Yinchuan (Fides Service) - Chinese Bishop Francis Xavier Guo Zhengji, Bishop of Bameng (mainland China) inner Mongolia, died at the age of 91 on Monday May 3, at Yinchuan Hospital where he had been in care for some months. Bishop Guo Zhengji was born in 1913 and ordained a priest in 1941. Before the 1980s he was persecuted and spent long years in prison like many of his brother priests. He was ordained as first Bishop of Bameng on 28 October 1990.
Bameng diocese covers a vast area of inner Mongolia taken from the diocese of Yinchuan in the poor and undeveloped autonomous region of Ningxia. The work of evangelisation and pastoral work progresses among people of many different Mongol tribes. Vocations, male and female, are flourishing. The diocese has about 30 priests and women religious who care for about 16,000 baptised Catholics. The diocesan community takes care of elderly people thanks to a special fund. Bishop Guo Zhengji’s funeral was held on 7 May. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 8/5/2004 - Righe 14; Parole 198)