1- MISSION RELATIONS
As early as the 17th century (1666, 1668, 1674 and 1680), Vincent de Meur published letters received from the missions in a volume entitled État sommaire des missions de la Chine et l’envoi de trois Évêques dans les nouvelles Églises de cet Empire.
In the 18th century, the MEP Seminary published some Nouvelles des Missions orientales, taking up the idea of the Lettres édifiantes des missionnaires de la compagnie de Jésus.
In the 19th century, the Seminary continued the publication of these letters with the Précis des nouvelles reçues des missions de Chine et des royaumes voisins et les Nouvelles lettres édifiantes des missions de la Chine et des Indes orientales.
All of these MEP publications from the 18th and 19th centuries are kept in the Asian Library and can be consulted in the reading room.
2- L’ŒUVRE DE LA PROPAGATION DE LA FOI
From 1822 onwards, the journals linked to the Œuvre de la Propagation de la Foi, founded in Lyon by Pauline Jaricot, provided a publication space for the MEP missionaries :
APF: Annales de la Propagation de la Foi (1822-1974)
MC: Les Missions catholiques (1868-1964). This weekly magazine was created in 1868 to duplicate the APF, as the correspondence of the missionaries became more and more abundant and endowed with illustrations.
ASE: Annales de l’Œuvre de la Sainte Enfance (1846-1975)
In 1885, the Missions Étrangères de Paris founded their own periodical to inform families and benefactors of the work accomplished by the missionaries.
This magazine changed its name several times :
ODP / BOP: Œuvre des Partants / Bulletin de l’Œuvre des Partants (1885-1897)
AME: Annales des Missions Étrangères de Paris (1898-1940) : continuation of ODP
ECO: Échos missionnaires d’Extrême Orient (1941) : continuation of AME
ECM: Échos missionnaires (1942-1947) : continuation of ECO
MDA: Missionnaires d’Asie (1948-1960) : continuation of ECM
ME1: Missions Étrangères (1961-1967) : continuation of MDA
In 1967 and 1968, the magazine of the Missions Étrangères de Paris merged with sixteen other missionary periodicals to form a common quarterly magazine : PDM : Peuples du monde (1967-….).
The following year, MEP re-launched its own magazine and PDM continued its publication without the MEP.
EC2: Échos de la rue du Bac (1968-1992) : continuation of ME1
ME2: Missions Étrangères de Paris (1993-….) : continuation of EC2
From the 19th century to the present, the Missions Étrangères de Paris also created other internal periodicals, intended either for the MEP fathers alone, or for the ecclesial structures with which the MEP were in contact, in order to meet various needs:
Published annually, these activity reports come from each of the missions and institutions under the MEP.
LC: Lettres communes (1840-1976)
CR: Compte-rendu des travaux (1871-1941, 1945-1970, 1974-….)
[In 1971, the CR was replaced by the documents of the Synod of Hong Kong]
EC1: Échos de la rue du Bac (1921-1967) : sending a sheet several times a month to the members of the Society present in France to provide them with news from the Seminary in Paris.
BME: Bulletin des Missions Étrangères (1° série : 1922-1941 ; 2° série : 1948-1962) : bi-monthly publication of a newsletter printed in Hong Kong (Imprimerie Nazareth)
EPI: Épiphanie (1962-1971) : continuation of BME. This bulletin is written by the Pastoral and Missionary Documentation Center created within the MEP in 1962.
ES: État de la Société des Missions étrangères (1863-….) : annual publication of a directory of all MEP members (name, mission, address)
MEM: Mémorial (1961-….) : A publication containing the obituaries of the MEP missionaries who died during the year. This Mémorial first appeared as a special issue of Épiphanie (1961-1969), then of the Échos de la Rue du Bac (1970-1990), before being published in its own right in 1990.
Only the general publications, intended for all members of the Society, are listed above. Other newsletters have acted as an internal organ, in a particular mission or department. They are not listed here. Additional information may be requested from the Asian Library.
Scientific and editorial activities
Besides these periodicals, the MEP have always strived to set up a policy of edition and impression of the works necessary to their pastoral and educative activities.
Whilst the main hub of the MEP printing presses was Hong Kong (Nazareth press, active between 1884 and 1954), the MEP’s publishing work was also established temporarily and from the seventeenth century onwards in India (Pondicherry), Vietnam (Qui Nohn), and other mission countries.
- 1840: Creation of the Pondicherry printing press.
- 1850: Creation of a printing press in Mysore for the Canarese language.
- From 1853: the west Tonkin mission now possesses a two-sections press (quôc ngu and Chinese and Annamite movable types), a xylography and lithography workshop.
- 1857: Printing press in Korea.
- 1867: Printing press created for the quôc ngu in Saigon, later transferred to Tan-dinh.
- 1870: Creation of a printing press in southern Burma.
- 1875: Creation of the Penang College printing press.
- 1877: Printing press in Nagasaki.
- 1888 and 1894: Printing presses in Yokohama and Tokyo.
Over the 4,300 MEP missionaries, at least 400 have produced cartographic, ethnographic, and linguistic works, in 47 different Asian languages:
amis ; bahnar ; bê ; Burmese ; bunun ; cantonese ; cham ; chin ; korean ; day ; dioi ; hak ka ; hmong ; hokkien (hoklo) ; japanese ; jarai ; javanese ; kachin ; kanao ; kannada (canara) ; khmer ; lac ; laotian ; lisu ; lolo ; malais ; malayalam ; man ; mandarin ; manchu ; miao ; minangkabau ; nung ; pāli ; rhadé ; sanskrit ; sedang ; srê (koho) ; stieng ; tamil ; tayal ; taroko / seediq ; tay ; telugu ; thai ; tibetan ; vietnamese.
Indicative readings :
MOUSSAY, Gérard (MEP), dir., Bibliographie des Missions Étrangères. Civilisations, Religions et Langues d’Asie, Paris : Les Indes Savantes-MEP, 2008, 607 p.
LE PICHON, Alain, Béthanie et Nazareth : les pères des Missions étrangères à Hong Kong, Hong Kong : the Hong Kong Academy for performing Arts, 2008, 206 p.
RAGOT-DELCOURT, Véronique, L’imprimerie au service de la mission : les Missions étrangères et l’apostolat par le livre (années 1770-1880), thèse d’École des Chartes, dir. Dominique Dinet, 2008, 3 vol.
Thirteen detailed bibliographies are presented on the pages dedicated to the MEP history in general and in each Asian country.