Monday, March 05, 2012

History of Fu Jen Catholic University of Peking

The history and tragic end to the Fu Jen Catholic University of Peking in 1950. It is a story that reveals the intimate
connection of Richard Cardinal Cushing of Boston in the re-establishment of Fu Jen Catholic University on Taiwan in 1961.

The Catholic University of Peking (Fu Jen) was founded in 1925 by the American Cassinese Congregation of the
Benedictine Order at the request of Pope Pius XI. In 1927 the University received provisional government recognition and permission to use the title Fu Jen University. At this time Fu Jen had only the College of Arts and Letters. In 1929 two more colleges were added: Natural Sciences and Education.

In 1931 the Ministry of Education granted the University permanent registration. In 1933 the Holy See transferred
the University to the care of the Society of the Divine Word. The Very Rev. Joseph Grendel, S.T.D., then Superior-General of the Society of the Divine Word was appointed Chancellor and Very Reverend Joseph Murphy, S.V.D., S.T.D., became Rector. During the difficult years of World War II the University was able to continue its work and expand. In 1946, the Very Harold Rigney, of
Chicago, was appointed Rector. In 1950, the Chinese communists took over the University and imprisoned Father Rigney for four years. More than half of the Chinese priests were murdered and imprisoned.

In 1961, Pope John XXIII ordered the building of a new Fu Jen University on Formosa (Taiwan) and contributed one
hundred thousand dollars to launch a fund raising campaign. Pope John XXIII asked Cardinal Richard Cushing to help finance the project. Cushing raised $1 million dollars. In March 1964, in recognition of his support Cardinal Cushing was awarded the Special Grand Cordon of the Order of the Brilliant Star by the Republic of China. Ambassador Dr. Tingfu F. Tsiang representing President Chiang Kai-shek, and Most Rev. Paul Yu Pin, the exiled Archbishop of Nanking, bestowed the award on the Cardinal. Upon receiving the award and in classic Cushing style, he stated, “Pope John may have difficulty getting the $100,000
so I said I would be responsible for the entire sum of one million dollars.”

Today’sFu Jen University url welcome homepage reveals the importance of Cardinal Richard Cushing’s foresight and generosity. “Fu Jen Catholic University is a comprehensive university founded by the Holy See. Currently, the University comprises 9
colleges, namely Liberal Arts, Arts, Foreign Languages, Science and Engineering, Human Ecology, Law, Social Sciences, Management, Medicine, 48 departments, offering 46 master's programs, 22 in-service master's programs, 11 Ph.D. programs, and 15 departments in the School of Continuing Education. The land capacity of the university is about 35 hectares and current student enrollment is 26,000. The university has about 120 sister schools worldwide. The university strives to provide students with a diversified, holistic, interdisciplinary, and international learning environment.”


Blogger John M Morgan said...

Bill -- Interested in your post about Cardinal Cushing and Fu Jen University. I am current working in the Robert Myers Archives of the Divine Word Missionaries at Techny on research related to the original Fu Jen in Peking (Beijing) and the other SVD universities in Japan and the Philippines. Would love to chat with you about your interests in this topic. You can reach me at or on my cell at 404-392-8075. Peace and blessings, John M. Morgan

9:56 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home