Chinese Apostolate in the Diocese

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By Carlos Legaspi Jr.

Questions that Matter

Friday, August 8, 2014


RECENTLY, the Diocese of Bacolod jubilantly celebrated the 50th year of the Chinese Catholic mission in Bacolod. It is something I'm proud of as a product of a Catholic Chinese school. If one really looks at the history of the coming of the Chinese missions in the city, one could really see the strong missionary zeal of the young Chinese missionaries. Of course, it was a forced leave for them from mainland China. In short, their being missionaries to the Philippines was forced by the communist occupation of mainland China. Anyway, we really thank them for being here.

Bishop Manuel Yap, D.D. gave shelter to Chinese Catholic priests who fled China due to the persecution by the Communists. By special faculty, these priests served the Chinese and Chinese mestizos community.

Fr. Peter Tsang and Fr. Joseph Wang initiated the Apostolate in 1954. The Filipino-Chinese apostolate began by teaching at Tay Tung High School and with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Bishop's residence until a center for the Filipino-Chinese was erected through the pastoral care of Fr. John Liu in 1957.

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The Queen of Peace Parish was established when the mission in Bacolod under Bishop Yap was realized through a vision that a Filipino-Chinese Apostolate has to begin that time. It was also in 1957 that St. John Institute was established through the creative vision of Fr. John Su.

Fr. Tsang and Fr. Wang had to leave the apostolate in the later years and left it to the care of Fr. John Liu, Fr. John Su and Fr. Andrew Kho. The triad ran the school and the apostolate. Many Chinese families were driven back to Catholicism upon seeing the divine smile of Monsignor Liu and the wisdom of Monsignor John Su.

Borrowing the words of my English teacher, Mrs. Josefina Tiu, in her article "In Thanksgiving: Praise be to God." The two of them made the perfect combination: Msgr. John Su with the help of the architects to articulate and flesh out his ideas, drew the blueprint of what is now a three-campus, St. John's Insitute... Msgr. John Liu was the financial arranger and manager, going around indefatigably, raising money so that magnificent and exquisite monuments of God's glory could be built - the Queen of Peace Church, St. John's Institute and Mt. of Beatitudes."

The two continued to win more faithful to the Church. As they grow older, Monsignor John Su, started recruiting for vocations to continue their apostolate. He looked for young people who would join him in serving the Chinese community not only in Bacolod, but even in other places in the country. I was recruited to enter his formation but there was no seminary yet, so we have to squat at diocesan seminaries. I was made to stay at the Sacred Heart Seminary but Msgr. Su visited me once a month and continued to instill upon me the principles of the Chinese apostolate. But, I decided later to stay behind.

Monsignor Liu became my confessor and my Father. He would have Robert fetch me every Saturday afternoon to help distribute communion and would give me allowance for the week. He invested me with the religious habit long before the formal investiture. He kept on praying for me to keep the fire burning.

So, today, the Chinese Catholics are growing in number not only at the Our Queen of Peace Parish but all over the Diocese. Thanks to the Chinese Fathers and to those who continue their apostolates.

Belated Golden Birthday greetings to UNO-R's Engineering Dean Engr. Christopher Taclobos and also birthday greetings to Rev. Fr. Eduardo Celiz, OAR.

St. Ezekiel Moreno, St. Lorenzo Ruiz and St. Pedro Calungsod, Pope St. John Paul II, Msgr. John Liu and John Su, Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 08, 2014.

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