There  are  at least in the  Philippines) but  the written histories  belong mostly to the older Provinces, i.e China and the Philippines.  For our seminary formation  we need some materials so that our students and professors could  read and get to know the other provinces in Asia.

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There is of course the six volume general history of the Congregation that John Rybolt is editing/writing.  This will provide the history of our provinces in Asia. All of Vincentiana is now scanned and online at the Via Sapientiae site, there are articles scattered throughout there.  The entire run of the Annales de la Congregation de la Mission (in French) are available online, but none of these will easily provide formation materials for the purpose you suggest.  One solution might be for the Asian provinces to get together and sponsor the creation of Vincentian Studies Institute for Asia.  A journal can now be easily published in e-formats which takes away almost all of the expense and tremendous labor of paper printing.  The provinces could also sponsor a symposium or series of symposia and epublish the results.  The attraction of lay scholars is also key to the future.
Thank you for the various  suggestions, notably on publication and the series of symposia.  Still there are  really little materials on Vincentians in Asia.  I'll  try to send you an attachment of a little article I wrote on the relationship  among the Provinces of Asia.  I hope you can give some comments. I guess I'll have to send  it by separate e-mail
It might be helpful to ask John Rybolt, what his history will contain with respect to the history of the Asian provinces.  He might also have some other ideas about resources because of his extensive research.

In the general history of the Congregation that I am working on, each province will have a chapter. Since each volume is chronological, based on the terms of office of the superiors general, the chapters on each province will cover that same period of time. Consequently, the materials on China begin in volume 2, which basically is the 18th century up to the French Revolution. The Philippines comes next in order of foundation. (I am considering here only East Asia, since Persia and the rest of the Middle East are also Asian; these will have their own chapters.)

The big problem, therefore, is that the recently founded provinces, such as India and Indonesia, with Australia, will not have a lengthy treatment in this general history.

My suggestion is that you put together a group of researchers who can review what you currently have available, either in printed form or in archives. This is the basic work that needs to be done before anything else can happen. Another course of action is to gather materials from houses and works. There is a surprising amount of materials in public documents, in newspapers, and in magazines. Many houses have this material sitting around. It can, and should be, copied and made available.

The larger issues, such as the impact of works on the local Church and society, the ideals governing certain activities, or the impact of certain non-Vincentian leaders on the works (positively or negatively) will have to come later, but there is no reason why researchers, such as in the schools, can't put together at least some initial attempts.

I  remember reading the book of Fr.Herrera (Congregacion de la Mision?)many years ago.  Right now I  do not have a  copy of  the book.  In that book, if I recall right,  there were a few paragraphs on  Asia and the Philippines. I do hope  that the  new  book by Fr.Rybolt  will have a little more because, whether we like it or not,  the future of Christianity in Asia will affect all of us.  Our former missionaries in China were  quite well aware of this  and sent  the  largest contingent of Vincentians anywhere in the world.  Of course  there are many accounts in French  but we need English  books to be read by our seminarians.

John Rybolt: "The big problem, therefore, is that the recently founded provinces, such as India and Indonesia, with Australia, will not have a lengthy treatment in this general history." 

Well, I am thinking that India and Indonesia has been considered "recently", and yet they are among the "living hope" of the Congregation in Asia. In the case of Indonesia, the Indonesian CM has contributed several young missionaries to Solomon, PNG, and China-Taiwan. The Indonesian CM has been working in priestly formation in which the candidates of priesthood of more or less one third of the dioceses of Indonesia come to study. 

My little suggestion would be a "new" perspective of historical research that includes also the sense of vincentian lively struggle of the "today", not just all about "glory of the past". And my little hope is that "local history research" can benefit also to the young vincentians in the future. 

With me there are also materials of formation produced by the so-called APRF (Asia Pacific Regional Formators) and CCC (Commission of the Vincentian Charism and Culture in Asia Pacific) from the beginning (1985) up to the last meeting in Sydney (2007) -- Response to Fr. Rolando Delagoza


The problem with history is that it deals with the past, not the present or the future. On the other hand, understanding what happened in the past can be a guide to what might happen in the future. Also, the forthcoming history should not be judged as dealing with the "glory of the past" until it has been read. Readers will find out more about the truth of the past than they perhaps wanted to learn. I believe that those in formation will appreciate the real stories of real confreres. -- If someone could send me materials about their provinces up through 1984, especially ideas about what to include and which confreres to mention, I would appreciate this. Also, once the chapters for volume 6, about the most recent years, have been written, I will be happy to send them out for review (they are in English), to be certain that they cover the material adequately within the available space.

There were many Vincentians who have lived or passed in China, Vietnam, Philipp;ines, India, etc. I think that there must be some reports somewhere whcih could shed or add some informations about the Vincentians in Asia. Is there any possibility of pinpointing or accessing some of those materials? I know that the "Annales" in French have lots of materials on China but how about materials and documents about Vincentians in other countries?
Yes, the Annales de la Congregation of the Mission (published from 1834-1963) is full of these reports, not just from China and updates.  These are all available online, and easily searchable (See one of my earlier posts on VHRN research resources). Also, the circulars of the superiors general have notes.  The archives of Propaganda Fide in Rome have countless reports.  The archives at the General Curia would have all of the correspondence, and other reports that document the history of all of our Asian activities.
I  was reviewing some of the documents  that I photocopied  at  DePaul University five or six years ago and found  some  letters of American Vincentians who worked in Asia.  Unfortunately, I  am  finding it difficult  to trace some of the  names e.g. Jake, Steve, etc.  which are appended on some  letters.  Most of  them  are written after the WWII but some  go back to the pre-war period.  From said  documents, I  could deduce  that  quite a few of those Confreres  passed  by Manila on the way to China, Japan and Taiwan.  Fr.O'Donnell left  quite a  few letters  which  are very helpful to our Asian Vincentian History.
If one reviews  the Annales  and  the Vincentiana, one  will find  out that  there are practically  no Asian Vincentian  who has merited  a biographical sketch in either of the two official publications. One obvious reason is  the fact that there are relatively  few Asian Vincentians. The Asian Vincentians  who  became Bihsops  may be the  right place to start sketching some of the Asian Vincentians.  As of now, there  are three Filipino Vincentian Bishops: Bishop Teotimo Pacis (deceased), Bishop Jesus Dosado and Bishop Rolando Santos (to be consecrated in July). Are there interested persons out  there who could provide  the names  of other native  Asia Vincentian Bishops?
Don't forget the Chinese bishops, both native Chinese and Europeans who worked in China. There is plenty written about them. There are also a couple of Indian bishops. In addition, depending on how widely "Asian" is to be understood, there were some of our native confreres serving in Persia, as well as some European bishops in Indonesia. -- I have an Excel file with data about all of our bishops. I'll be happy to send it if anyone wants it. Of course, it is not complete, since some data are lacking. I'll be happy to receive corrections or updates on this.  


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