ASIA/TAIWAN - The Camillians in Lotung to "look after and evangelize"

Tuesday, 31 July 2018


Lotung (Agenzia Fides) - In 1952, when the Camillians who worked in China since 1946 were expelled, a group of them decided to head for Thailand, another group to Taiwan. Already in China they had adopted this motto to distinguish their work: "Look after and Evangelize". Moving to Taiwan, they wanted to keep it as a program of apostolate.
They then began "to take care" of the people, with a small hospital of 12 beds and, at the same time, they dedicated themselves "to evangelization" in the district entrusted to them by the Archbishop. As Fr. Giuseppe Didone, provincial superior of the Camillians of Taiwan told Agenzia Fides, as well as a small church next to the hospital, the Camillians began evangelization among the aborigines. Since these were poor, when they came to the hospital almost everyone was taken care of for free. One day an old lady returned to the hospital and asked the missionary: "Come and talk to us about your God, who is so good".
Evangelization also began in Lotung, and a two-story house was rented for this purpose. Since Christians quickly increased, the place was soon insufficient, so this is when the idea of a church began, of which the construction began on December 26, 1957. The provincial superior of the time, Camillian Fr. Aldo Antonelli, priest, doctor and engineer, made the project and followed the works and realization. The church, inaugurated on September 28, 1958, therefore 60 years ago, is of Gothic style and the stained glass windows make it an artistic masterpiece, so much so that lately it has been recognized by the government as a national artistic monument. Dedicated to the Madonna Assunta, it has some oriental-style nuances, such as the censer and the altar of the ancestors, to conform it to Chinese culture.
On August 12th, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its consecration and the eve of the liturgical solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, great celebrations are scheduled, presided over by the Archbishop of Taipei, Mgr. John Hung. In addition, drawing competitions and other activities related to the anniversary have been organized. (GD) (Agenzia Fides, 31/7/2018)