神父的臉

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1993 / 7月

文‧范毅舜 圖‧范毅舜


前言

一九九一年完成大陸「老家人」(MY PEOPLE)攝影專題後,我開始拍攝台灣的外籍神父。因為自小是天主教徒,對這些外籍傳教士們向來好奇——是什麼一股動力能使他們離鄉背井,到陌生的國度去傳播神的訊息?有的傳教神父們自年輕發願離開故國後就長駐、長眠於中國,不曾再回鄉。而我所接觸的這些傳教士,在台灣這塊土地上、也大多居住了卅年以上。也許有人對神父們仍有許多高不可攀、甚至過於浪漫的既定想法,對我而言:他們是他們自己——一個有血有肉、如同你我的「一般人」。還有什麼能比一張用時間、空間和自身性格雕琢而成的臉孔,更能真實地表達自己?


P.42

溫安東神父-德國

溫安東神父卅多年前到台灣後,就一直在嘉義的阿里山鄉服務。那時環山公路不似現在四通八達,山區也沒有水電,神父常在夜裡拿著手電筒翻山越嶺,一站一站地到各山村傳教。

社會在變、人的價值觀也變了,今天在山地傳教不如從前順利;神父的「轄區」之一——「新美」教室,前不久又因火災化為烏有,神父不時深鎖眉頭,為籌錢蓋新教堂而傷神。然而寡言的他很少抱怨,只是以法語「CEST LA VIE(這就是生活)」一句話,為他的工作下註腳。

P.44

施予仁神父-美國

老施神父來自美國的蒙它拿州,來中國傳教一直是他童年時最大的夢想。

小時候他總對他父親所說「只要在地上挖個洞就能一路滑到中國」的說法信以為真。

長大後,他沒用鑽的,卻經由天空、海洋繞過大半個地球來到中國的上海、北平,戰後又來到台灣,台北新店的耕莘醫院當年就是由他一手策劃建立。

「謙和的人是有福的。他們要承受上帝所應許的產業」,老神父的長上曾這樣形容他:「十足的大好人,卻未成就過一件事。」聽到這些評語,他一點也不以為忤地大笑說:對於前句長上的評語,他並不很確定;但後者卻是一點也不過份,十分中肯!

P.45

康守範修士-德國

來自德國的老修士,在中國服務近半世紀後,去年「蒙主榮召」,以九十高壽回歸天鄉去了。

在此之前,練了一身自創的功夫,數十年如一日,自比為「鐵人」的老修士,總相信自己能活到百歲。

然而,上帝常不按人的計畫表行事,去年春末,老修士故去的那夜,時間正好停留十一點五十七分,他心目中仁慈的上帝不願再多留他一天。

P.46

傅義修士-瑞士

很多人說傅修士笑起來,活像美國好萊塢的大明星,可惜他很少露齒微笑。

因為他有凡事要求完美的藝術家脾氣,只要事情做得不合他的標準,就可能幾天悶悶不樂,不說一句話。

他的藝術家脾氣可不是亂發的,事實上他是個藝術造詣頗深的建築師。

從花蓮到台東的海岸線上,常能看到他設計的美麗教堂。

他不但設計,還同時是工人和監工,正是所謂的「校長兼撞鐘」。

P.47

歐思定修士-瑞士

歐思定修士在台灣東部已待了卅多年,由於出生、成長於瑞士的山區,他愛極了爬山。

台灣的山岳大多有他的足跡,除此之外,他還擁有台灣官方認可核發的高山嚮導證。

若問他在台灣多年來最大的改變是什麼?

他自我解嘲地說:卅多年前那個濃眉密髮的年輕小伙子,今天已是禿頂,再也不復當年的英俊瀟灑。

P.48

吳若石神父-瑞士

吳若石神父,在台灣可是大名鼎鼎,無人不知,沒人不曉。

在台東長濱鄉服務的他,正是當年在台灣掀起「腳底按摩」旋風的創始人。

據說他所寫的腳底按摩一書,光是正版就銷了百萬冊,盜版的就甭說了。

這個一拔下眼鏡就酷似卡通人物「米老鼠」的鄉下神父,沒啥生意頭腦。

當時未與出版社簽約,只要了二千本書,一毛稿費都沒收,把可觀的版稅拱手讓人。

儘管目前全台到處林立著腳底按摩的招牌,「正牌」仍然不寂寞。不遠千里下鄉尋訪「神醫」的人,仍絡繹於途。

P.49

史泰南神父-瑞士

史泰南神父在台東宜灣服務,今年已七十七高齡。雖然如此,老神父仍喜歡整天拿起鋤頭在田裡幹活。

據說他有一位非常崇拜他的老妹妹,所有造訪過瑞士他老妹家的人,總會為她家中一面全由老哥哥照片貼成的牆驚嘆不已。

他的長上曾笑著對我說,如果要去拜訪他,千萬先電話告之,「不然你很可能看到一個在烈陽下,揮汗如雨,只著寸縷工作的老頭兒。」

P.50

晁金名修士-匈牙利

晁修士是匈牙利人,現今在嘉義縣的布袋鎮服務。對於他那遙遠的布達佩斯家鄉,修士一如當年自大陸來台的老兵一般,也得要等到匈牙利改革、開放後才得以返鄉,因為戰後他所持的,一直是在冷戰期不得與共產國家往來的中華民國護照。

老修士喜歡助人,從前他總把外援的舊衣物發送給此地的人,而今他卻接收此地的舊衣物寄到需要的國家去。九○年的今天,唯一讓老修士力不從心的是:「人家要新的,不要舊的」

P.51

李懷仁神父-瑞士

李神父在台東縣的太麻里服務,個性乾脆,不囉嗦,他是位能用一個字表達就絕不用兩個字的人。

如果這世上有「半個字」這玩意,他一定能用得更帶勁。那日午後為他拍照,東部的太陽灸熱逼人,加上蚊蟲的侵擾,他仍耐心地坐在椅上接受對他如審問般的「獵影」。

臨走前問他:「你會在祈禱中記得我嗎?」

他微笑,回答仍是那般的簡潔有力:「我們記得今天下午的經驗就好了!」。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

Men for All Seasons

Nicholas Fan /photos courtesy of Nicholas Fan /tr. by Nancy Du


Foreword

After completing the 1991 photography project "My People" in mainland China, I began taking pictures of priests of foreign descent living in Taiwan. A Catholic since childhood, l had always been fascinated by these missionaries from afar--what force propelled them to leave everything they were familiar with and embark on a journey to an unknown land to spread the word of God? Some of these fathers left their native country to live indefinitely, ultimately to die in China and never to return home again. Most of the missionaries I came in contact with had lived in Taiwan for over thirty years. Some people have overly romantic ideas about priests as being holier than thou, but to me, they were just themselves--of flesh and blood, ordinary men no different from you and I.

Anton Weber SVD 1937 Germany

Since Father Weber's arrival in Taiwan thirty years ago, he has worked in Alishan Hsiang in Chiayi. In those days the road leading around the mountain did not take one very far. Neither were water and electricity supplies readily available in these mountainous regions. Father Weber often had to wade rivers and cross mountains in the dark with a torchlight guiding him from stop to stop as he preached in the different villages.

Society has changed; people's values have also changed. Today, spreading the word is no longer as easy as it was before. A part of Father Weber's "turf"--Hsinmei Church--burnt down to ashes not long ago. Father Weber locks his brows in worry at where he will get the funds to rebuild a new church. But this man of few words complains little. "C'est la vie." (That's Life) is his only remark for all his hard work.

Bartley Schmitz SVD 1918 USA.

Father Schmitz hails from Montana in the United States. His greatest dream since childhood has been to preach in China. As a child, he firmly believed in his father's saying, "Just dig a hole in the ground and you can slide to China." Having grown up since then, he did not dig a hole, but crossed half the globe by air and sea to arrive at Shianghai and Beijing. After the war, he came to Taiwan. He founded Kenghs in Hospital in Hsintien, Taipei.

"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth."

The superior of the old father once described him as "one who possessed the best of intentions but accomplished nothing." Upon hearing these remarks, Father Schmitz is not at all offended. He bursts into laughter and replies, "The first part of the remark I'm not so sure about but the latter part is in complete honesty and right on target."

Camillus Scharf SVD 1902-1992 Germany

After devoting his services for close to half a century in China, the old brother from Germany was summoned by the Lord Almighty to reside in the heavens at the ripe old age of 90.

Prior to his death, Brothe Scharf practiced a style of martial arts he had devised himself. Time did not leave its scars on the old brother who saw himself as an "Ironman." He believed he would live to be a hundred.

But the Lord often works in mysterious ways. Last Spring, on the night the old brother departed from this world, the clock stopped at exactly 11:57. The merciful saviour did not allow him to stay another day.

Julius Felder SMB 1933 Switzerland.

When Brother Felder smiles, his face lights up like a Hollywood movie star. It is a pity he seldom takes the time to smile.

It could be because he possesses the temperament of an artist stuck on perfection. If something fails to meet with his set of standards, he is gloomy and miserable and will not utter one word. His artistic temperament does have its roots. He is, in fact, an outstanding architect.

The beautiful churches he designed can often be sighted along the coast from Hualien to Taitung. He not only designs; he is also a laborer and supervisor; Brother Felder has a hand in everything.

Augustine Buehel SMB 1936 Switzerland

Brother Buchel has lived in the eastern parts of Taiwan for over 30 years. As he was born in the mountainous regions of Switzerland, he is an avid mountain climber. Most of the mountains and hills in Taiwan bear his tracks. In addition, he has also been awarded a government approved Mountain Guide License.

If you question him on what has been the greatest change in his life all these years in Taiwan, he will reply in self-mockery that the young fellow with a thick mop of hair 30 years ago is today bald and not as dashing as before.

Josef Eugster SMB 1940 Switzerland

Father Josef Eugster name rings loud and clear to the people of Taiwan. He is renowned islandwide.

Father Eugster working in Changbin Hsiang, Taitung, is the one and only founder of the "Foot Massage" fever that swept throught the country some years ago.

It is said that the original edition of his book on foot massage alone sold millions of copies--not to mention how the pirated copies did.

This father from the country, who looks like the exact replica of Mickey Mouse after he takes off his glasses, lacks business sense.

He neither signed a contract with the publishing house, nor took a cent for his written work. He only asked for two thousand copies of his book and handed over a significant sum of royalties.

Although foot massage advertisements have sprung forth from every corner, the "true blue" father is not alone. People from far and near still continue to flock to the "miracle healer" in the country.

Dominik Steiner SMB 1916 Switzerland

Father Steiner has devoted his services to Yiwan in Taitung. He is now77 years old. In spite of his age, Father Steiner still enjoys working the fields with his hoe. It is said that Father Steiner has a sister who worships the ground that he walks on. Visitors to her home never cease to be amazed by the wall that is covered from top to bottom with photographs of her beloved brother.

His superior once told me laughingly, if you plan to visit him, always call in advance, or "you're very likely to find an old man working away in the hot sun, perspiring like crazy and skimpily dressed."

Gyorgy Csaszar SJ Hungary

Brother Csaszar is Hungarian. He is now working at Budai Hsiang in Chiayi. When asked about his faraway home Budapest, Brother Csaszar, like the old Mainland Chinese veteran soldiers in Taiwan, has had to wait for the homeland to undergo reform before returning. Since the war, Brother Csaszar has continued to hold a Cold War passport from the Republic of China that forbids contacts with communist countries.

The old brother likes to help people.

In the past he would collect old clothes from abroad to give to the needy here.

Today, he collects old clothes here and assists the needy abroad. In this day and age, the only thing that discourages the old brother is, "They want new things, not old!"

Paul Ricklin SMB 1936 Switzerland

Father Ricklin has devoted his services to Taima Lin Taitung County. He is a no-nonsense, quiet man who will not use two words when one will do. If there was such a thing as half-a-word in this world, he would be a happier man. I took his picture in the afternoon; the sun was scorching and bugs buzzed all around him. He sat with patience in his chair quietly accepting the probing of my lens.

Before I left, I asked him, "Will you remember me in prayer?"

He smiled, and answered simply, "Let's just remember this afternoon!"

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