Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – Five days after the episcopal ordination of the Coadjutor Bishop of the Archdiocese of Taiyuan, on September 21, the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle, Bishop Peter Wu Junwei was consecrated as Bishop of Xinjiang (Yuncheng). The Bishop belongs to the diocesan clergy and is 47 years old. He has been a priest for 20 years. He was approved by the Holy See for the office of Bishop of Yuncheng. The Chinese authorities have allowed his ordination.
The solemn liturgy was presided by Bishop John Huo Cheng of Fenyang, assisted by Bishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing and Coadjutor Bishops Paul Meng Ningyou of Taiyuan and John Baptist Yang Xiaoting of Yan'an. All these bishops are in communion with the Holy Father and recognized by the government.
The ceremony was attended by at least 144 priests and 95 religious from various regions (Shanxi, Beijing, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, and Hubei). There were also over 2,000 faithful.
Bishop Wu was born June 27, 1963, the eldest of six brothers and sisters, among whom are a priest and a nun. He comes from a family of Catholic tradition, which counts among its ancestors the martyr St. Peter Wu Anbang. He studied at the minor and major seminary in Taiyuan and was ordained priest on December 9, 1990. He was first pastor (1991-1996), then rector of the minor seminary in Taiyuan, along with being treasurer and head of ecclesiastical affairs in the diocese (1996-2001). Finally, from 2001 to 2009, he was rector of the Montecorvino Major Seminary in Shanxi.
The ecclesiastical district of Xinjiang currently has 15,000 faithful, about 30 priests, and about 40 sisters. There are also several clinics and a community center.
Bishop Wu called on all the priests to be united amongst each other and promised to carry out his episcopal ministry in communion with the universal Church. He hopes to encourage an interest for faith and religion among the people.
The diocesan community has greatly rejoiced to learn that Bishop Wu thanked the Holy Father for his appointment, professing a sincere loyalty to the Pope and the universal Church. All are hoping that he can carry out the pastoral ministry that the Church has entrusted to him in Yuncheng with dedication and love. (Agenzia Fides 29/09/2010)