Editorial - The dream dies and lives
The Far East magazine issues from 1946-1952 are filled with post-war stories from the Philippines, Burma, Korea and China. There is hope and disquiet. New missions were opening; Japan was the first new mission after World War II, followed by missions to Fiji, Peru and Chile.
As Communist forces in China consolidated their power, the future for the Church began to look uncertain. The Korean War erupted on July 25, 1950 with the invasion from the north by Communist forces. Information in The Far East was sporadic about the fate of priests in Korea who were missing in the conflict. Gradually the grim story unfolded of executions and death, of priests still missing.
Back in China the grip of the Communists tightened on the country; Columban missionaries and other priests and religious were expelled. Denounced at show trials they left the country never to return. Finally, Bishop Galvin was expelled in 1952 and escorted by soldiers to Hong Kong. The dream and work of 40 years was over.
Yet they left behind Chinese who remained steadfast in their faith, as loyal and determined as any Roman martyr, for martyrs they became.
The missions of Fiji, Peru and Chile were new missions full of promise. As one door closed, another opened; Korea recovered from the war and experienced a springtime of missionary activity.
Fr Gary Walker