Catholic Herald Reporter
ENGLISH members of the Immaculate Heart Missioners are joining 2,000 others throughout the world to celebrate this week the 100th anniversary of the founding of their Society.
The Immaculate Heart Missioners, commonly known as the Scheut Fathers (from Schein, a suburb of Brussels) were founded Ohl November 28, 1862, by Fr. Theophile Verbist to work for the conversion of China.
In 1865 Fr. Verbist and three companions went to China and began missionary work in the barren valleys and plains of Inner Mongolia. Fr. Verbist died in 1868 when the Society had still only 14 members. From 1865 to 1955, 667 Immaculate Heart Missioners worked in five dioceses in Inner Mongolia and northern China and won more than 300,000 converts.
Expelled from mainland China by the Communists, members of the Society are now working among the Chinese in Formosa, Hong Kong, Manila and Indonesia.
In 1888 the Scheut Fathers arrived in the Congo, and more than 700 priests and brothers have remained there during all the trouble following independence. They have trained four of the ten Congolese bishops and more than 100 of the 400 native priests. Members of the Society also work in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia, among the coloured people in the U.S. and among the Mexicans in Texas.
The Scheid Fathers came to England in 1924 and established a parish at Arlington Road. Camden Town, London. Fr. van Zuyt was a well-known confessor at this church for many years. The residence in Camden Town also serves as a house of studies for missionaries taking special courses or studying English.