The six seminarians who died in the road accident
An online Catholic website has called for prayers for a priest and six seminarians killed in a road accident earlier this month.
The appeal was issued by popular mainland site Tianzhujiao Zaixian (Catholic Church online), and suggested that Catholics offer a requiem Mass, prayers for the deceased and their families, fasting or a silent tribute at 10am tomorrow – the approximate time of the deadly accident.
Tomorrow marks the seventh day of the third week since the accident, a day that holds special significance for the deceased in Chinese tradition.
About 2,000 people have visited the Tianzhujiao Zaixian website to light an online candle for the deceased.
Meanwhile the Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong diocese has asked Catholics to observe a one-minute silent tribute tomorrow, also at 10am.
“We were very shocked and sad to hear about the accident. Despite geographical distance, we try to do something to express the concern and consolation from the universal Church,” said JPC project officer Or Yan-yan.
Father Joseph Shi Liming of Baoding and six seminarians were killed on December 11 when the minivan they were driving in collided head-on with a truck and overturned, before being struck by another truck.
One seminarian, Gabriel Gao, survived the accident after being thrown from the vehicle during the initial collision.
He is recovering in neurosurgery ward at a hospital in Shijiazhuang city, according to a report by a Catholic blogger using the name Mengshou zhufuzhe, which means “the one who is blessed,” who visited Gao.
Though he was able to open his eyes and look around and respond to people’s words, his condition is still far from full consciousness,” the blogger wrote.
Mainland Church sources have said that families of the deceased have received some compensation and that the Jinzhou city government has promised to provide them with pensions.
The JPC also called for prayers for Fr Liu Qijin of Anguo, who fractured his leg in a separate road accident on December 12, in which another passenger in the car was killed.
Car crash kills priest and seminarians