Br, Joche-Albert Ly

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Chapter II:

Teacher and Missionary

1-An eminent teacher
Mention was made above of the years 1940 to 1944, as the years of Brother Joche Albert’s university career; but these four years could very well have been advanced one year to 1939, when his country had already suffered the invasion and had been partly occupied. Three other Brothers began their higher studies at the same time. The Catholic university of Fu Jen in Peking remained – although not to the liking of the new masters – loyal to the national ideal. Truly and in justice General Chiang Kai Shek could testify after the victory, that only the flag of the Catholic University of Fu Jen could be hoisted by the side of the flag of National China because of its loyalty to the motherland.
Brother Joche-Albert loved his country deeply. His patriotism was undoubtedly strengthened by the unjust oppression on the part of the Japanese invaders. Having been born relatively near Peking, and having studied within the walls of the Imperial City, Brother Albert could not but have a deep love for his motherland. We must also remember that the best years of his life were spent in the province of Shantung, birthplace of Confucius. Brother Albert’s patriotism, let it be said, never degenerated into jingoistic nationalism. His teaching profession necessarily included the civic training of his students; and he always knew how to inspire them with a sincere love of God and Country. How did he manage to steer clear of trouble during the years of Japanese occupation? We ignore it, but given his ability, he successfully avoided every clash.
The fact that he had taught school during foreign domination was brought to light by the Communists during his brainwashing of 1945. Both he and Rev. Brother Philippe Wu were publicly accused of collaboration with the enemy. The two defended themselves against the imputation, and Brother Albert refuted it successful)y with his usual fiery eloquence. He said in brief: "We are educators by profession and we look after the training of youth. We endeavour to raise the moral and scientific standard of our pupils, thereby training them in good citizenship. In acting thus, we contribute to the national growth and prosperity. Is that what you call collaborating with the Japanese? We have but one flag; we are Chinese and work for the good of our motherland - China." (Rev. Bro. Philippe Wu).
We have already treated of Brother Albert's moral influence over his students. Another palpable proof of it is perhaps the strong attraction which his non-christian students felt toward him and his doctrine. Wherever he was assigned, he soon found himself surrounded by a group of catechumens; this was most noticeable in Chefoo, Shanghai and Chungking. To many, the greatest proof of Brother Albert's ascendancy over his students lies in the fact that it was he who appeased the rioting students on the occasion of the Marists' expulsion from Chefoo. Of this, more later on.

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