From Our Brussels. Correspondent
A significant and important event, to a certain extent almost unique, took place recently in Belgium, as reported in the
Catholic Herald last week. Its character was chiefly religious and Catholic, and
yet its interest and significance radiate undoubtedly beyond the limits of the religious sphere proper.
A former Chinese Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, now Dom Pierre-Celestin, Lou-Tseng-Tsiang, was ordained priest.
1 his is his life-story in brief :— Mr. Lou-Tseng-Tsiang was born in 'Shanghai. Having prepared himself for the diplomatic career, he was appointed at the early age of nineteen attaché at the Chinese Legation in St. Petersburg.
The young attache was advised that, should he ever marry and became a widower, he should enter " the oldest of all religious communities, so as to partake of the very springs of Christian thought."
When in Russia Mr. Lou-Tseng-Tsiang married a Mlle Bovy. She. was a Catholic, and after ten years of married life, and undoubtedly under his wife's tender and persistent influence, Mr. Lou (he was then a Protestant, as his father had been) embraced the Catholic faith.
In 1926—when at Berne—he lost his beloved "Berthe," and the very next year —on October 4, 1927—he entered the Benedictine Abbey of St. Andrew, near Lophem, not far from Bruges, and became a novice on January 15. Now he is a priest.
The religious ceremony at the abbey was majestic and impressive. Not only were the Chinese Charges d'affaires in Brussels and in Paris, the Chinese Ambassador in Moscow, the Chinese Ministers at Madrid and The Hague present, but the Brussels Charge d'affaires represented officially his government.
That such an attitude on the part of official China is perhaps evidence of a good deal of religious indifference it would be idle to deny. It is none the less certain that it also bears witness to the influence and prestige acquired in China by the indefatigable efforts of the Catholic Church. These efforts will undoubtedly be made still more fruitful by the well-known policy of the Pope —a policy already partially realized—tending to give that huge country with practically unlimited possibilities a definitely native Church.
CATHOLIC FILM SOCIETY
On Wednesday, July 3, the Catholic Film Socitty held its last sneeting of the season at the Interval Club. A very interesting and instructive lecture was given by Mr. Arthur I.eslie on the art of Mr. Charles Chaplin. This was followed by some of Chaplin's films. The Eucharistic Congress at Buenos Aires. 1935, was also included in the programme.
The meeting was very well attended, and the Rev. Ferdinand Valentine, OP., explained that the society was really now -well established, and that they could look forward with confidence to the autumn season.
New members will be welcomed and any reader wishing to help in the Projection Units should write to the honorary secretary, c/o Dominican Priory, Woodchester, Stroud.