CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 19 May 2018

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Farewell to aged bishop in Guizhou

HONG KONG (UCAN): The retired Bishop Anicetus Wang Chongyi passed away in a Guizhou hospital on April 20 at the age of 98.
Father Peter Wang, from Huangguoshu parish in the bishop’s hometown, said that Bishop Wang had spent the month prior to his death under palliative care.

“His last Easter was spent in hospital,” Father Wang said.

The staff at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Guiyang released a notice asking people to pray for the deceased bishop.

Bishop Wang was recognised by both the Vatican and the Chinese government.

Born into a Catholic family in 1919, he entered a minor seminary in Guiyang when he was 13 and was ordained a priest 17 years later in 1949.

After the Communist Party took over the government of China, he was sent out to villages to work as a labourer and was only allowed to return to his ministry within the Church after Mao Zedong died in 1976.

Maria Hu, who worked around the parish, described Bishop Wang as a serious and devoted man. “He prepared his homily with notes for every Mass he celebrated,” Hu related.

She added that despite his age and failing strength, the bishop participated in the Chrism Mass in 2015, although he had already retired from his position as the bishop of the diocese.
He was succeeded by Bishop Paul Xiao Zejiang.

Guizhou was combined with the dioceses of Anlong, Guiyang and Shiqian under the authority of the official Church community in 1999. Although he had been ordained as the bishop of Guiyang in 1988, Bishop Wang became the overseer of the newly created combination of dioceses.

Anthony Lam Sui-ki, a senior researcher at the Holy Spirit Study Centre in Hong Kong, described Bishop Wang as a kind person and a traditional type of bishop.

“He took reference from the other combined dioceses in management. He was extremely kind and respected the unofficial community bishop of the original dioceses like Shiqian,” Lam said.

Guizhou has one bishop and 23 priests with a Catholic population of between 80,000 and 90,000. Some belong to what is referred to as ethnic minority people.


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