Posted by: Fr Chris | March 21, 2011

Well done, good and faithful servant: China

From Fides: You can get news from Fides sent to your mail box: go to http://www.fides.org

A profound story of a 94 year old bishop:
ASIA/CHINA – The death of Bishop Hao, a simple and virtuous man with a strong faith in God and a sincere loyalty to his episcopal ministry and to the Church

Rome (Agenzia Fides) – On 9 March, at the age of 94, Bishop Andrea Hao Jinli of the Diocese of Xiwanzi-Chongli (Siwantze), Hebei province (mainland China) passed away. The Bishop was born on 30 November 1916 to a traditional Catholic family. Two of his brothers also became priests. He entered the seminary as an adult and was conferred his priestly ordination on 11 April 1943. On 14 September 1984, he was consecrated a Bishop by Mons. Michele Xiao Liren and four years later, 6 November 1988, he became Bishop of Xiwanzi.
Despite his advanced age and poor physical conditions (for years he was forced to move around by wheelchair and he had impaired hearing and vision), he was continually kept under strict watch of Government authorities until the time of his death. His health had deteriorated over the last month, but due to the Government’s strict surveillance, the faithful were unable to visit and he was not hospitalised. At the time of death, he had a priest close to him – just released by the police after two months’ imprisonment – who was able to carry out the Anointing of the Sick. The coffin was sealed and all access roads to his house were closed.
The deceased Prelate, who has always had a clear mind, did not live in the city of Xiwanzi but in the village of Gonghui, where he continued to celebrate Mass in a Catholic parish with a population of about 2,000 faithful. Whoever knew Bishop Hao spoke of him as a simple and virtuous man, with strong faith in God and a sincere loyalty to his episcopal ministry and to the Church. He oversaw the formation of a large number of young priests and was indefatigable in the work of evangelisation, without being discouraged by his health problems and the Goverment’s tight controls on him.
The funeral was celebrated 17 March 17. Many people attended the funeral, despite the restrictions imposed by police who, from the day he passed away, surrounded the village, trying to stem the influx of pilgrims from other provinces. Bishop Hao was the Good Shepherd to all his sheep who he cared for with great passion. A faithful from his diocese bade him farewell with these words: “He left us on Ash Wednesday: he was united with the passion of Jesus Christ throughout his life, through the trials that he was given, and he will rise with Him.”
The Diocese of Xiwanzi (Chongli) currently has 35,500 Catholics, 20 priests and 28 sisters. In recent years, it has continued its commitment to evangelisation, often experiencing the arrests of its priests and of the lay faithful and the seizure of churches. (Agenzia Fides 21/3/2011)

 

 


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