Your personality, zeal and faith resembles which of these three Passionist missionaries to China?
I was fortunate enough to write my doctoral thesis on the life, death and memory of Passionist Fathers Walter Coveyou, Godfrey Holbein and Clement Seybold. It was a challenging story of murder and reconciliation of faith. It has shaped the way that I and others think and reflect on contemporary China relationships with the United States and beyond as well. Also, how we might seek to know and appreciate the life and faith of Chinese Catholics and all religious believers in China.
In the spring of 1992, within an hour or so after I had defended my thesis at Georgetown University, I was celebrating the achievement with my sister Beth at the Tombs, the Georgetown bar.. She asked me the following question: “Since you have come to know the personalities of these three men so well,” she wondered. “which one do you most resemble in character?” I think that was tougher than any questions from the esteemed members of my committee.
So as we remember the 1929 deaths of these three priests in 2021, I pass on the question to you. Each man led a compelling life. We also live unique lives and possess a world vision of faith just like they did. I invite you to read this short essay that describes the characteristic of each Passionist. Which one do you identify with most? The article is: Rob Carbonneau, C.P., “The Images of Missionary Life: The Lives of Passionists: Walter Coveyou, Godfrey Holbein, Clement Seybold,” Volume 26 The Passionist (1993). pp. 15-29.