First stage

In the Provincial Chapter of our Province decided to open a new mission in Taiwan on January 12, 1626. Provincial, Fr. Bartolomé Martínez, accompanied by five other religious, arrived in northern Taiwan on May 10, 1626. They founded nine missions, from 7,000 baptized with some religious who arrived until 1642. During these sixteen years thirty-five missionaries passed through Taiwan, some of whom later left for Japan and other Asian lands. This first stage of Dominican presence ended in 1642, date in which the missionaries were taken prisoner to Batavia (Jakarta).


The mission was restored in the south of the island in 1859. The new mission would depend on Monsignor Miguel Calderón,  Vicar Apostolic of Foochow. Father Ignacio Ortuzar, Provincial Vicar in Fukien, sent Fr. Ángel Bufurull and Fr. Fernando Sáinz, together with a former seminarian and three catechists who arrived in Kaohsiung on May 18, 1859. Since then, our Fathers have worked uninterruptedly in the mission. From this date, many of our apostolic institutions were ceded to the successive dioceses, while the Vicariate was creating new parish and mission areas

Foundation of the Vicariate

The Province Council created the new Vicariate of Taiwan of August 7, 1860. It appointed Fr. Mariano Antón as the first Vicar. In January 1861 he arrived at Chieng-Kim and built the first vicarial house there. He returned to Amoy for health reasons in November of the same year. Fr. F. Sainz was appointed second Vicar in December 1961. In his ten years as a missionary, founded the missions of Chieng-Kim (Kaohsiung Cathedral), Soa-Kha, Ban-Kim, Kau-a-ki and Tainan.

In the time of Fr. Sainz, the PP arrived at the mission. M. Limárquez, M. Antón, A. Chinchón, F. Herce, R. Colomer, V. Jiang and J. Janh, Tunquino. During the vicarage of Fr. Chinchón, the missions of Gotechu, Soa-lun-á and Lo-Tsu were founded. He was appointed bishop of Amoy in 1884. During the vicariate of Fr. Herce the missions of Tou-Liu, Tou-Nan, Pokiu-lun and the northern missions were founded.

Father Caledonio Arranzfounded in the north the missions of Lu Chou, that of Taipei (current cathedral) and Tamsui in 1887.

Japanese time

In 1895, upon the arrival of the Japanese, Fr. Isidoro Clemente was Vicar, later bishop of Amoy. The main missions of the Island were formed and consolidated; despite the small number of missionaries, 6 in total, there were already Catechists and Beatas.

Fr. Francisco Giner built an orphanage putting three Dominican nuns at the head in 1903,. It lasted until the Pacific War. Also in that same year, the Province gave the mission a printing press with which a series of religious books were printed in Roman letters, as well as the monthly magazine The Good Shepherd. Likewise, the School for Catechists was founded in Lo-Tsu; then it would be done in Taipei, Tainan, Touliu, Tianchung and Kaohsiung.

Fr. Justo Sasián founded the mission of Tien-Chung and Peh-Hun In 1905 in 1905. Fr. C. Arranz built the first church in the city of Taipei, which disappeared in 1911. In 1913, Fr. Clemente Fernández inaugurated another one in its place that would be demolished in 1945 by American bombs. Now the Cathedral is located there.

Prefecture in Taiwan

Fr. Clemente Fernández, OP, was appointed first Apostolic Prefect of Formosa, separating himself from the Apostolic Vicariate of Amoy by decree of the Holy See of July 13, 1913,. Monsignor Clemente Fernández inaugurated the Beata Imelda College, currently governed by the MM. Dominicans in 1917.

In 1920, Monsignor Clemente Fernández resigned his post as Apostolic Prefect. Fr. Tomás de la Hoz missionary in Shikoku succeeding him in 1921. The missions of Tiek-San and Chiang-Hoa were founded in 1925-1927.

At the same time of Fr. F. Sainz had built an small church in Kaohsiung in 1930 Fr. Elías Fernández built the Cathedral and Minor Basilica; the missions of Mei-shan, 1931; Killung, 1932; Tso-Ying, 1933; Shih-Ting, 1934; Ka-Gi, 1936.

Monseñor Tomás de la Hoz, resigned his post, being appointed. A Japanese priest , José Satowaki Asajiro took his place in 1941.

War of the Pacific, 1941-1945

During this period the missionaries suffered the serious consequences of the war. They were all concentrated in different places in the center of the Island: Ka-gi, Chiu-á-kha. He did not enjoy any freedom; Several churches suffered material damage, including the one of Taipei, it was bombed. At that time the mission had thirteen Spanish Dominicans, twelve missionary residences, twenty-six missionary stations, a Holy Childhood, a higher school, eleven Dominican religious and a total of nine thousand five hundred Christians. Father José Arregui was appointed Apostolic Prefect in 1948.

Division of Prefectures

Taipei Prefecture was established in 1949.Tai-Chung and Kagi in 1950. Hua-lien in 1952. Tainan in 1961. By making these divisions, we leave almost all our missions in these prefectures without any reward. Monsignor Arregui remained Prefect in Kaohsiung until 1961, when he resigned.

During these years the mission experienced considerable progress. Several missionaries from China arrived, accounting for a total of thirty-five Spanish and Chinese Dominicans between the years 1948-1958. In 1953 the evangelization with the natives began with twenty-three new missions based in the mounts of the south. Also, the mission of the city of Pingtung began, and from then until the present, it remains exclusively Dominican in 1953.

the College of Santo Domingo was founded In 1957. the Hospital of Tainan was inaugurated in 1958. the mission of Chishan was opened in 1956. the Church and Casa Vicaría was built in Kaohsiung in 1966.

The Diocese of Kaohsiung was created in 1961, with Fr. José Cheng, OP, the first bishop who governed the Diocese until his death in 1990. Pope John Paul II granted the title of Minor Basilica to the Parish Church of Ban-Kim to Bishop José Cheng in 1984; the Ministry of the Interior of Taiwan declared the Basilica National Monument of third order in the same year. the second bishop of the diocese, Fr. Paul Shan, SJ, took office in 1991,

Vicariate General Queen of China - Taipei

The Master of the Order, Fr. Vicente de Couesnongle, erected the Queen General of China Vicariate on June 16, 1978. With this motive, the Province gave them the College of Santo Domingo; and later, he would give them the house and parish of Chi-lin-lú, in Taipei in 1992.

Mission today

The Provincial Vicariate of San José in Taiwan ceased to exist as such on January 31, 2016. It acquired a new juridical personality as "Provincial Mission" according with the new legislation of the Order on February 1, 2016.

Currently the Fathers of this Mission work apostolically in the diocese of Kaohsiung, in three parishes of the Order, in the diocese of Tainan, in a parish of the Order. A total of five parishes are administered: 4 of them from the Order and one diocesan. We run a kindergarten. Other ministries in which the brothers of this mission work include: collaboration in the formation of lay apostles in the diocese of Kaohsiung, retreats and training courses, pastoral ministry with Philippine emigrants, ministry of the sick and apostolate in nursing homes.

House of Santo Domingo - Kaohsiung, Taiwán