Jining (Agenzia Fides) - On 9 June His Exc. Mgr. Giovanni Liu Shigong, Bishop of Jining (Tsining) in Inner Mongolia (Mainland China), died of illness at the age of 89.
He was born on August 18, 1928 in Wulannao (Siziwangqi, Wulanchabu City), entered the seminary in 1949 and began his studies at the Hohhot Philosophy Institute, which shortly afterwards was closed. In 1952 he resumed his formation at Hohhot's seminary and on August 15, 1956, he was ordained a priest.
He exercised his ministry in the parish in Guyingzi (Siziwangqi), until all religious activities were banned in China. Then he was forced to engage in farm labor to secure his livelihood. During the Cultural Revolution, for a period of time, he was subjected to forced labor.
In 1984, after the liberalization of religious activities, he became parish priest of Duyingzi and worked in the four parishes of Siziwangqi. On 12 October 1985 he was ordained Bishop for the Diocese of Jining. The faithful and priests always had great affection and gratitude for his pastoral commitment and exemplary lifestyle. Faithful to his vocation, he was very pious and was tireless in serving the Church and fidelity to the Lord, both in favorable and adverse circumstances.
The Diocese of Jining currently has about 65,000 faithful, 29 priests, 12 nuns of the diocesan Congregation of the Rosary of Mary, 25 parishes and 40 prayer places.
The funeral of late Bishop Liu Shigong was celebrated on June 15 in the Cathedral of the Diocese. He was then buried in the Catholic cemetery in Huaershan. (Agenzia Fides, 26/6/2017)