Br, Joche-Albert Ly



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7-Facing the Red Typhoon
In February 1948, after the Lunar New Year, Brother Jean Marie P'eng inaugurated officially his Ming Teh High School with between 200 to 300 students in three courses that year. The following years saw the completion of the whole official programme with flattering initial results in the official examination in addition. Brother Ly assumed the external and moral discipline, as well as various classes, and above all he undertook with enthusiasm the religious formation and instruction of the students. Let us see what the above-mentioned Brother Anthony has to say:
“He himself would encourage the students to become Christian, but without forcing them. And for that purpose he held meetings, prepared hymns, etc. so as to inspire affection and help them take a fancy about Christianity. Moreover, four times a week, including Sunday, he would take them to the church to take part in the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. Needless to say that Sunday Mass, which a large number attended, held his preference. There were times where as many as 400 students came to Mass. The morning prayers of a Christian were equally part of his catechetical method, and he had them recited either in the cathedral or in the college hall.
“He took personal care of the registered catechumens and gave them religious instructions every day, at least when the parish priest did not do it himself. The latter actually taught them twice a week, while Brother Albert would fulfil his duty as catechist on the remaining days.
To add to his good luck, he had in these days two quite different parish priests, the first one was a German S.V.D., Father William Gungert, and the second was Father Kwo, one as zealous as the other, and both ready to support Brother Albert’s initiatives concerning catechumens and neophytes. The number of catechumens varied between 30 and 40 during each catechumenate period and that of the baptized college students reached about 30 that year. Brother P’eng adds that there were also three teachers baptized.
The beginning of any teaching institution in the Far East missions faces a thousand unforeseen incidents. This is what happened with the Ming Teh college, especially since the past war era dragged along with it unpleasant results among the young people. Thus, and with his outstanding personality, Brother Albert obtained good discipline among the students and serious studies. Despite so good results, he would repeat that he was still not happy with certain deficiencies which he proposed to extirpate in the second term of 1948. (Brother Anthony Ly).
Political events and the “vertical” defeat of the Nationalist Army routed everywhere by the guerrillas of Mao Tse Tung, were shattering events. Tsinan, capital of the Shantung peninsula, fell to the impetuous communist attacks on the 15th of the Eighth Moon (second half of September), and that day, the great Autumn Festival, became an excessively tragic day. Now, not only the whole Province but also all the northern Provinces were at the mercy of the Red bands: depression on the one hand, Communist decrees in many regions on the other, created a chaotic situation in the whole nation, and the best garrisoned cities would have to face the greatest dangers and would soon have to surrender. This was the fate of Tsingtao, as soon as the news of the loss of the capital was circulated.




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