CHURCH IN TAIWAN

首頁 ] 向上 ] 道明會第一次來台開教 ] 臺灣開教首位殉道傅耶慈 ] 淡水開教殉道功臣艾基水 ] 台灣殉道先烈羅睦絡 ] 天主教來台傳教壹百年簡史 ] 道明會第二次來台開教 ] 天主教臺北開教史 ] 萬金聖母聖殿福傳的歷史和現在 ] 道明會在台南 ] 臺灣—嚴文生 ] [ CHURCH IN TAIWAN ]

horizontal rule

HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN TAIWAN

FIRST PERIOD

1626-1642

The first missionaries who came to Taiwan were: Fr. Bartolome Martinez and five other Dominicans who joining an Spanish expedition force had landed in Taiwan in May of 1626

They set up a small house in Siaryo, a small island just off the entrance to the port of Keelung.

Once the native heard the roar of the Spanish cannons they fled to the mountains.

Among those who have fled was a Chinese Christian who has married to a Formosan girl. When he heard that among the invaders were some religious, he returned and made acquaintance to Father Martinez. Then some people started to come to church.

They build another church in Keelung, in the heart of the Chinese community.

In 1629 the Spanish army fortified a small fortress in Tanshui. At that time the Dutch were in Anping were they had a big center.

When the Dutch knew about the Spaniards whom they attacked but were repulsed. Father Martinez on the way back to Siaryo lose his life.

Fr. Jacinto Esquivel build another church in Taparri, a place between Keelung and Tamsui. In two years time he converted the entire two towns and established friendly relations with the inhabitants.

Father Vaez de Santo Domingo was killed by the Senaars who shot him with their arrows. These people lived in one side of the Tanshui river and were in peace with the Spaniards but some of them still hated them. Father Vaez asked them to help him to go to the other side of the river, a place called Pantaos were the non-Christians live and on the way they killed him. They cut off his head, lopped one arm and then fled to the mountains with their trophies.

The missionaries who pioneered in evangelical work in Formosa  were exposed to appalling danger, This lives were in constant peril, but this didn't daunt their in there determination  to penetrate  the mountains and bring the Divine Word to the natives. Using the towns of Keelung and Tanshui as a base, they branched out  and extended their influence  to Ne and they founded the towns of Santiago (better known  to the Formosans as Sanshiokaku), San Lorenzo and Santa Catalina.

About three years after the assassination of Father Vaez de Santo Domingo, (this was in March, 1636) the Governor of Keelung decided to send some soldiers to Paktau (Hokuto) for the purpose of buying rice from the natives. Paktau was the place where the priests assassins had taken refuge, and this prompted another priest, Father Luis Muro, to accompany the soldiers.

Father Muro went because he wanted to tell them that he had obtained a general pardon for them, but the assassins misunderstood the pardon. When the soldiers were on their way back, they walked straight into an ambush. 25 Spaniards, including Father Muro, were cut down and killed. Father Muro himself fell with an arrow through his heart.

So engaged was the governor of Keelung that he determined forthwith retaliating. The action was successful and it brought peace to Northern Formosa. Then the missionaries could move about freely without fear of being molested.

But about this time, there were changes taking place in Manila which eventually would have far-reaching consequences in Formosa. It was in 1635 that Don Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera became Governor General of the Philippines. For reasons best known to him, Governor Corcuera regarded the presence of the Spanish troops and missionaries in Formosa as unnecessary and undesirable. So, little by little, he abandoned the island to the Dutch.

In 1638, he ordered the destruction and abandonment of the Spanish fort in Tanshui. The next year, he recalled three of the four companies’ of soldiers at Keelung and ordered them to return to Manila. This latter action rendered Keelung vulnerable to the Dutch, for a garrison of one company certainly would be much too puny for any effective resistance against any attack.

At that time there were about 4500 Christians.

The Dutch did come. In 1641, they pounced on Keelung with a force of three hundred men. They did not attack the town itself, however, they merely conducted a reconnaissance and probing at the garrisons s weak points. But they had every intension of returning.

On August 19 of the following year, they came back with a large force that would prove irresistible. The Spanish soldiers manning the garrison numbered only 30, hence they could put up only a token resistance. Surrender was inevitable, and it took place on August 24, 1642.

In Keelung at the time of the surrender were two priest Father Teodoro Quiros and Juan de los Angeles, and two brothers Pedro Ruiz and Basilio del Rosario. A lay brother, Amador de Acuna, was also with them. All of them were taken prisoner after their belongings were despoiled. They were brought to the fort of Anpeng were another priest Father Pedro Chavez was also confined .

From Anping they were transferred to Jakarta where they found a kind and sympathetic friend in the person of the Captain General of the Dutch. This man treated them with great kindness and humility and arranged for their eventual repatriation to Manila.

Although the Dominicans were forced to abandoned their Formosa vineyards, the seed that they had sowed in the hearts of the natives continued to blossom long after their departure. More than 20 years later, in 1662, a priest had the occasion to visit Formosa. This priest Father Victorio Ricci, a Dominican, reported later that in 1666, the second time when he set foot on the island in Keelung, he was approached by natives who asked that they be given the sacraments. Despite his brief stay there, he managed to receive the confessions of many natives and to baptize a large number of children.

On two subsequent occasions after Father Ricci’s visit, the Dominicans tried to send missionaries to continue the work of their predecessors. The first time was in 1673 when they came to Tainan but were badly received by Kosinga's sons, and after 7 months they had to go back to Manila. The second time was in 1694. On both occasions, however, the project had to be abandoned. This was because the Chinese had taken over the island from the Dutch, and the new rulers looked with disfavor upon the Dominican attempts and frustrated them at every turn.

SECOND PERIOD:

From the restoration to the Japanese occupation

1859-1985

In 1858 China opened the old port of Anping to foreign commerce. This move was followed by similar moves which threw open the other ports of Tanshui, Keelung and Takao.

When informed of these actions, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith immediately notified Rev. Fr. Antonio Orge OP, Superior General of the Spanish Dominicans, and authorized him to let the Province of the Holy Rosary undertake the restoration of the Formosa mission.

Father Orge sent word to Manila and, in a few weeks, Fr. Fernando Sainz was on his way to Formosa. Father Sainz left Manila on January 25, 1859 and proceeded to Fwujiann where Fr. Angel Bofurull, a missionary in Amoy, was waiting to accompany him to Formosa.

With three Chinese catechist, the two priest set sail for the island and, on May 18, 1859, they reached the port of Takao.

The two rented a house near the port and on the evening of May 22, they took over. The very next day, however, they learned that their work would not be easy. The whole town had heard of the arrival of the two white men, and even the mandarins had been informed about them. These even went to the extent of sending two soldiers to the rented house to find out if there  were indeed white men living inside.

While there were no overt acts of hostility, the two missionaries nevertheless decided to call on the mandarins of Pitao (Fengshan). This was on May 30. They had not walked more than an hour when they were stopped by an emissary of the Mandarins whom, they learnt later, had been dispatched precisely to fetch the two strangers and bring them to the Mandarin's  court.

During the meeting, however, the emissary uttered not a word. Neither did he leave his sedan-chair. Father Sainz decided to ignore him and mentioned to his companions to proceed towards Pitao (Fengshan). Before they had gone very far, however, one of the soldiers escorting the emissary caught up with them and escorted them to the Mandarins’ house.

Upon their arrival there, the missionaries immediately sensed an air of hostility among the residents. It was as though the inhabitants were vent on making things as uncomfortable as possible for them. They ignored the two and made them wait a  long time.

It was not until after two hours that they finally condescended to pay the arrivals any notice. It was then that they conducted the two priests to the great hall where the Mandarins, resplendent in their robes, were awaiting them with great dignity and pomposity.

The priest greeted the dignitaries with a slight bow, and the Mandarins questioned them about where they came from and what they intended to do. Father Bofurull, who knew Chinese, answered that they had come from China, that they had passed through Amoy. He did not say though that Father Sainz had come from Manila.

By the incivility of the mandarins’ subsequent actions, the two eventually sensed that the mandarins were looking for a pretext to imprison them at Tainan, the capital of Formosa. When this suspicious became certainly, Father Sainz decided to take matters into his own hands.

Though he knew not a word of Chinese, he launched into a long peroration in Spanish. More by his gestures than by his words, the Mandarins soon understood that if the two were to be imprisoned and brought to Tainan, then it was necessary that they should be bound hands and feet, otherwise, they would resist all the way.

This aggressive move disconcerted the Mandarins. They realized it would be highly improper to hogtie the priest since, after all, they had been received as guest in the house of the Mandarins. At a loss as to what to do, they ordered the priest to stay in the tribunal while their fate was to be decided.

In the afternoon, the Mandarins returned. There was a striking change in their demeanor. They showered the priest with gifts, bade them not to fear and otherwise conducted themselves in a patronizing but irksome manner. They took pains to inform the two that, the very next day, there would be a feast in their honor during which another European, an opium trader, would be invited.

Father Sainz realized immediately that the opium vendor’ was to be asked, that on this man’s words would depend the lives of the missionaries. He decided then to get in touch with this European. He sent the latter a note which said simply:” We two missionaries are held prisoners”

The vendor read the note and understood immediately what was going on. He did not know the missionaries, but he very willingly furnished the Mandarins a glowing, favorable report about the missionaries. This satisfied the Mandarins who subsequently released the two, but only after profusely apologizing for the rather unseemly conduct they had shown.

Father Sainz wrote  afterwards:  “After the humiliations we endured at the hands of the Mandarins, and after accepting their false promises, we boarded the ship of the opium vendor who had saved us. We had to do this because my companion, Father Angel, had been totally unnerved by the ordeal we had gone through. He was really ill, so I decided to get him to return to Amoy. He left on June 7, and I was alone in Formosa.

Farther Sainz went back to Takao, but immediately, he was ejected from his house. He resolutely looked for another house, but, everywhere he went, the story was the same: there were many houses available for rent, but none of the could be rented to this missionary since the Mandarins were obviously hostile to him.

Finally he managed to rent a house. This belonged to a bandit chieftain, and this bandit consented to yield his house only because he did not fear the Mandarins and because the missionary seemed willing to pay even an unreasonably high amount.

After having a house he went to the capital, Tainan City, to see if it was possible to have his residence there. He meet some people outside the city who were the original, pepolang. He stayed with them for a few days and then went back to Chenkim (Kaohsiung).

For two months, Father Sainz stayed in the poorly furnished hovel. One morning, he heard noises outside the house. Looking out, he saw a large crowd gathering on the street in front of the house. He went outside to investigate, and he discovered that the crowd was gathering around a magistrate who was reading a decree. Without any attempt at subtlety, by order of the mandarins of Fengshan, he decree bluntly prohibited anybody from selling even tiny piece of land to the “barbarian” of the religion of the Lord of Heaven.

Father Sainz asked for the decree folded it and put it in his pocket. “Tomorrow”, he told the crowd. “I personally will go to see the Mandarin”. With these words, he turned his back and returned to the house. The crowd dispersed soon after.

True to his word, Father Sainz sought an audience with the Mandarin the following day. Being informed that the mandarin was still out, he resigned himself to wait.

After a while, somebody who claimed to be the mandarin came in. Father Sainz, however, immediately saw through the deception. “You are not the real mandarin”, he said loudly. “It is obvious that the mandarin does not wish to come out. Since I have no wish to discuss my affair to anyone but he, I have to leave”.

Thereupon, he stomped out and left the imposter very perplexed. Before long, everybody in the town knew of the unsuccessful trick of the mandarin. So embarrassed was he that he dared not persecute Father Sainz anymore, soon after this incident, Father Sainz bought a small house of bamboo and straw and immediately set up residence there in. At least, he could now be sure that he would not be evicted.

In July, 1862, Father Sainz was heartened to hear that two missionaries were joining him. They were Frs. Andres Chinchon and Miguel Limarquez. Upon their arrival, Father Sainz began expanding his missionary activities.

He proceeded to Wanchin, a town about fifteen miles to the east of Takao, where he began to preach the Good News. He surmised, and correctly, that the natives of Wanchin not being Chinese, would prove more receptive and less hostile.

Before the end of the year, he had entrenched himself solidly in the town and had put up a catechetical center where the natives could received instruction. By the following year, 1863, he had converted fifty adults and a greater number of children were baptized.

Despite his successes, Father Sainz did not lead a comfortable, peaceful life. On one occasion, he was held up and robbed of all he had on him. On another, he was kidnapped and had to pay a substantial ransom to secure his discouraged. He continued to work hard; he was always present at times when his help was urgently needed.

One of the most ambitious dreams was to get himself established in Tainan, the capital, so that he might use it as a base for his apostolic work in adjacent towns. In 1867, after years of planning and scrimping, he manages to buy a house in the capital. But no sooner had the authorities heard about it that he was forced to rescind the sale. He was banned from settling within the city although he was allowed to establish a residence on the outskirts.

Father Sainz. However, could not stay long on the outskirts because of the hostility that the Chinese had sacked and destroyed the little chapel that Father Sainz had built in the suburbs.

The same fate befell the chapels at Kaoakhi and Kushan, and desperate measures were needed to stop the wave of vandalism engulfing the natives.

The Consul of Great Britain provided the means to counteract this viciousness. He sent an ultimatum to Taotai, the superior authority in Formosa. Very firmly, he started that unless the arson was stopped, unless the persecutions were suspended, the British government would be forced to act. He threatened to raze Tainan with a naval bombardment supplied by two British warships then anchored outside the port. He said that any damages suffered by the missionaries must be indemnified.

The Consul’s threat proved most effective and a period of uneasy peace ensued.

Father Sainz took advantage of this lull and sent two of his missionaries to the north to see about reviving the once-flourishing Catholic mission there. These two settled at Keelung and stayed there for a year. But the natives proved unresponsive to their teachings, and the two disappointed missionaries had no choice but to leave the place. Sadly, they realized that the time had not yet come wherein the old mission of Keelung could be restored.

About the middle of 1869, Father Sainz received heartbreaking orders. He was relieved of his duties in the island where he had spent ten years of unforgettable, tireless missionary work. When he left, he brought with him bittersweet memories of Formosa, and many of them satisfying and heartwarming, some of them humiliating and painful.

Father Andres Chinchon, who had been with him for seven oof those 10  years, succeeded Father Sainz as superior of the mission. He did all he could to implement the program of his predecessor whatever obstacles may have stood in his path.

To Father Chinchon goes the credit for the establishment in Takao of an orphanage which he called the Orphanage of the Holy Infancy. This project had been originally started in Tainan by Father Sainz, but he had been forced to give it up for lack of funds. To Father Chinchon also must go the credit for the reopening of the Tainan residence and of the establishment, one after another, of missions in Shalun, Lotsu, Touliu and others.

In May 14, 1870 Vicente, a catechist who came from Fwujiann and  later became a catechist in Tainan, died after he suffered  cruel treatment and humiliation for being  a preacher.

He also cast his gaze northwards and dreamed of starting evangelical work in that direction. His chief problem there was how to overcome the opposition of the Protestant who had settled there in 1872, but he did that too after years and years of hard work. In 1888, he also succeeded in establishing a mission center in the flourishing densely populated city of Daitotei.

But, despite all the zeal of Father Sainz and Chinchon, despite their  uncomplaining, dedicated work, the progress achieved was exceedingly slow. During the 36 years after the restoration, the missionaries could boast of nothing more substantial than the conversion of 1300 to Christianity.

The reason behind this turtle-paced progress was the unceasing persecutions of the missionaries by the non-Christians . The persecutions destined to continue even shortly after the Japanese had obtained dominion and control over the island of Formosa.

THIRD PERIOD

From the Japanese conquest to the arrival of the Chiang Kai-shek Government

1895-1949

When the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed, the Japanese found themselves the proud new masters of Formosa. The changeover was turbulent and bloody. The Formosans were recalcitrant; they wanted absolute independence even at the cost of fighting the Japanese for supremacy. In the revolution and fighting that ensure, the Christians and their missionary fathers were caught in the crossfire.

The yielding of Formosa to the Japanese took place on June 3, 1895. The Japanese had no illusion about it, they knew that the Formosans would not accept the change in a docile manner. So they stationed 12000 troops in the north, and all these soldiers bear against them.

It was in Central Formosa that the resistance was fiercest. In the north, it was sporadic and disorganized, so the Japanese had a relatively easy time keeping things under control. For this reason, The Formosa Mission to the north enjoyed a measure of peace and tranquility, as did the mission in the south. Their  peace, however, was not to last long.

On August 30, 1895, a detachment of three hundred soldiers arrived at Touliu and prepared to push towards Central Formosa where the freedom fighters were concentrated. The push was uneventful until the Japanese got to Toapona where, unknown to them, the rebels had concentrated their forces.

The rebels chose the time and the place for their attack. They pounced on the enemy at a time when the Japanese were slogging through muddy terrain and were handicapped by their lack of maneuverability.

The rebels swooped to the attack, but the Japanese met them with a withering fire that mowed down the rebels by the score. The carnage was awful and the rebels retreated in disorder. But the Japanese, though victorious, had suffered heavy losses also, and they found it necessary to fall back to Potao where the bulk of the Japanese army was bivouacked.

The rebel’s chiefs, who incidentally had been the bandit leaders before the arrival of the Japanese, took advantage of the Japanese withdrawal to occupy all towns previously in Japanese hands. They boasted that the withdrawal was occasioned by Japanese’s unholy fear of the rebels.

But even as they boasted, they were also shamed by their ignominious defeat wherein they were put to inglorious flight by a handful of Japanese soldiers. To counteract their shame they began spreading vicious rumors that it was the Christians who had incited the disorders and had, in fact, sided with the Japanese against their own countrymen.

So incensed were the natives against the Christians that they lost no time in ferreting out these unfortunates and beheading many of them. Thus, a rebel reigns of terror against the Christians began.

On September 3, 1895, a group of Christians gathered secretly in the church of Touliu to pray the rosary. At this meeting, they were told that the rebels were on the lookout for them, that the rebels had every intention of slaughtering them. This prompted them to flee to other towns for refuge.

They were hardly out of the town when a bandit-led mob of rebels entered the town and sacked the church and set the missionary's building on fire. If the missionary had been there, he would no doubt have been put to death.

The same vandalistic acts were perpetrated on the chapels at Shalun, Talibu and Chiuakha. Ata Tainan two weeks later, the catechist was cruelly put to death.

By the end of November, the Japanese succeeded in quelling all rebels’ resistance. Their sway over Formosa was complete. But the Christians, who still did not know what the Japanese policy would be towards Christianity, continued to roam from one place to another, fearing to return to their homes as yet.

Thanks to Fr, Francisco Giner, these Christians eventually went back to their homes. Father Giner succeeded in convincing them that the Japanese meant them no harm, that they would extend protection to the Christians and would permit them to practice their faith unmolested.

These good priests had to do this because he realized that if the Christians remained in hiding, they would eventually give up their faith an all the work of the missionaries would go for naught.

Under the Japanese dominion, a period of peace prevailed. Surprisingly, a great many of the looted goods were returned to their  rightful owners by those who had pilfered them during the revolution. This action, however, was not prompted by remorse of conscience or by repentance. Rather, it was motivated by a fear that the wronged missionaries and Christians would find out who stole them and then charge the wrongdoers with theft. And they were afraid of the Japanese.

Even so, the Japanese launched a full-scale investigation aimed to recover the stolen goods. This investigation, which had been instigated by the missionaries, backfired. This was because; unknown to the missionaries, many of the thieves themselves had obtained work as interpreters in the Japanese courts. During the trials, the interpreters distorted the witnesses’ testimonies and shamelessly calumniated the Christians.

They accused the Christians of inciting the natives to revolt against the Japanese. They even went so far as to lay the blame behind the escape of eleven prisoners to the Christians.

This calumny was believed by the Japanese, and the subsequent retaliation resulted in the imprisonment of five Christians and catechumens. Of these five, three were beheaded by katana-wielding executioners.

These executions took place in May, 1896. Early the following July, another general uprising against the Japanese erupted. The rebels succeeded in driving the 300 man Japanese garrison in Touliu to evacuate. Once the Japanese were out, the rebels vented their fury on the Christians. For the second time in as many years, the Touliu church and residence were pillaged and burned down. Fortunately again, Father Giner was not in Touliu and escaped death.

It was not until after 5 years of internecine strife that the Japanese finally succeeded in bringing Formosa to normal. With the disorders quelled and the rebels subdued, the Dominicans missionaries once more were free to go about their zealous evangelical activities.

The return of peace enable the Formosan mission to redouble its efforts toward the Christianization of the island. In this task, its missionaries had to undergo tremendous sacrifices, but the sacrifices were made without protest and with considerable enthusiasm.

In 1903, a number of Spanish Dominicans nuns arrived at Takao to take charge of the Orphanage of the Holy Infancy Up until then; the orphanage had been in the care of several pious Chinese women. A few years after their arrival, these nuns set up a college for women catechists.

On the same year a series of strong earthquakes rock the island, causing widespread death and destruction. Among the edifices which suffered damage was the church of Lotsu whose walls were cracked. Three years later, in 1906, another series of tremors severely damaged the Dominican Residence at Touliu and the church of Pokilun.

At Lotsu in 1904, the Dominicans put up a college for catechist. This was subsequently transferred to Taipei and, in later years, it was transformed in a seminary.

In 1907, it was found necessary to tear down the magnificent church that had been built at Taipei. This was because of a Japanese plan which laid out new zones and new streets for the city. One of the streets, it turned out, would cut straight through the new church. The Japanese government, however, was most understanding and considerate. After a lot of negotiations, it granted the Dominicans another piece of land in another part of the city and paid a reasonable amount as indemnity for the damage suffered. The new church, which was the most famous and beautiful in Formosa, was inaugurated on May 14, 1913.

In 1913 another significant event took place. This was when Formosa was made into an independent Apostolic Prefecture. Named first Apostolic Prefect was Fr. Clemente Fernandez OP, who was installed in his new post on October 7, 1913. Father Fernandez establish his residence in Taipei, the capital. Before 1913, Formosa had been under the Apostolic Vicarship of Amoy in Southern Fwujiann.

One of the first things that the new Apostolic Prefect undertook was the establishment of a college for male catechists in Taipei. Later on, a secondary school for children, both Japanese and Chinese, was set up and run by the Dominican Sisters.

Father Fernandez’ successor, Fr. Tomas de la Hoz, founded a seminary in Takao intended exclusively for the training of native priest.

In Tanaka, the mission had a small printing press using Romanization, wherein is printed a monthly review in Chinese. This press also has put out some books on Christian doctrine, not to mention countless leaflets touching on matters vital to the catholic faith and to Catholics.

When the Japanese were newly-establish in Formosa, evangelical work, especially in the central portions of the island, was at a virtual standstill. This was because it was in this area where the bloodiest fighting took place and where so many chapels were destroyed and many Christians killed.

The progress of the Formosa mission can be attributed in part to the arrival on the island of a number off young  priest whose strength and enthusiasm gave new vigor to the mission. These young missionaries not only rebuild from the ruins of the war but also, within the relatively short span of ten years, double the number of chapels and catechetical centers.

By the time that the Pacific war broke out on December 8, 1941, the church was firmly established. The war cause many changes, notable among which was the relief of Fr. Tomas de la Hoz as Apostolic Prefect, by Fr. Jose Satowaki, Japanese.

In his new capacity, Father Satowaki institued many innovations. The first of this was the closure of the Orphanage of the Holy Infancy, and then operated by the Dominican Sisters, so that a new congregation, the Sisters of the Eucharist, could take over.

During the war, the Dominican Missionaries suffered all the privations that non-combatants are expected to undergo in any modern armed conflict. There were many annoyances and irritations, many discomforts at the hands of the Japanese police. Some of them even suffered incarceration in Japanese prisons. In 1941, the Japanese authorities promulgated the order that all foreigners in Takao and Keekung had to leave the places. So all the missionaries went to de Center of Formosa and some of them were jailed.

It was not until 1944 that the war really came to Formosa. That was when carrier-base American planes droned over the island and began pulverizing military installations with high explosives and bombs. Day after day the planes came, and each time, the damage they wrought was greater and more appalling.

There was an obvious attempt to spare religious installations, but not all the bombardiers could aim with pinpoint accuracy, so the Formosa mission also sustained some damaged. On May 31, 1945, the beautiful church that was erected in Taipei crumbled under the bombings, and the adjoining seminary and the residence of the missionary were severely damage. In Tainan likewise, some mission property was destroyed.

The Japanese surrendered unconditionally in August, 1945, and the news of the capitulation reached the mission on August 15. The surrender terms called for the return of Formosa to China and for the withdrawal of the Japanese from the island. In consonance with these terms, Father Satowaki had to give up his post as Apostolic Administrator of the island in favor of Father Raimundo Tho Hieng-chia, a Formosan priest who became Pro-Administrator. He held this office 3 for years.

When the Japanese surrendered the Formosans were led to believe that they would be granted their freedom. But no, the Chinese came. The more hot-blooded advocates of Formosa independence attempted to revolt against the Chinese, but Chinag’s soldiers made short work of them. Despite the brief duration of the rebellion, a lot of blood was shed and all dreams of Formosa independence was suppressed.

Despite the fact that no actual fighting had taken place on the soil of Formosa, the aerial bombardment had been such that many of it is large cities were devastated. For this reason, the mission was not immediately able to institute substantial steps to rehabilitate itself.

In 1948, the Holy See named Fr. Jose M. Arregui as Prefect of the mission. Father Arregui lost no time in instituting improvements that would redound to the greater glory of God. One of his first acts was to revive the seminary which had been damaged during the Taipei bombing. He moved it to Takao temporarily until the new seminary building at Gotechu could be completed. The new seminary was inaugurated on June 10, 1949.

FOUTH PERIOD

Since 1949

As the communist continued their inexorable advance in China, the influx of many religious into the island became a steady stream. Many priest and sisters came over that it was then possible to expand evangelical exertions even to the remotest places in Formosa.

When Taiwan was divided into two Prefectures on January 13, 1950, Msgr. Jose Arregui, O.P. became Prefect of Kaohsiung, and Rev. Joseph Kuo, C.D.D., was appointed Prefect of Taipei.

The Taichung Prefecture was established on October6, 1950 and Rev. Willian F. Kupfer, M.M., was apointed as its first Prefect on January 26, 1952. The Chiayi and Hualien Prefectures were establish on August 7, 1952, and Msgr. Thomas Niu and Msgr. Andrew J. Verineux, M.E.P., were appointed Administrators respectively.

On this same date, Taiwan became the 21st. Chinese Ecclesiastical Province, and Taipei an Archdiocese, with Msgr. Joseph Kuo as its Archbishop, being consacrated on October 26, 1952. When he resigned from this office on December 19, 1959, he was succeeded by Cardinal Tien Kengsin as Administrator.

In 1953 Father Osorno started the mission among the aboriginal people. He learned the language and the queen of Chiaping, his husband and many of their  people were baptized. From that on most of the aboriginal people became Catholics.

After these succession of moves the Dominicans retained only Tainan and Kaohsiung, an area that is so extensive that challenged all the energies of even the most zealous Dominicans missionaries assigned there.  In 1953, an Apostolic School for Taiwanese was first set in Kaohsiung and was later transferred to Pingtung. Then a Secondary School was inaugurated in Kaohsiung, a well-equipped hospital in Tainan and dispensary in Tsintao Tsun.

The two dioceses of Hsinchu and Tainan were established on March 21, 1961. Rev. Peter Tou was appointed Bishop of Hsinchu and Rev. Stanislaus Lokuang of Tainan. Kaohsiung became a diocese on April 1, 1961 and Rev. Joseph Cheng, O.P., as its Bishop. Chiayi and Taichung became dioceses on April 11, 1962, with Msgr. Kupfer as Bishop of Taichung and Msgr. Niu Administrator of Chiayi. Hualien became a diocese on July 15, 1963 with Msgr. Verinewx as Administrator. On March 2, 1966, Msgr. Lokuang became Archbishop of Taipei and installed on May 15. On June 16, Msgr. Paul Cheng, auxiliary bishop of Taipei became the Bishop of Tainan, being installed on July 24.

The Chinese Bishops Conference was established in 1967. Archbishop Joseph Kuo was elected as first president.

Kinma was established as an Apostolic Administration on September 25, 1968, with Msgr. Philip Cote, S.J. as its administration. He was installed in office on February 1, 1969. When he died on January 16, 1970, Msgr. Alfons Van Buggenhout, CICM took over the Administration. He was installed on February 13, 1970. On August 20, 1969, Msgr. Paul Cheng succeeded Msgr. Niu as Administrator of Chiayi. Penghu was erected as an apostolic administration on February 24, 1970 with Msgr. Edouard G. Quint, OFM as its Administrator. Msgr. Matthew Kia was elected Bishop of Chiayi on June 13, 1970.

Cardinal Paul Yupin was elected president of the Chinese Bishops Conference, on April 13, 1971.

Since so many people  fled from the Communist in Mainland China many Congregations  also came and they started hospitals, schools, churches dispensaries....

Nevertheless we have to note down that because so many people  came from China at that time then, one of the things that enticed many of them including those from Taiwan to go to Church was the Caritas help coming from USA. They were distributed through the church. At that time the people were so poor, so they approached the church, not just to know  the faith an churches become full. Many of the conversions were made without knowing almost anything about the faith, but there were so many who desired to be baptized each year. In addition, the Church officials were very involved in politics. The bishops ere with the government, that thanks to that the Church received much privilege from the government.

In the 80’s, while Taiwan was still under de martial law, some priest had started to be involved with workers both local as well as foreign ones. They organized le Labor Education for these marginalized people so that the could know and claim for their rights. But since Taiwan was still under the Martial Law, the government objected to these move. The organizers, especially a Columban Father, then in the Tao Yuan area, who was involved in this activity was expelled from the country. He was not allowed to return to Taiwan. Another Jesuit Father in charge of the Rerum Novarum Center in Taipei was asked to go for vacation and remain in his country for a year before he could return to Taiwan.

In later years, as the Island has progressed economically, foreign workers were allowed to come  to work in construction and factory work, as well as care givers and foreign spouses. This had become one of the groups that the Church had dedicated its services, since these people encounter lots of problems with their brokers who exploit them with exorbitant fees, and employers who disregard the Labor Law. So NGOs grew up all over the island, mostly supervised by Catholics groups to provide moral, social, legal and including material help to these people who are exploited, manipulated, abused and prejudiced.

Even when there are rules that were established for the observance in the democratic society of Taiwan in the present, still, these workers fall victims to their masters, due to the formers' ignorance of their right and fear of being sent back to their countries of origin. Foreign spouses are mostly obtained through deception and promise of a better life.

To all of these problems the Church in Taiwan is greatly concerned and is at the side of these unfortunate children of God. They are being provided with Sunday services as well as times for recreation and socialization. Besides, these foreign workers had also added to the number of Catholics existing in Taiwan

 

TAIPEI

HSINCHU

TAICHUNG

CHIAYI

TAINAN

KAOHSIUNG

HUALIEN

KINMA

CATHOLICS

98014

52228

34102

11396

16536

46454

55649

72

BISHOPS

5

1

2

1

1

2

3

 

DIOCESAN

65

40

26

37

31

21

45

PRIEST  RELIGIOS

171

47

46

223

27

71

13

1

CHINESE

127

33

35

36

45

43

20

FOREIGNERS

109

54

37

24

13

49

38

1

BROTHERS CHINESE

45

5

11

3

2

3

1

FOREIGNERS

15

1

5

2

4

2

4

SISTERS  CHINESE

268

117

111

48

49

94

84

1

FOREIGNERS

127

60

21

9

23

46

16

4

SEMINARY  MAJOR

3

 

2

2

119

6

 

MINOR

12

 

3

7

 

CATHECHIST  MALE

4

51

58

1

2

8

24

 

FEMALE

17

91

18

1

10

13

10

 

DEANERIES

10

 

5

7

5

8

10

 

PARISHES

72

84

53

33

45

55

45

 

STATIONS

31

50

29

19

13

58

151

2

SEM. PUBL CHURCHE

101

148

85

1

56

17

 

TECHNICAL SCHOOL

2=2595

 

1=18

2=2045

1=1910

3=8277

1=1200

 

HIGH SCOOL

10=23288

3=8445

3=7151

5=9733

3=7866

1=1573

 

PRIMARY SCHOOL

4=3748

2=919

1=1218

11112

1120

1=623

 

KINDERGARTEN

38=6580

54=3961

17=1869

23=2000

20=2772

32=3840

16=1126

296

HOSTELS

19=5230

4=140

7=355

195

7800

4=300

1=22

 

HOSPITALS

4=173097

2=548179

 

2

1

1=244903

1=37686

 

CLINICS

1=8425

2=1418

3=341

3

2=5800

 

ORPHANAGES

1=25

 

 

1=32

2=50

 

HOME FOR AGE

4=239

2=139

 

255

3=26

1=103

2=94

 

RETARD CHIL CENTERS

5=539

7=436

6=401

1102

5=390

2=43