LATROBE, PENNSYLVANIA — His Eminence Paul Cardinal Shan, S.J., Bishop of Kaohsiung, Republic of China, will be honored with an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary at the Seminary’s 156th annual commencement. The graduation ceremony will be held at 7p.m. Friday, May 10 in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica. Cardinal Shan will speak about the role of the Church in China.
Cardinal Shan is a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, the Postsynodal Council for Asia (Synod of Bishops), and the Central Committee of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. He is the President of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference, serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Fu Jen Catholic University and is a member of the Consultation Committee on Human Rights, Presidential Office, Republic of China.
Cardinal Shan entered the Society of Jesus on September 11, 1946, in Beijing, where, on September 12, 1948, he took his first vows. He studied philosophy at the Regional Seminary of St. Joseph in Chiughsien (1944-46) and in the Jesuit Philosophical Institute in Manila (1941-51). He completed his theological studies at Bellarmine College in Baguio in the Philippines (1952-56). Cardinal Shan was ordained to the priesthood on March 18, 1955 in Baguio, and completed the final stage of his formation in 1956-57 at Araneta Farm, Novaliches, in the Philippines. From 1959-61 he attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, receiving his S.T.D. degree in Theology in 1961.
He was appointed Bishop of Hualien Diocese on November 15, 1979, where he served for 11 years. On March 4, 1991, he was appointed Bishop of Kaohsiung Diocese. On January 18, 1998, he was named a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II, Taiwan’s first Cardinal since the death of Paul Cardinal Yu-pin in 1978.
In his service of the Church in Taiwan, he has established a seminary to form new priests for the Church and has fostered the formation of a well-educated laity. Despite his many commitments, he has found time to translate two books into Chinese: How to Be a Guide and Commitment and Leadership. Both have become best-sellers, and the second is used to train Government leaders.
Cardinal Shan is very involved in charitable works. In his Diocese he established the Catholic Charitable Foundation for Social Welfare, and at the national level he has promoted the creation of a Catholic Mission Foundation in Taiwan to evangelize and meet the needs of Taiwanese society. Due in large part to the efforts of Cardinal Shan, the Catholic Church in Taiwan is regarded as a great benefactor of the poor, the sick, the elderly, and as a great defender of exploited women, of those who are forced to work overseas, of the marginalized, and of prisoners.