On September 7, 1918, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers sent four Missioners to China, including Maryknoll co-founder Fr. Thomas F. Price, Fr. James E. Walsh, M.M., Fr. Francis X. Ford, M.M., and Fr. Bernard F. Meyer, M.M.
This year as we prepare to celebrate 100 years of Mission Sending on September 7th, we had the privilege of sitting down with Fr. John Cioppa, M.M., an 86-year-old Maryknoll Missioner, who knew one of the original 4 Maryknoll Missioners to China – Bishop James E. Walsh.
In fact Fr. John was there in 1970 when Bishop James E. Walsh was released from a Shanghai prison after spending 12 years of his 20-year sentence primarily in solitary confinement. After the Communist takeover of China in 1949, Bishop Walsh was arrested on charges that he had spied for the Vatican and the United States in 1958. It is believed that he was the last of 7,000 foreign Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries to have been expelled from China.
Most of Fr. John’s Missionary career was spent in Hong Kong, a former British Colony, and in 1978, he was the first Maryknoll priest to be able to re-enter China since the communist takeover.
Join us as we learn more about Fr. John’s adventures in Hong Kong and China in this episode of Among the People!