An African Priest
An African priest, Fr. Petro Kukera, of the Vicariate Apostolic of Masaka, Uganda, has recently been the guest of the White Fathers at Heston, prior to his return to his country, His Bishop is Mgr. Kiwanuka, the African Bishop consecrated by the Pope last autumn.
Fr. Kukera, who was ordained in 1933, was teaching Dogmatic Theology at one of the White Father Seminaries in Africa, and accompanied Bishop Kiwanuka part of the way to Rome for the latter's consecration. In Rome itself he has been studying for a D.C.L. degree up to the eve of lialy's entry into the war. Both Fr. Kukera and his Bishop were received by the Pope in November of last year.
Fr. Kukera, who has also had experience in mission work in his country, has described in a brief interview the progress of Catholic Action among African Catholics. Meetings are held at Mission stations twice monthly, when discussions are held on the best means of spreading the Faith. Fervour in religion is seen in the excellent attendance at daily Mass, and at one station 300 is the average, people coming fasting and on foot from distances as much as three miles.
The training of an African student for the priesthood takes 17 years, and under the White Fathers, who have the Uganda Missions in their care, there are 60 being prepared to take their place in the growing ranks of native clergy, who now number close on 70. These priests, though secular, follow a rule of life adapted from that of their tutors, the White Fathers, they reside at stations in groups of three, arid follow the same spiritual exercises as the White Fathers.
Sister Christina Mary Jung, born of Chinese parents in San Franeisco, recently made her profession of temporary vows at the Convent of the Maryknoll Sisters, New York, Her parents and several of her brothers and sisters are converts to Catholicism and are members of St. Mary's Chinese Mission, San Francisco. One of her sisters, Sister Margaret Marie, was professed in the Maryknoll community last year, and sailed from San Francisco for South China. She is at present labouring among the Chinese refugees who have been obliged to flee from the war-torn and devestated villages of the interior and to seek shelter in Hong Kong.
Friars Were Pioneers
The association of the Franciscans With the early evangelisation of America is well known. It will be recalled that two friars, with Fr. Juan Perez de Marchena at their head (confessor to the famous Queen Isabel of Spain) accompanied Columbus to America, Perez offering Mass for the first time at Port Conception, Haiti,. in 1493, on the discoverer's second voyage. Spanish Franciscans from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries were practically the only missionaries to labour sueceesfully among the Bolivian Indians. In the seventeenth century St. Francis Solano spent 14 years instruct ing the natives of Argentine. It was a Catholic Bishop, Zumarraga, who set up the first printing press in the New World, and Spanesb Franciscans first planted oranges in
Fr. Joseph Trocelier, 0.M.I., has been named Coadjutor with right of succession to the Vicar Apostolic of Mackenzie, Canada. He is stationed at Aklavik, N.W. Territory. The Vicar Apostolic is Mgr. Gabriel Breynat, 0.M.1., Titular Bishop of Adratnyttium, who was born in France in 1867, and consecrated in 1902. He was named Assistant at the Pontifical Throne in 1936.
Among the missionaries working in territories subject to propaganda, there are 8,795 French priests, Brothers and Sisters; 3,136 Italians; 5,013 Germans; 3,211 Dutch ; 2,859 Belgians; 1,958 Irish ; 1,626 Spaniards; 1,042 English ; 1,850 Canadians, and 1,402 Americans. These figures were given in an English broadcast on the Vatican Radio recently, the speaker going on to say: " It reminds us forcefully that the epostolate of international charity has not abated in the East, while the Christian West is gasping tinder the loss inflicted by its weapons of war."
Conversions in Japan
Last year in Japan the num her of Catholics increased by 4,272, and 220 adult baptisms were administered. In Korea the increase in Catholics is 8,095. The total Catholic population is now 283,491. The greatest number of conversions have taken place in the larger cities like Tokyo and Osaka, and they are to be found especially among university students, Five Japanese priests and some 20 seminarians are serving with the national forces.