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Zhoucun diocese welcomes bishop

ucanews.com reporter, Zibo

ucanews.com reporter, Zibo

Updated: November 15, 2010 05:30 AM GMT
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Coadjutor Bishop Joseph Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun (front), accompanied by Bishop Johan Fang Xingyao of Linyi (back) blessed his laypeople after ordination
Coadjutor Bishop Joseph Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun (front), accompanied by Bishop Johan Fang Xingyao of Linyi (back) blessed his laypeople after ordination
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More than 1,000 Catholics attended the ordination of Coadjutor Bishop Joseph Yang Yongqiang of Zhoucun in Shandong province on Nov. 15. He is the tenth bishop to be ordained in mainland China this year. Bishop Johan Fang Xingyao of Linyi presided at the ceremony, assisted by Bishops Joseph Li Mingshu of Qingdao, Zhao Fengchang of Liaocheng, Zhang Xianwang of Jinan as well as Zhoucun-native Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Xing Wenzhi of Shanghai. All the prelates are both Vatican-approved and government-recognized. Bishop Joseph Ma Xuesheng of Zhoucun, who has been in hospital for months, did not attend the ordination at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral at Zibo city. Bishop Yang told ucanews.com that he would like to enhance formation and vocations of clergy and Religious as the diocese does not have enough Church workers, with only 13 priests and three nuns, to care for the 18,000 Catholics. He has high hopes that laypeople will assist Church development as they are active in social services and biblical studies. On unity with the underground community, the prelate said there is the possibility to increase dialogue. He noted that the open community has been sharing worship venues with underground Catholics. Father Wu Kexing of Zhoucun expects Bishop Yang, 40, will bring a new scenario to the evangelization of the diocese. “We young priests have strived to develop the Church but I think the young new bishop would inject more vitality,” he told ucanews.com. Chen Ke, university student and niece of Bishop Yang, hopes her uncle will develop youth ministry, noting that the diocese only established a Catholic group for university students about two years ago. Bishop Yang was born to a Catholic family in Boxing county in 1970. The county was regarded as a cradle of vocations. Bishops Li and Xing are related. The then-Father Yang was ordained as a priest in 1995 after graduating from Sheshan seminary in Shanghai the same year. He returned to Zhoucun the following year and served as parish priest. He was assigned to teach at the Holy Spirit Major Seminary in Jinan, provincial capital of Shandong in 2005 and at the same time, work for the provincial Catholic Patriotic Association and Church Affairs Committee. He was nominated by Bishop Ma and elected unanimously as the bishop candidate in late 2009. Related reports Nanchang welcomes coadjutor bishop New Chinese bishop pledges loyalty to Pope CH11996.1628

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