ASIA/CHINA – Mourning in the Episcopate: His Exc. Mgr. Andrea Jin Daoyuan

Date: 23 May, 2020                    

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On the evening of 20 November 2019 His Exc. Mgr. Andrea Jin Daoyuan, Bishop “without jurisdiction” of the Diocese of Changzhi/Luan, in Shanxi, in Mainland China passed away.

The Prelate was born on June 13, 1929 in the village of Beishe, Lucheng district. He was ordained a priest in Beijing on July 1, 1956. In the serious context of the 1950s, Bishop Andrea Jin was arrested and remained in prison for about thirteen years.

He is remembered as a devoted and zealous Pastor towards his people. He dedicated himself in particular to vocational pastoral care, helping to form many priests and religious women. At the same time, Mgr. Andrea Jin Daoyuan personally dedicated time in the realization of the construction of several religious buildings in the Diocese of Changzhi/ uan.

The funeral was held on November 26 last year, with the participation of the local Catholic community. (Agenzia Fides 23/5/2020)

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ASIA/CHINA – Mourning in the Episcopate: His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Ma Zhongmu

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – In the early afternoon of March 23, 2020, His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Ma Zhongmu, Bishop Emeritus of Yinchuan/Ningxia, not recognized by the government, died at the age of 101. He was the first, and so far the only Bishop of Mongolian ethnicity. His name in the native language was Tegusbeleg. Since 2005 he had retired to live in Inner Mongolia, precisely in the village of Chengchuan, where he was born on November 1, 1919 and where he served as parish priest.

Due to the distance from urban centers, Mgr. Joseph Ma Zhongmu began his primary education only in 1931. From 1935 to 1947 he studied in the minor Seminary of Sanshenggong, then went to that of Hohhot and finally that of Datong. He was ordained a priest on July 31, 1947 by His Exc. Mgr. Carlo Van Melchebeke, CICM. After a few years of studies at Fu Ren University, which was at the time in Beijing, he carried out his pastoral ministry in the parishes of Zhongwei and Genchou. Since 1956 he also taught at Hohhot Seminary for two years.

In 1958, after refusing to join the Patriotic Association, he was sentenced to forced labor. Ten years later he was released, but forced to work as a laborer in his village, in a water management plant. In April 1979 he was rehabilitated and was able to resume his priestly ministry. On November 8, 1983 he was consecrated Bishop by His Exc. Mgr. Casimiro Wang Milu, for the pastoral care of the Mongolian ethnic faithful of Yinchuan/Ningxia.

During the years of his episcopal ministry, Mgr. Joseph Ma Zhongmu was appreciated and loved by the faithful of the Mongolian community, for whom he wrote a catechism and other doctrine texts in their own language. In 2004 the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples sent him a pectoral cross as a sign of recognition and communion. In 2005 he resigned from the pastoral governance and, with the help of some faithful, and dedicated himself to translating the New Testament and the Roman Missal into Mongolian.

The funeral Mass of Mgr. Joseph Ma Zhongmu was celebrated on March 27 in the village where he resided, in the presence of His Exc. Mgr. Paul Meng Qinglu, Bishop of Hohhot, and two other priests. The presence of other priests and faithful was not allowed, also due to the risk of coronavirus infection. (Agenzia Fides, 23/5/2020)

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ASIA/CHINA – Mourning in the Episcopate: His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Zhu Baoyu

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On the morning of 7 May 2020, His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Zhu Baoyu, Bishop Emeritus of Nanyang, in Henan, died at the age of 99. The death occurred at the convent of the Sisters of the Diocesan Congregation of the Immaculate Conception, with whom he lived and prayed, imparting them the blessing every evening.

Mgr. Joseph Zhu Baoyu was born on July 2, 1921 in Pushan, Henan. His father died when he was 6 and his mother entrusted him to the Catholic orphanage in Jingang. Two years later he received baptism together with his mother. He attended primary school at Simeone Volonteri College, in the same Catholic complex. Then he entered the Sacred Heart minor Seminary, continuing to attend high school in the same college. From 1946 he studied philosophy and theology at the regional Seminary of the Archdiocese of Kaifeng.

He was ordained a priest in 1957 by His Exc. Mgr. Peter Fan Xueyan, Bishop of Baoding.

After his ordination he carried out his priestly ministry in several churches in the Diocese of Nanyang. From 1964 to 1967 he was sentenced to forced labor because of his faith. Later he was allowed to return to his hometown, Pushan, where he carried out his ministry in secret. In 1981 he was again sentenced to ten years of forced labor as an anti-revolutionary. Released in 1988, he was able to resume his ministry in several parishes.

On March 19, 1995, feast of St. Joseph, he was ordained Coadjutor Bishop of Nanyang by His Exc. Mgr. Jin Dechen, diocesan Bishop and His Exc. Mgr. Zhang Huaixin and His Exc. Mgr. Shi Jingxian as co-consecrants. He succeeded Mgr. Dechen as Pastor of the Diocese on November 23, 2002.

Due to his advanced age, in 2010 he submitted his resignation to the Apostolic See. Due to health reasons, he retired first in a hospice for the elderly in Jinggang and then at the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, where he died. In February he had been hospitalized and tested positve for Coronavirus, from which he was however cured.

His funeral was held in Jinggang on May 9, 2020. The diocese of Nanyang today has about twenty thousand Catholics, about twenty priests and hundreds of nuns. (Agenzia Fides, 23/5/2020)

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