(By Fides News Service)
Progress in Belgian Congo
The total population of the Belgian Congo is roughly 14,000,000. Of these, according to statistics issued by the Apostolic Delegation at Leopoldville, 1,601,144 are Catholics, while there are 1,052,495 catechumens. The statistics refer to the period extending from June, 1935, to June, 1936, during which rapid progress has been made. The increase in the number of Catholics has been 201,518. Of this number 134,523 represent adult baptisms and 87,979 infant baptisms. The number of new elementary schools opened has been 1,183; to which must be added 31 new technical schools.
Peiping's Study House
Not long ago a Franciscan House of Chinese Studies was opened near the Catholic University of Peiping by the Delegate-General of the Friars Minor in China. This undertaking has been viewed with marked approval by the many missions of the Order in that land. The number of students in the House is now twenty-seven. All these young friars arc taking a course of studies in the Chinese language at the Peiping College of Chinese Studies, an institution noted for the efficiency of its methods.
A Jubilee at Kyoto
Fifty years ago the French Sisters of the Child Jesus, of Chauffailles, founded an orphanage at Kyoto, for this seemed at the time the only way in which they could render real assistance to the cause of the conversion of Japan. They started work in a small house for which they paid rent. Two years later they were able to build a house of their own with accommodation for fifty children. Soon afterwards a workshop for about three hundred young girls was opened. A number of Japanese ladies, patronesses of this orphanage, have celebrated the fiftieth anniversary by entirely renovating the buildings and bringing them up to modern standards.
The new Sultan of Ihangiro, East Africa, Peter Mugunda, has had requiem Masses for the soul of his father, the late Sultan, said in all the churches of the mission. Large numbers of natives attended. The late Sultan died fortified by the rites of the Church, and the new Sultan abolished all pagan rites in connection with his coronation.
The Holy Father's Day
The •' Holy Father's Day " was celebrated in South India on February 7. A large public meeting of Catholics was held in Madras, at which special prayers were offered for the Pope's speedy return to health.
The anti-Catholic riot which broke out in Bangalore, some weeks ago, on account of a fantastic rumour that two Mohammedan boys had been kidnapped and were about to be sacrificed by the Christians, turns out to have been less grave than was at first reported. The new church of St. Philomena, which the assailants imagined was to see the human sacrifice as soon as it was completed, had its windows broken and two of its statues mutilated, and the mob destroyed the huts of coolies engaged in the building work. The outbreak was sufficiently serious, however, to entail loss of life, for two persons fell when the police opened fire on the rioters.
Conversions at Hanyang
In consequence of unusually large numbers of conversions in the Vicariate of Hanyang, China, the Fathers of St. Columban, who are in charge of this mission, have started night schools for the instruction of grown men. These schools exist not only in Hanyang city, but in many country localities. Last year in the city alone some four hundred men, prepared in this way, were admitted to baptism. The pupils are men employed in gaining a livelihood, for themselves and for their families, during the daytime, but who are willing to devote two hours every evening to receiving religious instruction.
Mgr. Canon Charles Quinet. VicarGeneral for foreign Catholics in Paris, was present at a reunion organised by the " Franco-Orient " committee in the French capital, in order to welcome a number of emigrant Chaldean Catholics who have taken refuge in that city. In the course of his address Canon Quenet spoke of the long and sad history of the Chaldean faithful and of their patience in the face of much persecution endured on account of their religious belief.
India's Native Clergy
An Ordination at Travancore Recently, at St. Joseph's seminary, at Alwaye, Travancore, the Archbishop of Verapoly held an ordination at which 23 new priests were ordained. They are all of the Latin rite and belong to the dioceses of Verapoly, Cochin, Mylapore, Vizagapatam and Dacca. On the next day the Bishop of Changanacherry ordained 19 priests of the Syrian rite, all of whom belong to the Changanacherry diocese. A month earlier seven new priests of the Ernakulam Archdiocese were ordained at the time of the celebrations held in honour of the silver jubilee of the episcopal consecration of their Archbishop.