The 60th anniversary of the Franciscan Biblical Study Center, founded on Aug. 2, 1945 by Gabriele Allegra, OFM, was celebrated in Hong Kong June 21-24.
The most notable work of Gabriele and his collaborators was that of the Chinese translation of the entire Sacred Scripture. They also prepared a biblical dictionary. Through their work, the Word of God was made available to the Chinese people and culture.
The Center was founded in Peking in 1945 and transferred to Hong Kong in 1948.
From the beginning, the spiritual foundations of the study center were devotion to the Immaculate Mother and to Blessed John Duns Scotus. The friars gave priority to the spirit of prayer and devotion, but also engaged in apostolic activity, which included work with lepers and ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue.
Today, the study center continues the biblical apostolate begun by Gabriele.
During the anniversary celebration, biblical conferences were given by friars from the Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology in Jerusalem, and by an expert in Chinese Nestorian texts.
Massimo Fusarelli, OFM, and Alojzy Warot, OFM, General Secretary and Vice-Secretary for Formation and Studies respectively, brought greetings and the best wishes of the General Minister and of the entire Order to this important cultural and evangelizing institution.