Online Lecture:

Zbigniew Wesołowski SVD: 我在天主教輔仁大學的工作經驗 (1999-2012): 天主教大學作為掌握知識及成人處世的場所 (My Experiences at Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan [1999-2012]: The Catholic University as a Place of Mastering Knowledge and Becoming a Human Social Being)

International Workshop on “Doing Holistic Mission as Social Healing: Mapping the Experience of SVD and SSpS in Taiwan” (關懷全人體現神聖與社會療癒:聖言會與聖神會在台灣的經驗), December 28-29th, 2021


輔仁大學「宗教地景、療癒與社會」標竿計畫辦公室 in Cooperation with
Center of Interreligious Dialogue – Fu Jen University, Department of Religious Studies
Fu Jen Academia Catholica
Moumenta Serica Sinological Research Center


It was a privilege given to me by God to work at Fu Jen Catholic University in the years from 1999 to 2012. My stay there coincided with a turbulent time in which the integration of the three independent unities of Fu Jen Catholic University, i.e., the SVD, Jesuit and diocesan-clergy sections, was taking place. By 2002 this integration, especially in view of governance, finances, and personnel, was accomplished on paper, but not in reality.By the year of 2002 the integration was a fact on paper, but not in reality. It has turned out to be a long and fatiguing process which has been hopefully finished by now!

From 1999 to 2012, I worked in the Center for Holistic Education, teaching courses in Philosophy of Life and Professional Ethics. Besides, I could also teach other subjects, such as Western Sinology (its history and achievements) or (Early Western) Philosophy of Language. The Center is responsible for integrating the Holistic Education Curriculum of the university. Its basic three subjects are: Introduction to University Life, Philosophy of Life, and Professional Ethics. Thus, at the heart of this education is the concern that university students keep and develop their ability to think for themselves, and especially about moral values. Furthermore, in the years from 2000 to 2004, I was director of the Development Office for Mission and Identity of the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries at Fu Jen. Against the background of the turbulent integration process of Fu Jen, this was really a challenging task. My main concern here was the historical connection of Fu Jen Catholic University, re-founded in 1961 in Taiwan, with its predecessor – Fu Jen Catholic University of Peking, which was run by the Divine Word Missionaries from 1933 to 1951.I sought to preserve the spiritual continuity of the timeline – past, present, and future. Moreover, for one year and a half, 2010-2012, I was also Coordinator for Professional Ethics at Fu Jen. It was a continuous struggle and search for “burning hearts” among the university teachers to prepare adequate materials for Fu Jen students in order to raise their moral awareness, i.e., the ability to detect and appreciate the ethical aspects of decisions in life and profession that one must continuously make. Personally, I am convinced that my most successful and greatest contribution at Fu Jen was my work within the goal of the dialogue with cultures. On August 1, 2002 Fu Jen Catholic University and Monumenta Serica Institute co-founded the “Monumenta Serica Sinological Research Center” at the College of Foreign Languages and Literature. This establishment had its historical meaning and marked anew an intimate relationship between the Monumenta Serica Institute and Fu Jen Catholic University. Monumenta Serica is an academic institution run by the Society of the Divine Word and is located in the headquarters of the German Province of the SVD in Sankt Augustin (Germany), where I am working now. This cooperation with Monumenta Serica has helped the university to achieve its goals, serving to facilitate Sino-Western cultural exchange and further the dialogue and mutual growth of Chinese culture and Christian faith. From 2002 to 2012, i.e., during the ten- years when I was director of the Monumenta Serica Sinological Research Center at Fu Jen Catholic University, we were able to organize many academic activities.

During my thirteen years at Fu Jen Catholic University, I discovered and experienced its potential for collective healing. The ability to cope with life’s challenges does not magically arise in an individual, but it is cultivated through human relations, shared experience, communication, the exchange of life stories and group growth, all of which provide individuals with the emotional security they need. Many young people found this collective support during their studies at Fu Jen University. Perhaps it was in one of the many student associations, in a weekly film viewing, in a support group or a service for the disadvantaged groups in society. Whatever the activity, the spaces created by these social networks provide students with invaluable support. They allow young people to foster the social relations that are critical for their personal development and sound mental well-being. It is often the casual, less formally structured support networks that play the most impactful role in ensuring the mental well-being of students.

In the end, I want to stress again one point of my whole Fu Jen experience: It was always a great joy for me to see most of the young Taiwanese students willingly and cheerfully performing their service for mentally and physically disabled people! Fu Jen has a future and so does Taiwan!