‘Help the Chinese People Become Catholic’: Plea of an Exiled Priest

I just read in Our Sunday Visitor an inspiring account of the mission of a fairly young Chinese priest who was exiled from China six years ago. The writer of the article, Emily Stimpson, gives him the cover name of Father Francis Chan.

Father ‘Chan’ was born in 1965, a year after the cultural revolution began its bloodbath of purges. He came from a once very wealthy family that traced its Catholic ancestry back three hundred years. One of his grandmothers was martyred by Chairman Mao’s soldiers, the other was tortured and imprisoned for her Faith. “’Do not cry,’ she shouted at us as she was being dragged away by police” Father Chan recalled. “’I am being beaten. It is wonderful. I am so happy.’ She had told her grandson, when he was just a child, that he would be a priest and go to prison.

With the fall of China to the communists in 1949, the ‘Chan’ family lost all their property. “By the time I was born,” Father Chan told Our Sunday Visitor, “we had nothing — no food, no clothes. But we had our Catholic faith. That made me very happy.”

Read more about Father Chan’s courageous apostolate in ministering to the faithful as a priest in China here. Read about his great suffering not only from the communists, but, as hinted at in the article, even spiritually from his own bishop. This is a priest who wants to convert China to the one true Catholic Faith. He is pleading in exile for Catholic missionaries to come to China and is wondering why foreign evangelicals, with a false gospel, are doing more evangelizing there than Catholic missionaries.

We at Saint Benedict Center know the answer to that question and we have given that answer “from the Housetops” for over sixty years. It is the practical universal denial of the dogma “no salvation outside the Church” that spelled the end of true missionary zeal. I do not know the real identity of Father Chan or where he is residing now, but I do suspect that he would agree.