Xian Xian (Agenzia Fides) - The diocese of Xian Xian (today Cang Zhou) of He Bei province, received with great honor a group of distinguished guests: Fr. Ting Ming-Cheng’s relatives, as the French Jesuit missionary Ghestin Anatole is known by locals, who devoted half a century (53 years) of his life to the mission in China, especially in He Bei, and whose memory is still very much alive. According to information sent to Fides Agency, His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Ki Lian Gui, Bishop of Cang Zhou, two vicars, all diocesan priests, hundreds of nuns, seminarians and many faithful huddled together with the missionary’s relatives, not having forgotten this "great and humble Jesuit" who lived through the period of the last imperial dynasty of China, of the Republic and the founding of the People's Republic of China. In 1997, Fr. Ghestin’s relatives published the book "Désormais, je m'appelle TING" (now my name is Ting), a collection of the missionary’s letters addressed to the French Jesuit confreres, who testified 50 years of Chinese history in the 20th century, and also half a century of the path of the Chinese Church. The book was also translated into Chinese.
Fr. Anatole Ghestin, was born on January 3, 1873 in Haubourdin de Lille, in France, he entered the Jesuit novitiate in Amiens in October 1898. After being ordained a priest in 1907, he was sent to the mission of Tchély in China, today He Bei province, namely the then Apostolic Vicariate of Xian Xian (or Sienhsien today Cang Zhou), where he remained until his death in 1961, almost ninety years old. In addition to parish ministry, he worked to maintain contact between the Jesuits of France and those of the Chinese mission, through correspondence, collected in a book. Even today his name is one of the most familiar in the diocese, thanks to the many oral histories handed down by priests and faithful to the younger generations. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 15/11/2012