Diocese of Caozhou (Heze)
Diocese of Caozhou (Heze)

Heze Diocese covers one district, 8 counties and one development area.

Heze (Caozhou) Diocese was separated from the administration of Yanzhou Diocese in 1932 and it was erected as an apostolic vicariate in 1937. It was made a diocese in 1946 and came under the care of the Society of the Divine Word until the 1950s. According to Vatican’s Annuario Pontificio, Heze had the biggest number of Catholics, 72,000, among the other 10 dioceses in Shandong before the establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949. All foreign missioners were expelled and local clergy persecuted in the 1950s. There had been more than 30 churches including a beautiful cathedral, but by the time the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), all of them were damaged or demolished. Heze went decades with no clergy as well as no church. When Bishop Wang Dianduo was ordained bishop of Heze in 2000, the diocese did not have a single church, and there was only one priest assisting the bishop. In 2001, the Rosary Church was built. It was the only major place of worship in the diocese.


Heze has a population of 8.98 millions.


Mandarin and Shandong dialect are in use.


In the city, Beijing- Jiulong railway and New Eurasian Continental Bridge intersect with each other, so do Rizhao-Dongying speedway, Jinan-Heze speedway and Heze-Lanzhou speedway, as well as national and provincial highways, making its traffic quite accessible for residents and passengers.


Heze has a monsoon-influenced climate that lies between the humid subtropical and humid continental zones, with four well-defined seasons. Conditions are warm and nearly rainless in spring, hot and humid in summer, crisp in autumn and cold and dry in winter. The mean annual temperature is 13.7 degree Celsius, with monthly 24-hour averages ranging from −0.9 degree Celsius in January to 26.8 degree Celsius in July. Rainfall mainly occurs in summer; snow occasionally falls during winter, though heavy falls are very rare.


Heze is the largest center in China for the cultivation of the "national flower" peony, after which the Mudan District was named. Over 30 percent of its national income comes from the sale of peony.


Heze is a prefecture-level city in southwestern Shandong province with plains and low mountains. It borders Jining to the east and the provinces of Henan and Anhui to the west and south respectively. The old name of Heze was Caozhou and now Caozhou becomes part of the Heze city.


Heze University, Heze Medical College, Shandong University Of Combined Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine (Heze Branch) and College of Shandong Heze Music & Performance are located in the city.


Heze is known as “China Peony City” and it is the national base of cultivating the peony for domestic and international flower markets. The city also holds “Heze Internationl Peony Fair” annually.


Heze is also “the hometown of Chinese opera, Chinese martial arts and calligraphy and painting.” It is one of the most famous historical and cultural resorts with more than 100 places of interest such as Sun Bin Tourist Town and Fang Mountain.

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