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Car crash kills priest and seminarians

Catholics across country mourn tragic deaths, injury on highway

Car crash kills priest and seminarians
Father Shi Liming reporter, Baoding

December 13, 2011

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Six seminarians and a priest from the “underground” community in northern Hebei province were killed in a road accident on Sunday. Another seminarian who was seriously injured in the crash is in intensive care at No. 3 Hospital in Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital. He was thrown from the minivan which was badly damaged. The accident happened along the Jinzhou section of the provincial highway, Church sources said. The dead priest, Father Shi Liming, 39, was driving the minivan at the time of the accident. He was ordained a priest in Baoding diocese, an underground community stronghold in northern China, about 10 years ago. He was serving at Baoding Seminary, which has nurtured many Church leaders and does not have a fixed location so to avoid government crackdowns. Two of the seminarians who died came from Xiwanzi diocese in Hebei, as did the injured man. Two came from northeastern China, one from Tianjin and one from Xinji city, near Shijiazhuang. They were mostly in their early 20s and new students who had enrolled at the start of the school year which began in October, sources said. The bodies of the victims were taken to a funeral parlor in Jinzhou ahead of their funerals, the dates of which have yet to be decided. Many Catholics across China called for prayers for the deceased after the news of the accident broke. “It is not easy to cultivate priestly vocations nowadays. It is terribly sad this tragedy has suddenly taken them away all at once,” said a nun in Hebei. Related reports: Priest, Laywomen Of Tianshui Diocese Killed In Road Accident Xuanhua Catholics Suffer Loss Of Priest And Lay Leaders In Fatal Car Crash  
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