The Macau Ricci Institute is a nonprofit, study and research institution dedicated to fostering better mutual understanding between China and the world community. Offering a unique blend of cultural, professional, and research programs, the purpose and method of the Macau Ricci Institute are best summed up in its links with the city of Macau, the person of Matteo Ricci, the Society of Jesus, and the peoples of China. Macau, from its earliest history (1557) and very geographical existence, remains a noteworthy experiment in intercultural encounter and understanding. For centuries a gateway between China and the West, Macau continues to be an ideal lens through which to broaden understanding of the thoughts and ideals of peoples from different cultures. In many aspects, Macau is a human and cultural crossroads - a real, although small, international city.
Matteo Ricci (1552-1610) is known as the initiator of the Catholic missions in China and one of the earliest members of the Society of Jesus. Others before him ventured toward China, but did not succeed in remaining there for life, let alone to receive the respect and admiration from the Chinese people that Ricci enjoys even to this day. The root of Ricci's success lies in his achieved integration as a human person that made it possible for him to enter so fully into another culture without losing himself.
The Society of Jesus and Macau, in many ways, share together a common beginning and 450 years of history. The Jesuits in Macau have always been at the service of the human person, either in need of education or material help, but always at the very deepest level of ideals and hopes, where culture finds its roots. This Jesuit tradition continues even today in Macau at the Macau Ricci Institute.
During the four and a half centuries of Macau's history, China has taken various steps to develop new channels of contact and exchange with the outside world. While not without challenges and the pain of new birth, with these prolonged encounters and exchanges new horizons have been opened to China and the world at large. Through its programs, publications and services, the Macau Ricci Institute gives witness to the advantages that all share through a continued and mutual search for intercultural understanding.