At 11:16 pm on Sunday, September 25, 2016, His Exc. Msgr. Anthony Xu Jiwei, Bishop of Linhai (Taichow), in Zhejiang Province (Mainland China) passed away. He was 81 years old: he had been suffering from various health problems for some time; in recent months he had suffered a stroke and later from recurrent episodes of pulmonary infection.
The Prelate was born on April 2, 1935 in Shanghai. From 1948 to 1958 he studied in seminaries in Ningbo and Shanghai. In 1960 he was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison, then was forced to hard labor. In the same year he was appointed teacher at a secondary school.
In 1985 he was pardoned for his previous conviction and therefore was able to return to the seminary of Shanghai and resume his theological studies, which he had already studied when he was young. At the age of fifty, on November 21, 1985, he was ordained a priest. He stayed in the same seminary in Shanghai as a formator.
In 1987 he returned to his diocese of origin in Ningbo. In 1999 he was diocesan Administrator and pastor of Shijiang, in the diocese of Linhai (Taizhou). In the same year, the Holy See appointed him Bishop of Linhai (Taizhou), dioceses that had been vacant since 1962. For several reasons his episcopal consecration took place eleven years later, on July 10, 2010, presided by His Exc. Msgr. Joseph Li Mingshu, Bishop of Qingdao, with the participation of four other legitimate Bishops.
During the years of his ministry, Msgr. Xu Jiwei proved to be a prudent and zealous Pastor, animated by a profound sense of communion and fidelity to the Successor of Peter and with the universal Church, and was concerned to give adequate formation to the local clergy. During the six years of episcopal ministry about half of the current priests of his diocesan community were ordained and some of them were sent abroad to further deepen their education.
Bishop Xu’s funeral, which was attended by thousands of faithful, was held on 29 September. (Agenzia Fides, 07/10/2016)