Newspaper Archive of
Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
June 22, 1951     Arkansas Catholic
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June 22, 1951

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THE GUARDIAN, JUNE 22, 1951, Priest Writes Firsthand Of Reels&apos; (,hina Persecution By Rev. Joseph Moellma, O.F.M., McGehee, Ark. recent AP dispatch from Hong Kong, China, teas of the arrest of 14 American Catholic missionaries in Red China on April 18th, and the denunciation of six others, a bishop. Included in the denunciation (the usual prelude to arrest, trial, then exile, or death) were Robert Kowolski, his four F, aneiscan ! McGehee Priest Was In China a bit garbled, the to cause tOil- 'priest now !ob0ring in missions of Arkansas: Moellmann, O.F.M., of St. Anthony who served for as a missionary in the Wuchang, Hupeh, Bishop Rembert O.F.M., Remain 'After Order of Wuehang covers southmost counties o r in Central district of about 2,- including 12,000 In December 1948, 72 Chinese converts, baptized as one c]ass in the Cathedral at American and Euro- I Wuchng, Hupeh, China, several years ago, by Rev. Elgar Mindorf, Ly Brothe's and ordered home. Re-i O.F.M. (left) who died last year; Rev. Sylvester Cheng, O.F.M. the diocese were about q (center), who is still in the Wuchang Diocese; and Rev. Joseph tese priests and a Corn-I Moellman, O.F.M. (right), who is now pastor of St. Anthony Chinese Sisters. Three l Church, McGehee, Arkansas. his father. ' I suaded to permit the consecration; Later Bishop Kowalski labored and the date set was January 11, missionaries also re- the Bishop, Most Rembert Casimir Ko- formerly of Calu- his Vicar Genera], Sigfrid Schneider, of Louisville, the Franciscan Su- Reverend Leon Sul- whose home is in These three, among those in- 18th Red ar- i All three of the St. John Bap- Ohio) Province "Lots Are Falling" missionaries seldom and continue to of Divine still remaining that the outlook hu- 3ces progressively Commun- striv- the Church country. Let- for 13 years in the m;ssions of Arizona and New Mexico, and went to China in 1926. There he worked as missionary and as Rec- tor of the Minor Seminary, help-: ing Ch;nese boys in their studies towards the priesthood. He was particularly devoted to saving castaway Chinese babies. In' mes of intense famine or sick- 1942. A violent storm raged dur- ing the morning hours, so that the consecrating Bishop (Most Rev. Eugene MassI, O.F.M., Arch- bLchop of Hankow) and the co- consecrator (Most Rev. Bishop Edward Galvin, O.S.C., Bishop of Hanyang) had to cross the Langtse River to Wuchang with great danger of being drowned. ness, many poor people, feeFng But the new Bishop was finally unable to care further for their consecrated in the Cathedral at babies, would place them out in Wuchang. Less than a month let- the streets and lanes to die. Tim, er, he and his American and gu- work of the Catholic "Holy In-! fancy"--ir/ which Bishop Kowal- ski took such an untiring and i self-sacrificing part--was to gath. er such castaways into orphan-I ages. and to save as many as possible. Bishop Devoted To Chinese Babies J From the Wuchang orphanage, !several thousand such babies are now grown, and now live as good fathers and mothers, precisely because of the zeal of such as tell 9f Bshop Kowlaski. Other thou- seminaries, snds, dying of starvation or dis- rectories being tak..ese or exposure, whose lives the missionaries; of Sisters were unable to save, are t%s being curtail- till happy saints of God for all of riots being stag. eternity, precisely because zeal- time of Mass or of pus missionaries were able to of missionaries being bapt;ze them before they died. Police courts for "in- I It is particularly poignant and I unjust that Bishop Kowlaski Wrote that, during should now be accused of causing of one such Inter- the death of 16,900 such babies more insults the forty years of his Another letter has lnflrmaUon: " . . . Be- not, Tovarisch Is now tried-and-true pro- Church; rescuing It of imperial- one is that even blush or bat ,When he mouths such '* . . Do you remember counter - revolutionary u about some weren't kiddim these new laws. going to work on of heads are falling. as far as I know, with these new  roup In Tientsin ... be in the soup good about May 1st . . try to love God, to sense of hu- let Tovarisch rant and wreck. Poor guyl to harm us; but, as long things in a spirit of God, he can only ns "pay off the debt afflle0ons of Christ be paid, for the sake the Church," to hell et g'reater share in the ess and glory of I h-pc you remind from time to time to sacrifices for the in China, or the whereveg She is ,Under the heel of To- } Was Mass who know him well, aski is a bright ex- man of God who an unruffled seren-: a life of difficult 1a- heartbreaking in Calumet, Mlchi- 1884, he became 1903 at Cincin- was ordained Indiana, .' On the day he d priest, his father tragic accident in near Calumet; first holy rural Mass for for whom he labored so untiring- ly; and yet, in another sense, the accusation is a great compliment, shce it means that the Reds could find no other excuse to harass the Bishop. , Bishop Kowalskl's consecration as bishop was quite in keeping with his difficult life, for the United States had Just been drawn into the Stop-Javanese i War and the Bishop-elect with his missionaries was under house- arrest In Wuchang. Japanese military authorities were per- 1 ropean missionaries were whisk- ed off to the concentration camp of Shanghai, where they remain- ed until the war ended. Back tn his Diocese, Bishop Kowaiski began the difficult task of "picking up the pieces" in the aftermath of war, and of con- tinuing his Work of saving souls for the love of:God. Difficult and many were'the trials of those post-war times; but, gradually, new missionaries arrived; broken churches were repaired; scat- tered congregations reassembled; and the work of the missions seemed off to a new and vigorous growth. Now, of course, comes a new trialiperhaps the ' heaviest of alland the good Bshop faces his fortieth anniversary as a priest by the apparent destruc- tion of all that he and his mis- sionaries had labored so long and with such sacrifice to build. Has Unruffled :Dependence Upon Divine Providence Yet thosewh0 know Bishop Kowalski feel certain that he is facing his present time of uncer- tain agony with the unruffled de- pendence upon Divine Provdence he has practiced so long. His de- votion to prayerhas always been such that, no matter how early any of his priests should arise of a. morning, they would find the;r Bishop already on his knees at prayer in the chapel Though Bishop Kowalski would dislike and object to the telling of it, his missionaries have noted him mak- UNTOUCHED BY EARTHQUAKE .... ....... Ar00W May 13 earthquake destroyed the City of Santiago, Chile, in 1647, md left untouched among the ruins of the Church of SL Augustine :his imago :of Our Lord of the Agony. The inhabitants of the pro- regsive South American cap!tal take every: year on the same date .he XVII Century. seulpturethe work of an Augustinian monk hrough themain streets to pray repentantly for delivery:of further mrthquake&(eligious and civil authorities Join with the crowds to renew their'dev0tioa to "El Sailor de Mayo," as it Is ealled. (NO Photos) U. S. Priest Tells Of Five Months In "Red" Prison In China; Saw Friend Tortured Hong Kong. (10The harrowing details of five months in a com- munist prison during which he was sentenced to be shot and was forced to watch the torture and execution of a friend were re- vealed here by a 29-year-old Maryknoll missioner from New- rk, N.J., who has just been ban- "shed from communist China. The priest is the Ray. Edward '. Moffett, now at the Maryknoll %anguage School here, restihg up "tom his imprisonment. Thin and 3allid, he is nevertheless full o[ xcellent spirits and more in- -lined to tak about the humorous letails of his prison life than his own sufferings. "I was first arrested last July," Father Moffett said. "At that ime I was on a mission trip to ne of the country villages. The ommunists accused me of meet- ;ng nd associating with reac- Honaries to teach in our school and traveling w;thout a pass. I was held in various jails for two months before being released." Father Moffett retured to his mission where he was kept con- fined to his house along with his pastor, the Rev. Russell Sprinkle, of M:ddletown, Ohio. On Decem- ber 20, both priests were taken into custody and led off to jail. During his entire imprisonment Father Moffett was able to say Mss each day. "In a way I cannot explain, some hosts and wine were sen' to the prison with some food," Father Moffett explained. ' I was able to get a little Mass booklet with the essential ritual prayers had been p#nted for just such occasions as the one we were in. Of course, I could not use vestments or a chalice. On Christmas Day Father Sprinkle and I said three Masses each. The one who was saying would lie horizontal on the floor, pretending to be resUr/g. The other would sit alongside blocking the guards view, and pretending to be talking. "I was even able to brtn Holy Communion to other Catholic prisoners. I would hear Confes- sions whqe pretending to talk to them. Because of our proximity to the public latrine, prisoners in as many as five separate 'holy hours" daily, besides hs regular med,ttatiops, D%ine Of- fee. and he.offal prayers. No matter what the immediate fu- ture brings forth, for Bishop Ko- walski and for the many other miss%naries still in Red China, and no matter how dark and nn- hopeful seems the future for the Church in China, the China mis- sionaries now In exile to their homelands feel that "not even the gates of heD shall vreval" against the lives and labor of such men of God as Bishop Kowal.kt. Certainly, the many thousands of innocent Ch;nese babie whom Bishop Kowalsk/ personally bap- tized during hi years of devo- tion to them are hi. c.oss and hiq lory. While misguided men harrss and torture him because he was unable to save *.he earth- ly lives of those sick and starving bodies, the babev themselves ar interceding with God for the one who brought them such eternal glory. were allowed to go there with- out permission." During his imprisonment Fath- er Moffett could get little food brought in from the outside, be- cause he had no money and the Christians were poor. On feast days the Christians would send in bananas, a few eggs and an oc- casional bit of tobacco. Society Has Full Day At Fort Smith Fort Smith.One whole full day of activities by the St. Jos- eph's Mutual Aid Society began on Sunday morning, June 10th, at St. Boniface Church when seven- ty-five members marched into church to reserve the pews to re- ceive Communion in a body. Father James Foley, Spiritual Director, offered the Mass. This large group in their quarterly cor- porate Communion is an edifying parish activity. A Commnnion breakfast was served followin Mass at Port Brothers, at which Father Foley spoke. The group met at 2:00 p.m. at St Boniface Ch,rh for the act of making the Holy Year Pi- gr;mage to the four specifie, churches in Fort Smith. Father Foley, aisted by Father Boniface Buergler, newly ordained from the nrish, led the prayers at each !'parish church. Going from St. Boniface. the group .ourueyed to St. John's, then to the Immacu- lte Concen'on and finished at Christ the King. On conclusion of the pilgrimage the group gathered at the club rooms of the society for a social hour from 4 to 6 p.m. j It is reported that many mem- bers of the cuh left early in or- der to congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Leo Hammer, on the occasion of the 50th wedding anniversary, which was befn celebrated at the Knights of Columbus hall. At the regnlar meeting of the Society on Tuesday, June 12, members pronosed to repeat the Holy Year PilgrlmaEe again at the next quarterly Communion Sun- day, at which time the wives and rentives of members will be in- vited to accompany the members A rising vote of thanks was ex- tended the Soritual Director. Father Foley, for his help in mak- in this observance of the St. Jos- eph's Mutual Aid Society so per- fect. A small donation in ap- 3reciatior was given Father. F. & M. Sales Co. Frigidaire Apllance from'ire Ironers New Home Sewing Machine Complete Home Furnishing Phone 6-5573 Camden Arkansas CITIZENS NATIONAL BANK . Camden Arkansas Best Wishes to St. Louis' Parish Chastain's Camden's Leading Dept. Store Visit Our Down Stairs Store "The Style Shop" Feminine Apparel Camden Arkansas Modem Floor Covering Company ltbco Inlaid Lllioleum, Callfornlo Original Tile of all Types, Asphalt,Linoleum, Rubbe, Dyle-Tex, Plutlo EXPERT INSTALLATION Kltehen Mld Kitchens, Best in Kitchens Flexaluminua Venetiian Blinds Aluminum Screens,,:D0os. FREE ESTIMATES GLADLY GIVEN 1064 Jefferson St. Phone 6-$0$ i Arkansas' Only PHnter Speqlalizlng In School Printing Class Records - Permanent Record System College ,and High School Yearbooks , THE: HURLEY 00.O.,Inc. ' Camden .... ' "" " '- Arkansas I PACE SEVEN STRANG E BUT E L"it;I;--K n--o Fact, Ca By M. I. MURRAY xrl IML N.C.W.C. NmM Please Reserve Accommodatlo/s For the Men's Retreat To Be Held At St. Jon's Seminary, Little/Rock, Ark. on ____July 20, 21and'22 (Ceck date of Retreaty0 u will attend) ; < :.:. ,.,. Anolicant ', ) ,, Parish , "' ; City : c Cut Out and Mall thi= Applkatlon to Post Office Box 1299, LiRle Rock, Ark. '1 317 S. Adams : / Phone 6-3056 : Camden, Arkansas I SILLIMAN AGENCY COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE ., PHONE 6631 ''' Camden, Arkam I EDGAR PRYOR, ':/ I Camden . IAxlmeus 1 l$ i II I , ' ' , . . . , MAGNESS SHOE STORE ? For Better Shoes and Shoe Repairing 105 South Adams Camden Arkanm PROCTOR FUNERAL HOME AND FURNITURE STORE Camden, Arkansas i Congratulations to;St. Louis Parish and Father Joseph Murphy from the followmg County Offmmh00 Ouachita County il Parker Elliott Chas. E;00HallUm 'Bill Smead : Jud00 olds !i"