BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE AND EVANGELIZATION – Taiwan university organizes conference to seek ways to promote evangelization

Jasmin Yiu

Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan has organized a conference named “Between Knowledge and Evangelization” last Wednesday, 2nd May. A number of publications from Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong were invited to attend the conference, in order to discuss professionalism in publishing Chinese Catholics documents and articles, academic research, as well as to take up Catholic media in East Asia region.

Fr Leszek Niewdana, SVD, Vice-President for Mission at the university, says that society is changing, leading the Church has encountered different challenges. He also took the university as an example, saying that only 1% of the students are Catholic, which makes him feel the urgency of evangelization. “I hope through the exchanging ideas in these conferences, we can also provide a platform for more people to understand the Church and the Catholic faith,” he added.

Fr Zbigniew Wesolowski, SVD, came all the way from Germany, to introduce German sociologist Ulrich Beck’s idea on “The Metamorphosis of the Word and China’s Place and Role on Our Present-day Globe,” hoping to draw new inspiration from the conference to improve the publication work in Chinese.

Scholars from different universities gave speeches with different themes, including “The Collation and Publication of the Vatican’s Chinese documents,” given by Mr Ren DaYuan from Beijing Foreign Studies University; “Looking Back at 20 Years of Translation and Publication in Beijing,” by Professor Leopold Leeb from RenMin University of China; “The Monumenta Serica Institute: A Catholic Sinological Institute between its Vision and Challenges” by Gregor Weimar from Monumenta Serica, etc.

Likewise, Taipei’s and Macau’s Ricci Institute also attended and presented the mission of the organization. Fr Stephan Rothlin, SJ, mentioned that many books and newly purchased computers were destroyed by typhoon Hato last year. Most of them could not be restored or used. “It’s a tragedy, yes, however, I would take it as an opportunity to recover the memory lost,” he remarked.

In addition, he thinks the missionaries throughout the years in Macau are at an advantage. “There is an opportunity for Macau to be a centre to promote cross cultural understanding of responsible leadership dilemmas, and social innovation practice to engage key opinion leaders in Macau, Hong Kong, China and beyond,” he said.

In the afternoon section of the conference, different Catholic media from Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong were invited to share ways and ideas on mass communication, as well as challenges it faces with the storm of social media.

Being the official newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Macau, as well as having published several books in the past few years, O CLARIM had a chance to share thoughts and ideas on the topic “The mission of Evangelization and Formation for Catholic Media.”

Former Bishop José Lai had given O CLARIM the mission of providing information and formation. Also, coinciding with O CLARIM’s 70th Anniversary, we briefly shared our history and future challenges, as well as the mission and importance of Catholic media in the society.

Secretary General Fr Otfried Chan of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference (Taiwan) concluded that evangelization on words cannot be separated from the Catholic doctrine, hence he expressed his wish that the profession can grow in accuracy in translation work; if not, evangelization will be very difficult.