In a land area of 146,000 square kilometers, the Chinese government-sanctioned diocesan territory covers the provincial capital Shenyang City with its 9 districts: Heping, Shenhe, Dadong, Huanggu, Tiexi, Sujiatun, Dongling, Xinchengzi, Yuhong and 2 counties: Xinmin, Liaozhong; 14 other cities: Dalian, Wafangdian, Anshan, Fushun, Daxi, Dandong, Jinzhou, Jinxi, Yingkou, Panjin, Fuxin, Liaoyang, Tieling and Chaoyang.
According to the Vatican's Chinese Catholic Hierarchy established in 1946, Shenyang archdiocese as well as Fushun and Jehol dioceses exist within today's administrative division of Liaoning province.
Shenyang, provincial capital of Liaoning, lies 630 kilometers northeast of Beijing.
In Liaoning Province, the population is 42,170,000 at end of 2008. (The population of the whole country is 1.3 billion). Most residents are Han Chinese with minorities of Manchus, Mongols, Hui, Koreans and Xibe.
The Apostolic Vicariate of Laoding was created in 1838 and entrusted to the Paris Foreign Missions Society. This Society needed a base in China to support the new mission in Korea. A seminary opened in the Village of the Eight Families (Xiaobajiazi) later moved to Jilin, training many Chinese priests.
The western region of Liaoxi, first administerd by the Lazarists, was entrusted to the Scheutists (CICM).
On Aug. 20, 1840, the vicariate was renamed as Apostolic Vicariate of Liaotung and Manuchria and on May 10, 1898, the name was changed again into Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Manchuria.
In 1900, during the so-called Boxer Rebellion (until 1901), the Boxers slaughtered a number of missionaries. Bishop Guillon was massacred at the altar in the Moukden (Shenyang) cathedral and the church was destroyed.
Towards 1910, many Koreans fleeing the Japanese invaders found refuge in Manchuria. Today they form a minority of 1.3 million with the largest concentration in Yanji district, east of Jilin Province. There are over 6,000 Korean Catholics in that area.
On Dec. 3, 1924, the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Manchuria was once more renamed as Apostolic Vicariate of Shenyang/Fengtian.
The Vatican made Shenyang an archdiocese in 1946, when it established the Chinese Catholic hierarchy. In 1983, government-sanctioned Church authorities combined Shenyang with Fushun, Rehe (Jehol) and Yingkou dioceses to make Liaoning diocese, covering all of Liaoning province. Government-recognized Bishop Xu Zhenjiang was made the ordinary. He was followed by Bishop Zhang Hualin in 1988. He passed away in 1989.
In 1989, Pius Jin Peixian became the ordinary of Liaoning Diocese. Many Church people in and outside China considered Bishop Jin a prominent leader of the China Church. He held the title of vice president of the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China before his death.
Anthony Lam Sui-ki, a Hong Kong-based Church-in-China observer, said after Bishop Jin's death on Nov. 4, 2008 that the bishop maintained a successful balance between his "loyalty to the pope and compliance with national identity."
There are four public airports in Liaoning: Shenyang Taoxian International Airport; and Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport; Jinzhou Airport and Dandong Airport. Jinzhou and Dondong only connect with Beijing and Shanghai-Pudong. Shenyang and Dalian are larger international airports. They have flights to and form many other Chinese cities as well as international routes to North and South Korea, Japan, and even some American and European connections.
Eight railways connected Liaoning's Shenyang with Beijing, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin and Fushun. New high speed bullet trains now run from Shenyang to Beijing cutting the journey time down to four and half hours. Shenyang is connected via the transmongolian railway to Inner Mongolia, Outer Mongolia and on to Russian Siberia.
The six-lane Jingshen Expressway runs the 658 kilometres from Beijing to Shenyang. The Shensi Expressway connects Shenyang to Changchun.
Coaches connect Shenyang, Dalian, Anshan and Dandong to Beijing and other cities throughout the north east of China. A coach form Beijing to Shenyang will take around 7 to 8 hours.
Ferrys from Incheon (South Korea), Shanghai, Weihai, Yantai and Tianjin connect to Dalian in the south of Liaoning.
It is possible to cross the border at Dandong between North Korea and China under certain circumstances.
Liaoning Province has a temperate continental monsoonal climate, with a hot, rainy summer; a long, cold winter with little snow; and a short, windy spring. It has a mean annual temperature of 6-11 degrees C, and a mean annual precipitation of 400-1,000 mm.
Liaoning is one of China's most important industrial bases, covering a wide range of industries, such as machinery, electronics, metal refining, petroleum, chemical industries, construction materials, coal, and so on.
The sea off Dalian abounds with quality seafood, such as abalones, sea cucumbers, scallops, prawns, crabs, and sea urchins. The big fish of Dandong, the jellyfish of Yingkou, and the clams of Panjin are known worldwide for their good tastes right from the sea and in products made in Liaoning for export domestically and internationally.
Liaoning is located in the southern part of China's Northeast. Liaoning borders the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Gulf in the south, North Korea in the southeast, Jilin Province to the northeast, Hebei Province to the west, and Inner Mongolia to the northwest.
The Yalu River marks the border between North Korea and the Chinese provinces of Jilin and Liaoning. It empties into the Korea Bay between Dandong (Liaoning) and Sinuiju (North Korea).
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
Asian Catholics who cannot visit famous Our Lady of Lourdes shrine in France can revere miraculous Mother Mary at Velankanni shrine in India. The Basilica of Our Lady of Good Health is popularly known as “the Lourdes of the East” and holds the largest Catholic Church in Asia.
Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica at Fort Kochi is one of the finest churches and a historic but also a landmark in Kerala state of southern India. Santa Cruz Church blends Indo-European and Gothic architectural style that draws tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The cathedral is a great place of devotion and historic significance that survived colonial conquests and invasions to the city.
Mokama Marian shrine on the southern bank of Ganges River bears the legacy persecuted Nepali Catholics banished from their homeland to India for refusing to renounce their faith. Our Lady of Divine Grace Church at Mokama stands about 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of eastern Indian state of Bihar. Mother Mary is popularly known as Mokama Mata (Mother of Mokama). The church was built to honor Mary in 1947.
The shrine holds a three-meter-tall, white-stone carved statue Virgin Mary on the Tao Pao Mountain in the Diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam, about 1,600 kilometers from the national capital Hanoi.
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Urakami of Nagasaki is a witness of persecution of Christians from 17th to 19th centuries and deadly atomic bombing during the Second World War. This European-style, red-brick church continues to preserve some relics that survived the atomic bombing. Urakami cathedral, also known as St. Mary’s Cathedral, was almost destroyed when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The church stood about 500 meters from the hypocenter of atomic explosion. The devastation shattered and charred stone-made statues of saints, which were later preserved as relics along with the surviving head of Virgin Mary statue and one of the church’s original bells.
Our Lady of Akita Catholic Church is Yuzawadai is among the most famous churches in Japan. The church shot into global fame thanks to a wooden statue of Blessed Virgin Mary that wept 101 times and Marian apparitions to Japanese nun Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa that miraculously healed her hearing impairment. Japanese wooden sculptor Saburo Wakasa from Akita city carved the now-famous miraculous statue of Virgin Mary in 1963.
The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Seria is a small church on the western Belait district of Brunei, but it shot into fame thanks to the nation’s most famous Catholic – late Cardinal Cornelius Sim. It is also the second of three churches in Brunei dedicated to Virgin Mary. In fact, Mary has a prominent place not only in Christianity, but also in Islam, the dominant faith in Brunei. Holy Quran mentions Mary seventy times and reveres her as the greatest woman to have ever lived.