CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 22 September 2018

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Now my name is Ting

 

CANGZHOU (SE): The diocese of Xianxian (Cangzhou) in Hebei province, received a group of relatives of Father Ting Ming-Cheng, as the Jesuit missionary, Father Ghestin Anatole, is known to local people.

The French missionary devoted 53 years of his life to the mission in China, mostly in the Hebei area. Local people regarded the visit from his relatives as a great honour, as the priest’s memory is still very much alive. 

Fides reported that Bishop Joseph Ki Lian Gui, two vicars general, all the priests of the diocese, hundreds of sisters, seminarians and local Catholics welcomed the missionary’s relatives, as they have not forgotten the great and humble Jesuit who lived through the last imperial dynasty of China, the founding of the republic and then the People’s Republic of China.

In 1997, Father Ghestin’s relatives published a book, Désormais, je m’appelle TING (Now My Name is Ting), a collection of the missionary’s letters addressed to his French Jesuit confrères.

They are a collection of reflections on 50 years of Chinese history in the 20th century and half a century on the path of the Chinese Church. The book has been translated into Chinese.

Father Ghestin was born on 3 January 1873 in Haubourdin de Lille, France. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Amiens in October 1898. 

After ordination in 1907, he was sent to the mission of Tchély in China, now Hebei province, then known as the apostolic vicariate of Xiaxian (or Sienhsien and today is called Cangzhou), where he remained until his death in 1961, a few months shy of his 90th birthday.

In addition to parish ministry, he worked at maintaining contact between the Jesuits in France and the Chinese mission through correspondence, which has been collected in the book.

Even today his name is one of the most familiar in the diocese, thanks to the many oral histories handed down by priests and people to younger generations.

 

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