The missions, social projects and solidarity actions are a constant in the action of the Augustinian Recollect Family. The Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine has always lived in mission, since its very birth was motivated by the opening of the first evangelization missions in the Philippines in the 17th century. Since then, he has carried out his evangelizing activity following the mandate of Jesus in the places today called “frontiers”: there where it is necessary to defend the dignity of human life, social justice, equal opportunities, the defense of the most vulnerable.

The first superior of Kweiteh Recollect’s community was the vice procurator of Shanghai de Shanghai, Francisco Javier Ochoa. He arrived on the 16th of February 1924 to prepare the residence, rent a property and advise so that the rest of the missionaries would get under way. By the middle of March he opened an English school to get to know the population and educate the young people. The other missionaries leave Manila on the 11th of March and arrive to Kweiteh on the 4th of April. All of them have two years or less ordained. They start to learn Chinese, to take on the customs and to get to know their surroundings.

In September 1924 there were now ten Augustinian Recollects and they were present in five cities in the mission. They were established within the inner wall of Kweiteh and opened their house on the 7th of July 1925. They also opened the Holy Infancy to gather in young girls abandoned in their houses.

But when the future seemed bright and promising, internal disturbances in the nation put everything in danger. In 1927 civil war broke out. The friars received an explicit order to go regress immediately to Shanghai. But the lack of unity in the foreign nations put a brake on the xenophobic feelings and calmed the general situation down. The Recollects saw the urgency to promote the mission. In July 1928 the magazine Todos Misioneros (All missionaries) came out. The composition resided firstly in Manila (the Philippines), later in Shanghai, and lastly in Marcilla (Spain). It was one of the most popular publications in the history of the Order.

In the middle of this atmosphere of conflict and bloodshed, Pope Pius XI founded the apostolic prefecture of Kweiteh. On the 8th of January 1929 they named Ochoa as apostolic prefect and Mariano Alegría pro-prefect.

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