Wenzhou (Agenzia Fides) – His Exc. Mgr. Vincent Zhu Weifang, Bishop of Wenzhou (Yongjia), in Zhejiang Province (Mainland China) passed away on September 7. He was 88 years old.
The Prelate was born on December 10, 1927 in the village of Yang'ao, Yongjia District. In 1939, at the age of twelve, he entered the minor seminary of St. Vincent in the Diocese of Ningbo; he then continued his formation at the major seminaries of Ningbo, Jiaxing, Fuzhou and Shanghai. He was ordained a priest on October 6, 1954 in the church of Xujiahui in Shanghai by His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Gong Pinmei, S.I.
In July 1955 he began to exercise his ministry in the parish of Qianku in Wenzhou. A few months later, he was arrested and sentenced to 16 years of reeducation through labor. After his release in 1971, he underwent several arrests and controls because of his faith. Since 1988 he openly carried out his pastoral service in the parishes of Cangnan and Pingyang in Wenzhou. He paid attention to the female diocesan Congregation of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. During periods of detention, he had contributed to the work of evangelization, by offering the Lord all the effort of forced labor.
In November 2007 he was appointed Bishop of Wenzhou: was ordained on January 10, 2009 and was able to take possession of the diocese until 23 December 2010. From that moment onwards, despite his advanced age, he worked with great passion. As bishop, he did all he could to safeguard the rights and interests of the Church, earning great respect among all the faithful.
The diocese of Wenzhou (Yongjia) has over 140,000 Catholics: has about 50 priests, mostly young people, and more than 100 religious women, active in assisting the sick, the elderly and families, and in the work of evangelization. Bishop Zhu’s funeral, which was attended by thousands of faithful, was held on 13 September. In accordance with the canon law, His Exc. Mgr. Peter Shao Zhumin, Coadjutor Bishop of the above mentioned diocese, succeeds to the deceased Bishop. (Agenzia Fides 21/09/2016)