolancyk on the instruction of Fr. General was transferred to the Philippines in 1951.

@@An unexpected change came, in 1954 when Bishop Thomas Niu of the newly erected Apostolic Prefecture of Chiayi, invited Fr. Leo Kade, SVD to be his vicar general. The SVD agreed and sent two other China missionaries, Fr. Al. Krieftewirth and Fr. Al.Tauch with him. While Fr. Kade accompanied Bishop Niu in Touliu, Fr. Krieftewirth moved to Kaohsiung to help the OHF (Holy Family) Sisters with the re-establishing of their Congregation in Taiwan, and Fr. Tauch did pastoral work in Peikang where he at the same time founded a center for the training of women catechists. Their instructions from Rome however were, not to accept any definite assignment. After they had become familiar with the situation in Taiwan, and also could better assess the political situation, they sent a detailed report to Rome, which was rather positive. The final breakthrough came m 1958 at the General Chapter, when it was decided to start an SVD mission in Taiwan.

@

Back to Taiwan History

Taiwanese worker
Photo: Jim Liebner