ASIA/CHINA – Mourning in the episcopate
Ankang (Agenzia Fides) – On August 28, 2022, after a long illness, His Excellency Monsignor Jean-Baptiste Ye Ronghua, Prefect Apostolic Bishop of Ankang, in the province of Shaanxi, mainland China, died at the age of 91. year.
The prelate was born on June 21, 1931 in a family of Catholic tradition, in the district of Nanzheng, near Hanzhong. In 1945, he entered the diocesan minor seminary, then the regional major seminary of Kaifeng. Having completed his studies in theology, he could not be ordained a priest due to the unfavorable political situation and was subsequently denounced and sentenced to hard labor in 1966.
Ordained a priest on December 10, 1981, he exercised his pastoral ministry first in the dioceses of Hanzhong and Zhouzhi, and finally in the apostolic prefecture of Ankang, where he was consecrated bishop on December 10, 2000, also well accepted by the local government. . Despite the poverty of the region and the financial problems of the prefecture, Bishop Ye is doing his best to rebuild and revive the Catholic community.
As his health became increasingly precarious, in 2016, His Excellency Monsignor Jean-Baptiste Wang Xiaoxun, who succeeds him today, was consecrated coadjutor bishop.
Currently, the Apostolic Prefecture of Ankang has about 7,000 faithful, divided into 3 parishes, with 11 priests and 5 nuns. (Agenzia Fides 09/27/2022)