Worldssps

communion with others, Education, Global Mission, inculturality, Spirituality​

Nurturing Hearts and Minds in a Catholic University in Taiwan

Transformations have occurred since a psycho-spiritual formation program for teachers was started by Sr. Felisa in 2020. In this program, groups meet weekly to share their previous week’s experiences alongside scripture passages. Participants bring a symbol representing their journey. Through these gatherings, they experience mutual support and Jesus’ love.

Education transcends mere knowledge acquisition, Sr. Felisa Liou, SSpS, acknowledges.

Inspired by the words of Irish writer William Butler Yeats that “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire,” Sr. Felisa embarked on a transformative journey at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan.

Understanding that inner fire is essential for effective teaching, Sr. Felisa initiated a psycho-spiritual formation program for teachers, particularly those with administrative roles. Her approach blends psychological insights with spiritual depth.

Through this program, professors and leaders delve into deep experiences of love, connecting with their inner selves and the wellspring of life and love. As their inner flames ignite, they become torchbearers, passing on this radiant fire to their students and colleagues.

Sr. Felisa’s legacy embodies the belief that nurturing hearts and minds is the true essence of education—a flame that kindles not only knowledge but also compassion, wisdom, and transformative power.

Sharing Groups

About four years ago, the Life-Metaphor-Scripture sharing groups were formed. These groups meet weekly, where participants share their life experiences from the previous week, alongside relevant Scripture passages. Each person brings a symbol representing their journey. Through these gatherings, they experience mutual support and Jesus’ love.

From these groups, remarkable transformations have occurred. One former Dean was baptized Catholic last Easter. Three more individuals are preparing for baptism. Their shared moments of faith, symbol, and Scripture ignite a fire within, drawing hearts closer to God.

The newly baptized and those about to be baptized have begun to share their testimony of how Jesus has changed them. Their testimonies best describe the meaning of “life influencing life and love generating love.”

Fu Jen University, a Catholic institution, stands as a vibrant academic community. With about 26,000 students, 2,020 faculty members, and 566 staff, it encompasses a diverse tapestry of people.

Vineyard of Hope

However, the proportion of Catholic-identified faculty remains at 3%, while the staff members who share this faith constitute 11%. Among the student body, only 1.5% identify themselves as Catholic.

Despite these numbers, Fu Jen remains a vineyard of hope, awaiting cultivation. Its potential lies not only in statistics but in the hearts and minds of those who walk its halls—a place where faith, knowledge, and growth intertwine.

Since last year, there have been attempts to hold a two-day weekend individual guided retreat for faculty and staff once a month. So far, five sessions have been held, with four to six participants each time.

During the retreats, through reading relevant Gospel passages, meditation, quiet prayer, and spiritual dialogue, individuals were able to reorganize themselves, and foster greater trust and surrender to God. Participants inspire each other with moving moments, creating an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit can freely work within.

Rejuvenation

Colleagues who participated in the retreats found not only physical and mental rejuvenation but also profound spiritual experiences of God’s unconditional acceptance and love.

“The retreat gave me the courage to face and change myself, to continue exploring, and to surrender,” one participant said.

“The retreat allowed me to vividly and deeply experience God’s presence, Jesus’ friendship, and the Holy Spirit’s love,” another said.

For me, it has been a privileged opportunity to accompany and listen to these retreat participants’ stories of their encounters with God. Through their experiences, I witness the profound impact of life influencing life and love generating love.

Seeds of Hope

Fu Jen University where knowledge and faith intersect, seeds of hope are sown. The stories of transformation, shared vulnerability, and encounters with the Divine continue to echo through its halls. As the sun sets on each day, it illuminates not just the campus but also the hearts of those who walk its paths.

Fu Jen remains a vineyard—a sacred ground—where souls are tended, fires are kindled, and love is cultivated. May this journey of education, compassion, and self-discovery ripple outward, touching lives far beyond its walls.

 

Sr. Felisa Liou, SSpS – Taiwan Region

WSSS

Audience of the sharing of conversion stories, including Archbishop of Taipei John Hung.

 

Gathering of the group members of  “Life metaphor Scripture.”

 

Sharing of Cris. the former Dean of the College of Human Ecology, on her Catholic conversion stories.

 

Sharing of Frances the former Dean of the University Research Office on her personal encounters with Jesus.

 

Four persons participated in this retreat.

 

This retreat had five participants.

 

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