Yujiang (Agenzia Fides) – On Saturday, April 2, 2016, His Exc. Mgr. Thomas Zeng Jingmu emeritus and unofficial Bishop of the diocese of Yujiang, in Jiangxi Province (Mainland China) died at the age of almost 96. On March 26, Holy Saturday, he fell on the floor at home, after a stroke, suffering severe concussion. He was immediately hospitalized in Fuzhou and underwent surgery. On April 2, his health suddenly deteriorated and he died at 10.50pm.
The funeral was celebrated on April 6 in his hometown, by his nephew Rev. Zeng Zhongliang, of the diocese of Yujiang, along with about twenty concelebrants. The unofficial Bishop of the Diocese, His Exc. Mgr. John Peng Weizhao, has been living in limited freedom for some time.
Mgr. Zeng had asked, in his will, to celebrate his funeral in his hometown, in a simple form, without speaking of his merits. The funeral was attended by thousands of faithful from the Diocese and from other parts of China, thus testifying the esteem and gratitude for the service he rendered to the Church and to the diocesan community for more than 25 years.
The deceased Bishop was born on July 23, 1919 (some source reports a different date) in the village of Zengjiacun, Chongren district, in the province of Jiangxi. In 1930 he entered the Seminary of Wenshan, of the diocese of Yujiang. In 1944 he continued his studies in the major Seminary in Fuzhou in Fujian, and in 1948 he was transferred to Wensheng in Zhejiang Seminary. He was ordained a priest on March 25, 1949 by His Exc. Mgr. William Charles Quinn, C. M., was assistant parish priest and parish priest in various communities. On January 13, 1990, he received episcopal consecration at the hands of His Exc. Mgr. James Xie Shiguang, Bishop of Funing.
Mgr. Zeng was a defender of the Catholic doctrine and a courageous witness of fidelity to the Church, at the cost of great sacrifice: he was arrested several times and spent three decades of his life in detention. His love for Christ, the Church and the Holy Father was a great example to many.
In his spiritual testament he asked for forgiveness for all their shortcomings and thanked the priests of the diocese for their dedication and their service. Among other things, he hoped to build a church dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in his hometown, in gratitude for the protection and for the graces obtained. (Agenzia Fides 22/04/2016)