Scheut Missions-CICM Missionaries

The Historical Perspective

Founded in China

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...

It was in 1862 that Father Theophile Verbist founded his missionary community for the conversion of China. The European world was at relative peace, while in the United States the Civil War was raging.

It was the time that in the Far East, however, the European powers had included the freedom for religious preaching in a treaty, ending what was called the "opium war". However, there was no rejoicing in the Far East over the Western world intervening in the internal affairs of the "Middle Kingdom".

Asia Symbol

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times...

In the years after, the Church followed the colonial powers to plant the cross in the interior of the newly explored countries of Asia and Africa.

It was the time of the dismantling of the Papal States which somehow humiliated the Church while effectively freeing her from a burden that had become totally unevangelical. It was the time of the great exploration trips in Africa and the subsequent seizure of the unexplored territory by the European powers. In the wake of the decision that divided central Africa, Father Verbist's community was charged with the evangelization of the enormously huge and unexplored "Congo Free State".

Philippines History

It was the worst of times; it was the best of times...

It was the time of tension that resulted in the Spanish-American War through which the United States became the official "protector of the Philippines." It was the beginning of CICM's involvement in the only Christian country in the Pacific.

It was the time in which the heart of Christendom again longed for a deeper involvement and commitment to those who had not been evangelized. Prior to World War II, Scheut Missions-CICM grew by leaps and bounds greatly because of the impetus given the by Supreme Pontiffs in Rome. The year 1937 witnessed CICM take over part of the mission on Sulawesi, Indonesia.


It was the worst of times; it was the best of times...

It was the time which finally resulted in the cataclysm of World War II; a hidden time for all missions; a time for reflection and plans for the future. The war ended and universal brotherhood was again proclaimed not only between befriended nations but also between former enemies. CICM went almost simultaneously to the United States and to Japan.


It was the best of times in North America. The economy boomed and in the aftermath of World War II, because of the introspection that many had gone through, the Church and vocations knew a new springtime. Our missionary community was called upon to promote actively racial understanding in the light of God's love for all people.

It was the worst of times that had begun in China in the first quarter of the twentieth century. Towards the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the wake of the Communist takeover, hundreds of men, young and old, were expelled from the Middle Kingdom. A tragedy without precedent in the history of the CICM Congregation.

It became the best of times with the number of priests and brothers available to bring the words of God's love to the black people in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Louisiana. It was the time to cooperate actively in bringing the old faith alive among the thousands of Hispanics living in the Southwest.

It was the time to begin active recruitment among the younger generation of the United States. Seminaries were built and new territories were accepted, territories that did not have the spiritual resources to deepen the faith they had received centuries ago. Chile, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Brazil succeeded each other in receiving teams of CICM priests who, in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council and the internationalization of the community, were at the service of the local church more than ever before.

Scheut Missions-CICM Missionaries