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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/417

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MISSION


365


MISSION


the Holy See selected from their number the prefects Apostolic and the Apostolic delegate for that country, they exercise the apostolate by preaching and by works of charity. One of the Lazarist missionaries in Persia said forty years ago: "No mission is so militant and perhaps also so ditficult as this."

In China, which is one of the widest fields for apos- tolic labour, the Lazarists are in charge of the impor- tant missions of Peking and of several vicariates Apostolic. Sent to China towards the close of the eighteenth century, during the early part of the nine- teenth century they passed through most trj'ing times. Persecutions burst forth sometimes in certain localities, sometimes everywhere. In 1820 Francis R^gis Clet (q.v.), a Lazarist, died a martyr, and in 1840 Jean-Gabriel Perboyre (q.v.) had a like fate and like honour. Both have been beatified. The work of spreading the Gospel was not interrupted, however. Apostolic work hasbeen prosperous. Instead of the old residence of Petang at Peking a new and much more commodious residence has been erected on a large tract of land given by the Chinese Government and a new cathedral was begun in December 1888. This important work was begun and finished by the bishop, Mgr Tagliabue, and Rev. .\. Favier who after became Bishop of Peking. Around the cathedral of Peking are grouped the theological and preparatory semina- ries, a printing office, schools, and charitable institu- tions. Apostolic zeal has not grown lax. In 1908 the Lazarists of the Vicariate of Peking had the joy of num- bering more than thirty thousand baptisms of adults. The total for the last five years was fully, if not be- yond, one hundred thousand conversions. The Lazarists in China have six other vicariates Apostolic with their centres at Young-Ping-Fou and Ching- Ting-Fou in Tche-Ly; Ning-Po in the Province of Tche-Kiang; Kiou-Kiang, Fou-Tcheou-Fou and ICi- Ngan-Fou in the Province of Kiang-Si. In the missions entrusted to the Lazarists in China there are at present one hundred and forty-five European Lazarists and thirty-five Chinese Lazarists, eleven secular priests from Europe and eighty-nine native secular clergy. The Lazarists in China have two internal seminaries or novitiates. The procurator of these missions resides at Shanghai.

Such are the works of the Congregation of the Mis- sion carried on by its 3249 members (1909), priests, students, lay brothers, and novices. It may be added that wherever they are, there is commonly to be found the other congregation founded by St. Vincent, the Daughters or Sisters of Charity (Cornettes). Such is the case in Europe, in America, and even on the for- eign missions as in Madagascar, Persia, Syria, China. They number (1910) more than 30,000 and labour also in places where the Congregation of the Mission is not established.

The English Speaking Lazarists.— (1) The Irish Province. — During St. Vincent's lifetime his priests were sent to Ireland at the request of Innocent X, to help the persecuted Catholics. Eight priests went to Limerick and Cashel. In Cashel and the surround- ing towns they gave missions and heard eighty thou- sand general confessions. In Limerick too their suc- cess was most marked and its memory is not yet dead. But new and terrible persecutions under Cromwell, forced the missionaries to go into hiding and ultimately to fly the country. A lay brother who had accom- panied them died a martyr's death. When Maynooth College was founded in 1798, Father Edward Ferri.s, an assistant of the superior general, was allowed by his superiors to come to the aid of the new college. Archbishop Troy of Dublin had asked for him and made him dean of the new seminary. A few years later he took the chair of moral theology which he held until his death, 26 November, 1809. There is a tradition that his copy of the " Rules " of the congrega- tion, found at Maynooth after his death, gave the first


impulse to what resulted in the establishment of the community in Ireland. Early in the last century when the lack of church accommodation had been partially supplied, the desire of establishing Lazarists or some kindred institute for missions in Ireland was expressed by Dr. Doyle who had known them in Coitnbra, by Dr. Maher who had been with them at Montecitorio and by Father Fitzgerald, O.P., of Carlow College, but nothing was done. In 1832 four young men at Maynooth approaching ordination, impressed by the dangers surrounding the ministry, and the importance of working for God and the salvation of souls, agreed that a community life was desirable for them. Tliey were James Lynch, Peter Richard Kenriek, Anthony Rej-nolds, and Michael Burke, all of the Diocese of Dublin. On consulting with the senior dean, they were directed to the Congregation of the Mission. The dean. Father Philip Dowley, soon after became their leader. He had just been made vice-president of the college but resigned. About this time they were joined by Father Thomas McNamara, a valuable recruit, as his powers of organ- ization contributed greatly to the success of the missions and other works of the congregation in Ire- land. With the approval of Archbishop Murray a small college was opened in Dublin to serve as a preparatoryseminary. Another newly-ordained priest, Rev. John McCann, supplied the fluids for the pur- chase of Castleknock. In 1838 the little church in Phibsborough, a suburb of Dublin, was placed in the hands of Dr. Murray of Dublin, to which he soon added a foimdation for two annual missions. It was for missions they had banded together, but though they gave three in their neighbourhood, other works took up all their energies. By this time they had lost Father Anthony Reynolds by death. Father Peter Richard Kendrick joined his brother, then Bishop of Philadelphia, and subsequently became Archbishop of St. Louis. Overtures were made to the congregation in Paris for the aggregation of the Irish community and this was soon accomplished ; two of the Fathers be- ginning their mtemal seminarj- course or novitiate in Paris and finishing it in Ireland under Father Girard were delegated by the superior to form these postulants.

Father Hand who had early joined the community left before this time to found All Hallows College at Drumcondra for the foreign missions. The first mission of these Lazarists was given in Athy in Dublin Diocese. It was the introduction of the modern mission into Ireland. At this and the following mis- sions the people attended in thousands and the con- fessionals were thronged night and day. The church at Phibsborough has given place to a fine Gothic structure. Here the devotion to the Sacred Heart was promoted most \'igorously after the consecration of Ireland to the Sacred Heart by the bishops in 1873. Here too the care of the poor led Father John Gowan, CM., to found a flourishing community of sisters called Sisters of the Holy Faith (q. v.) recently ap- proved by Rome. The beginnings in Cork were similar to those of Dublin. A priest of high standing desired to open a house for missionaries, on the model of the congregation but with some modifications. He began by opening a day college. He was the Rev. Michael O'Sullivan, vicar-general of the diocese. For some years the college succeeded, but afterwards did not get on so well. He then offered the college to the superior at Castleknock and entered as a member of the com- munity. Two who as superiors had a large share in the development of the Cork foundation afterwards became bishops. Dr. Lawrence Gillooly (1819-1895), Bishop of Elphin, and Dr. Neil McCabe, Bishop of Ardagh. In 185.3 a church in Sheffield where there was plenty of w ork among the poor was confided to the congregation.

St. Vincent himself had sent a member of his com- munity to the French consul in London in the hope of