1996-01-09 00:00:00

Archbishop Joseph Kuo Juo-shin, the first archbishop of Taipei, died Dec. 18 at the age of 90 in a Catholic-run hospital in Taoyuan, southwest of Taipei, where he spent his last days.

Archbishop Kuo had celebrated his 90th birthday in March 1995 with greetings and blessings from Catholics in Taiwan and Pope John Paul II.

Born in 1906 in Gaocheng, Hebei province, northern China, the future archbishop was ordained priest of the Congregation of Disciples of the Lord in 1931, the year the congregation was founded in mainland China to serve China.

He was appointed the apostolic vicar of Taipei in 1950, and became its first archbishop when the diocese was made an archdiocese in 1952.

In 1959, however, Cardinal Thomas Tien Ken-sin, the first Chinese cardinal, came to Taiwan from the United States, and Archbishop Kuo resigned so Cardinal Tien could take over the archdiocese.

Maintaining pastoral ministries in Taipei and Keelung, Archbishop Kuo was elected the first president of Taiwan´s episcopal conference in 1967.

In 1971, though, he stepped down in favor of then newly elevated Chinese Cardinal Paul Yupin. From then, he worked mostly with his congregation.

Archbishop Joseph Ti-Kang of Taipei, who spoke at the thanksgiving Mass for Archbishop Kuo´s 90th birthday, praised his ongoing efforts to promote a Chinese Church.

Despite worsening health, Archbishop Kuo remained enthusiastic in giving suggestions and working for the Church, Archbishop Ti said.

Archbishop Kuo spent his later years at his congregation´s general house at Yangmingshan, an outskirt of Taipei.


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