Fr Fernando Azpiroz SJ working the land together with friends in south Yunnan Province, China. (March 2018)
Irish Jesuits have been present in China for more than 90 years. The Irish Province sent 106 missionaries to China over the years and four Irish men still remain there.
In this article, Argentinian Jesuit Fr Fernando Azpiroz SJ, the Director of Casa Ricci Social Services tells of how working with people who are poor, ill or in precarious living circumstances has affected him.
“The Chinese character that expresses the idea of “humanity” is “Ren”. This character caught the attention of the first Jesuits who arrived in China, as it is at core of the Confucian way of understanding what makes us become human. The character is formed by two parts. At its left side, a human person; at its right side, the number two. Confucianism states that we learn how to become human not alone but in relationships. I believe that the bigger the gap or difference between these two people, the deeper the impact of the relationship on our identity.