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International Institute of Macau launches a new book on O Clarim co-founder

admin / January 15, 2021

Marco Carvalho

The headquarters of the International Institute of Macau, in NAPE, will host Tuesday afternoon the launching ceremony of Júlio Augusto Massa – Missionário Pensador (Júlio Augusto Massa – Missionary and Thinker), a new work that addresses the life and legacy of Father Júlio Augusto Massa, one of the co-founders of O Clarim.

Local historian Tereza Sena will introduce the book, authored by Portuguese researcher António Aresta. During the ceremony, a video message by Maria do Céu Quintas, mayor of Freixo de Espada à Cinta – the Portuguese municipality where the priest was born in 1922 – will also be broadcasted.

The new book is part of the collection Missionaries for the 21st Century and features testimonies by two former students of Father Júlio Augusto Massa, Eduardo Tavares and Father Américo Casado. With this new work, António Aresta proposes to rescue the memory of one of the most influential figures of Macau’s Catholic Church in the 20th century: “Father Júlio Massa was a philosopher. In O Clarim he wrote texts on communism, against communism, against Marxism. These texts are wonderful. The newspaper O Clarim conducted a persistent campaign against communism from 1949 on, the year the People’s Republic of China was founded. In Macau hardly anyone read in Portuguese, but anti-communist propaganda was one of the main concerns of O Clarim, Mr Aresta told this newspaper in 2019.

Júlio Augusto Massa arrived in Macau in 1935 to study at the Seminary of Saint Joseph and was later sent to Rome, where he graduated in philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University. Back in Macau, he took part in the relief service organized by the Diocese to help the Portuguese refugees from Shanghai. In May 1948, Father Massa co-founded O Clarim and was the editor-in-chief of the newspaper between 11 July and 14 November of that same year.