Former Pronvicial of China, Fr Louis Gendron
Santosh Benedict, a Jesuit seminarian from India, found intonation the most difficult part in learning the Chinese language. He says he spent six months trying to differentiate the four tones of spoken Chinese, before being able to coverse and listen easily, reports Ucanews.
He was one of the first of many confreres the Society of Jesus says it plans to invite from around the world, to study the Chinese language and culture to sustain their mission in China and countries with large Chinese populations.
Benedict, 30, who joined the congregation nine years ago, says he decided to come to Taipei after reading a recruitment notice issued by the General Mother House and talking with his provincial superior.
Thanks to computer software, Benedict can type Chinese words by using the Roman alphabet, which spares him from having to learn to write the complex Chinese characters. Now almost speaking fluent Chinese, he often joins student activities in Taipei.
When he completes his language course, he says he will either serve in Taiwan or go to southern India where many Chinese people work in high technology firms.
Former Provincial of China, Father Louis Gendron, says the Jesuit China Province also wants to open a learning center in Beijing to train their confreres.
For confreres, “it would broaden their horizons and make Jesuits truly members of an international congregation,” Fr Gendron said in a recent interview.
China has become more open and more appealing, he noted. Confreres are mostly interested in the academic field, he said, adding that many opportunities will present themselves to work in the mainland where tertiary education institiutes need them.
“We have a heavy responsibility in China, as the Society considers China a top priority in its working plan,” Fr Gendron said.
“Our society was the first religious congregation to arrive in China and we are continuing our mission here,” he added.
FULL STORY: Jesuits give Chinese lessons to aid their mission (uca news)