Jinan (Agenzia Fides) - On November 6, His Exc. Mgr. Samuel Guo Chuanzhen, O.F.M., Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Jinan, Shandong Province (China Mainland) died. He was 94 years old and lived retired at the Church of the Immaculate Conception of Jinan. The Archbishop was born on April 14, 1918 in the city of Jinan. In 1931, after attending middle school, he entered the seminary for the study of literature, philosophy and theology. He was ordained priest on December 8, 1944. In 1945 he started his university studies in History at the Catholic University Furen in Beijing, but in 1949, with the arrival of the Popular Republic of China, he was forced to return to his Diocese, where he was pastor of Zhengjuesijie and teacher at the minor seminary.
Since 1963, with the forced closure of all religious activities, he worked as a deputy director in the food industry. During the Cultural Revolution, he was forced to forced labor and under house arrest for 16 years. In 1982 he was allowed to work as a Catholic priest. In 1983 he founded the Holy Spirit Seminary of Shandong, where he was Rector. On 24 April 1988 he was ordained Bishop for the Archdiocese of Jinan.
In the grip of the Cultural Revolution, he preserved and defended the Catholic faith. He is acknowledged with gratitude, the establishment of the diocesan Seminary, where a great number of priests currently operating in the province of Shandong were formed.
The body of Bishop Guo received the tribute of the faithful at the current Cathedral of Hongjialou, where on November 8, His Exc. Mgr. Joseph Zhang Xianwang, Archbishop of Jinan, celebrated the funeral. The mortal remains of the Archbishop were thereafter transferred to the diocesan cemetery of his native village of Huzhuang. The Archdiocese of Jinan currently has 30,000 Catholics, 40 priests, 20 religious women and 11 parishes with about sixty places of worship. (Agenzia Fides 19/11/2012)