The seminary was given life and was, for a long time, the place where there arose people that would avoid the ruinous end of the mission and its rebirth after decades of legal restriction.

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 political and social situation of the country settled down and permitted the missionaries to work with peace and continuity. One of the achievements of this consolidation will be the seminary, founded in 1929. In 1931 they construct a building for this reason. José Shan, ordained in 1938, is their first fruit, one of a total of seventeen Chinese who professed in the Order. There were also a great number of female vocations in the Catechists of Christ the King and the Augustinian Recollect Missionary nuns.

The first task of the religious on arriving to the villages was to check on the level of catechesis, celebrate the sacraments and pray with the Christians. Until the next visit of the priest a long time passes and the community was left under the responsibility of the catechist, who role was essential. They helped the religious to be understood with the people, explained the customs and the situation of the people, and maintained, educated and encouraged the faith of the laity. As well as giving special help to women.

On the 30th of January 1933 they opened the school for catechists. Its director, Sabino Elizondo, is helped by an old seminarian as master. They study for three years catholic doctrine and Chinese literature and receive a diploma. It was in use until 1941 when financial difficulties forced it to be closed.

Ochoa thought about establishing a congregation of nuns that would help the missionaries. But to form and instruct them he saw the need for nuns with several years professed. He probed the missionary spirit of the cloistered convents of Augustinian Recollect nuns in Spain. Three of them, as well as a Filipino nun, arrived to Kweiteh on the 19th of May 1931. They will be the founders of the Augustinian Recollect Missionary nuns.

From the school of catechists would be born another congregation of diocesan rule, the Catechists of Christ the King, a native congregation that would come to have some twenty members. In 1952, on being expelled from the mission the bishop and the foreign Recollects these religious were dispensed of their vows, obliged by the government to return to their homes.

For all this work the Holy See came to propose Kweiteh as a missionary model. But in 1937 everything was cut short by the Japanese invasion. The war sunk into poverty all the vicariate cities. From this moment a torment descends upon the mission which would end everything.

NEXT PAGE: e. The third stage (1938-1952)


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