Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Prefecture Apostolic
An account is here given of the prefectures Apostolic that have been erected or changed during the publication of the earlier volumes of this work.
BAR-EL-GAZAL. — This mission was separated from the Vicariate Apostolic of the Sudan, and formed into a prefecture Apostolic on 30 May, 1913. It was entrusted to the care of the Congregation of the Sons of the Sacred Heart. Its boundaries were fixed as follows: on the north, the 10† N. lat. from the British Sudan frontier to the river Bar-el-Arab, then the rivers Bar-el-Arab, Bar-el-Gazal, Bar-el-Gebel, and Lobat as far as the British-Abyssinian border; on the east, the Abyssinian border from the Baro to Naita mountain and thence to Foweira on the Victoria Nile; on tue south the Victoria Nile, the northern shore of Lake Albert, and the Belgian-British frontier. On the west the Belgian-British and British-French frontiers as far as the 10† N. lat. By a Decree dated 30 May, 1913, R. P. Antonio Stoppani, of the Verona Institute of the Sons of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, was appointed first prefect Apostolic.
BETAFO. — This mission was separated from the Vicariate Apostolic of Central Madagascar (or Tananarive) by a Decree dated 15 May, 1913, and made a prefecture Apostolic. It is entrusted to the care of the Missionary Fathers of La Salette. The following boundary was assigned to the new prefecture: on the north, the 19† S. lat. from the Mozambique Channel to the borders of the Province of Itasy, then the southern limits of the province to the Kitsamby, then the northern and eastern borders of Faratsiho, to the latitude of Mount Faratsiho, and from there to the western border of Yatomandri; on the east, the border of Yatomandri as far as the 20† S. lat.; on the south, the Vicariate Apostolic of Fianarantsao; on the west, the Mozambique Channel from the 19† to 20† S. lat.
CHOCO, in Colombia. — This prefecture was erected on 28 April, 1908, and entrusted to the care of the Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The superior of the mission is R. P. Juan Gil y García.
CIMBEBASIA, LOWER. — The boundary between this prefecture and that of Great Namaqualand was modified slightly by a Decree of 2 June, 1913, which provided that the southern boundaries of the districts of Gobabis, Windhuk, Karibib, and Swakopmund, should be the line of delimitation between the two prefectures. The mission contains about 185,000 inhabitants, of whom are 907 native and 636 European Catholics; there are 378 catechumens 20 priests (Oblates of Mary Immaculate), 23 lay brothers, 10 catechists, 11 stations, 24 schools with 520 pupils, and 16 Franciscan Missionary Sisters. The prefect Apostolic is R. P. Eugène Klaeylé, born at Mutzig, Alsatia, in 1879; ordained, 1903; superior of the mission since 30 Nov., 1909.
CAROLINE ISLANDS. — This prefecture Apostolic and that of the Mariana Islands were suppressed by a Decree dated 1 March, 1911, and replaced by a new vicariate Apostolic, called that of the Mariana and Caroline Islands (q. v.)
DRISDALE RIVER, Australia, erected on 4 May, 1910; the territory, bounded by the 128† E. long. and 16† S. lat. and the ocean, was separated from the Vicariate Apostolic of Kimberley, when a mission was established for the conversion of the aborigines. It is at present under the jurisdiction of the Abbot of New Norcia, but is later to be erected into an abbacy nullius.
ERYTHREA, in East Africa. — This prefecture was erected into a vicariate Apostolic on 7 Feb., 1911.
HO-NAN, WESTERN, in China. — This was erected into a vicariate Apostolic on 2 May, 1911.
KAFFA, SOUTHERN, in Abyssinia, a mission separated from the Vicariate Apostolic of Galla (q. v.), by a Decree dated 28 Jan., 1913; and committed to the care of the Turin Institute of the "Consolata" for the Foreign Missions. Its boundaries are: on the north, the Baro from the Abyssinian-British frontier to its source in Mount Secia, next the Goggeb till it falls into the Omo, and then a line directly east to the Arussi Mountains; on the east, the watershed between the Indian Ocean and Lakes Margherita, Ciamo, and Stefania; on the south, a line from the extremity of that watershed to the eastern shore of Lake Rudolph, at 4† N. lat.; on the west, the Abyssinian-British frontier between the River Baro and Lake Rudolph. R. P. Gaudentius Barlassina was appointed prefect Apostolic on 6 May, 1913.
KATANGA.-This mission was separated from the Vicariate Apostolic of Belgian Congo on 5 Aug., 1910. Its boundaries were fixed as follows: on the west, the Lualaba and the Luvua as far as Lake Moero, thence eastward along the Luapula to Lake Banguelo. From the source of the Luapula to the source of the Lualaba, the eastern and southern boundary of the prefecture is the Congo-Rhodesian frontier. The mission is entrusted to the Brazilian Congregation of the Benedictines of the Abbey of Saint-André, of Lophem-lés-Bruges, Belgium; as it is intended to erect the mission into an abbacy nullius. Three Benedictine priests and two lay brothers left Belgium for the mission on 18 Aug., 1910. The first prefect Apostolic is Dom Jean de Hemptinne, appointed, Aug., 1910.
KATANGA, SOUTHERN. — This mission, which formed the eastern portion of the Prefecture Apostolic of Upper Kassai, was separated from it and erected into a distinct prefecture on 30 June, 1911; it has been entrusted to the Fathers of the Holy Ghost and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Its boundaries are: on the north, a right line from the mouth of the Elila to the town of Benakamba; on the west, the Lomani from Benakamba to its sources; on the south, the Lovoi; on the east, the Lualaba from the mouth of the Lovoi to the Elila, R. P. Emile Callawaert was appointed first prefect Apostolic on 25 July, 1911.
KOROGO, in Equatorial Africa. — On 17 Nov., 1911, the Prefecture Apostolic of the Ivory Coast, was divided into two parts. The northern portion was formed into the Prefecture Apostolic of Korogo, and entrusted to the Lyons Society of the African Missions. R. P. Pierre-Marie Kernivinen was appointed first prefect Apostolic on 16 Jan., 1912.
MARIANA ISLANDS.-This prefecture and that of the Caroline Island were suppressed by a Decree of 1 March, 1911, when the two missions, with the exception of the Island of Guam, were formed into the Vicariate Apostolic of the Mariana and Caroline Islands (infra, p. 82).
MATADI, in Belgian Congo. — This mission was separated from the Vicariate of Belgian Congo and formed into a prefecture Apostolic on 1 July, 1911, and confided to the Redemptorists. Its boundaries are: on the north, the Congo from the mouth of the Kodio to that of the Binza, then the Binza to its source; next a line from that point to the mouth of the Binza-Nzau, finally the Congo to the Prefecture Apostolic of Kwango; on the east, the Prefecture of Kwango; on the south, the Belgian Congo frontier; on the west, the Bidizi to its source, thence a line through the mountains to the source of the Lukokote; then the course of the Lukokote and the Kodia to the Congo. R. P. Joseph Heintz was appointed the first prefect Apostolic on 1 Aug., 1911.
NAMAQUALAND, GREAT, South Africa. — The boundary between the Prefectures of Great Namaqualand and Lower Cimhebasia was changed on 2 June, 1913 and is now the southern limits of the districts of Gobabis, Windhuk, Karibib, and Swakopmund.
NIGERIA, EASTERN, in Equatorial Africa. — By a Decree dated 24 Aug., 1911, the mission of the Upper Niger was divided into two parts, following the 8† E. long.; the name Upper Niger was dropped and the two missions called Eastern and Western Nigeria. Both were made prefectures Apostolic. The eastern mission was entrusted to the Lyons Society of African Missions. R. P. Oswald Waller, born at Bennwihr, Alsatia, 24 Jan., 1866; ordained, 10 July, 1892, sent to the mission in Egypt, then to Dahomey in 1898, and to Nigeria in 1906; was appointed first prefect Apostolic on 26 Sept., 1911. He resides at Shendam, Demshi.
NYGATA, in Japan. — This mission was erected into a prefecture Apostolic on 13 Aug., 1912, and committed to the care of the Society of the Divine Word, of Steyl. It comprises the Provinces of Akita, Yamagata, Nygata, formerly part of the Diocese of Hakodate; and Toyama, Ishikawa, and Fukui, part of the Archdiocese of Tokio and the Diocese of Osaka. On 19 Nov., 1912, R. P. Joseph Reiners was appointed the first prefect Apostolic. He resides at Nygata.
PUTUMAYO, in Peru. — This mission was erected into a prefecture Apostolic on 4 Oct., 1912, and was confided to the Friars Minor; R. P. Leo Sambook was appointed first prefect Apostolic in Nov., 1912. The establishment of this mission was the outcome of the agitation stirred up in the British Parliament by a detailed account of the atrocities perpetrated on the unfortunate Indians by the officials of a British rubber company operating in Putumayo, a distant district of Peru, at the head waters of the Amazon. For years this company had forced the Indians to collect crude rubber for them in the forests, and enforced their orders by tortures and scourging, inflicted by negro overseers imported from the Barbados for the purpose. Even women and children were not spared. The charges made by Sir Roger Casement, who visited the district at the request of the British Government, were in the main corroborated by the report of Romulo Paredes, a special independent investigator sent to the region by the Peruvian Government. For years the few missionaries in the district had appealed to the Peruvian authorities, when the opportunity presented itself, to protect the Indians, but until the agitation provoked by the revelations in England occurred and action was taken by the British and United States governments, no attention was paid to their petitions on behalf of the suffering natives.
TEFFÉ, in Brazil, — erected by a Decree dated 23 May, 1910, when together with the prefecture Apostolic of Upper Solimoes it was separated from. the Diocese of Amazonas or Manaos. The missions in Teffé and and Upper Solimoes were undertaken in 1897 by the Fathers of the Holy Ghost and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, under R. P. Libermann at the request of Mgr. da Costa-Aguiar, Bishop of Amazonas, whose immense diocese erected only five years earlier was practically devoid of priests. The first mission was established by R. P. Berthon in June, 1907 at Teffé, a town on the Amazon 700 miles from Manaos, and 1600 miles from the Atlantic. It is situated at the confluence of the Teffé and the Solimoes (or Upper Amazon), opposite the mouth. of the Japura; the missionaries have been greatly aided in their work by the co-operation of the local government authorities. They have established at Teffé a large orphanage and industrial school for the young Indians, on a site donated for the purpose by the municipal authorities. The first prefect Apostolic is R. P. Michel-Alfred Barat, born at Clermont, France, on 12 Nov., 1864; missionary in the Amazon district since 1897; appointed superior of the prefecture in May, 1910.
TRIPOLI. — This prefecture was erected into the Vicariate Apostolic of Libya by a Decree dated 23 Feb., 1913.
WELLÉ. — By a Decree of 18 Dec., 1911, the Prefecture Apostolic of Wellé was divided into Eastern and Western Wellé; the line of separation being the 23† 30' E. long. Each division was made a prefecture Apostolic. Western Wellé remained under the care of the Premonstratensians of the Abbey of Tongerloo, Belgium. Eastern Wellé was entrusted to the Dominicans; its first prefect Apostolic is R. P. Réginald Van Schoote, who was appointed on 12 Jan., 1912. He resides at Amadi.
ZAMBESI. — The eastern boundary of the Zambesi mission was changed by a Decree of 28 June, 1912, and is now: the Portuguese Mozambique territory to 15† S. lat., then the rivers Luangwa, Lukasashi and Mlembo as far as the south-east corner of Belgian Congo.
Acta Apostolicœ Sedis (Rome. 1909-); BATTANDIER, Annuaire pontifical catholique (Paris, 1908-13); Missiones catholicœ (Rome, 1907); PIOLET, Les missions catholiques françaises au XIXe siècle (Paris, 1901-03).
A. A. MacErlean.