1994-03-11 00:00:00

Bishop Joseph Lin Thien-chu of Chiayi, Taiwan´s first Taiwan-born bishop, died of a brain hemorrhage March 4 at the age of 59.

According to Auxiliary Bishop Bosco Lin Chi-nan of Kaohsiung, Bishop Joseph Lin suddenly lost consciousness on Feb. 27 and was rushed to Catholic-run St. Martin de Porres Hospital here, 205 kilometers southwest of Taipei.

The bishop died eight days later without ever regaining consciousness, said Bishop Bosco Lin, the island´s second and now only native Taiwanese bishop.

Due to the seriousness of the hemorrhage, he noted, doctors did not operate or try to move the bishop from the intensive care unit at St. Martin´s to a bigger hospital.

The late bishop was reportedly on medication for high blood pressure.

Born into a Catholic family in Yunlin County, southern Taiwan, he entered St. Joseph Minor Seminary in Kaohsiung and studied philosophy at the former South China Regional Seminary (now Holy Spirit Seminary) in Hong Kong.

Ordained a priest in 1961 in Rome after theological studies at the Pontifical Urban University there, then Father Joseph Lin earned a doctorate in moral theology at the same university in 1966.

Returning to Taiwan, he served in Kaohsiung diocese as a parish priest, as rector of St. Joseph Minor Seminary and on various diocesan commissions. He also lectured at the Regional Seminary of Taiwan in Tainan.

In December 1985, Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of Chiayi diocese. The episcopal ordination took place one month later, on Jan. 12, 1986.

Bishop Joseph Lin became the first Taiwan-born bishop. Most of the island´s other bishops were born in mainland China. The others were missioners.

The bishop headed the episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith and Catechetical Instruction.

His funeral and requiem Mass are to take place at Fu Jen High School on March 19 at 1:30 p.m., says the obituary from the diocesan curia here.


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