Retired Bishop Francis Tong Hui of Yulin, northern Shaanxi, died of illness overnight on Oct. 27 at the age of 84.
Bishop Tong, who had been sick for years, was supposed to celebrate
the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination this coming Christmas,
as he was ordained a priest on Dec. 23, 1956. He was a native of
After becoming a priest in those difficult years for the Church in
China, he was jailed for 15 years in March 1965. He was freed in January
1980 and served as a parish pastor in several parishes in Xi’an diocese
In 1993, he became a vicar general of Yulin diocese, then headed by
Bishop Wang Zhenye (1991-1999). On March 19, 1994, he was ordained the
coadjutor bishop of Yulin. On April 25, 1999, he became the ordinary of
In 2010, John Baptist Yang Xiaoting was ordained coadjutor bishop of Yulin.
At Yang’s ordination, Bishop Tong, who was ill, only made a brief
appearance during the liturgy. On March 25, 2011, Bishop Tong officially
Yulin diocese was a place of missionary activity of the Congregation
of Sacred Heart of Mary and the Franciscan Order. It was named apostolic
vicariate of Yan’an in 1924. In 1992, that changed to Yulin diocese,
covering Yulin city and Yan’an city. Yan’an was once an important
revolutionary base of China’s Communists.
According to an online news report dated Sept 1, 2016 by the Shijiazhuang-based Faith Press in China,
Yulin diocese has 46 churches, and 73 prayer houses and activities
sites. The diocese is served by 34 priests and 36 sisters. It has about
The diocese is building a 50-metre-tall church, with a width of 28
metres and 60 metres in length, reportedly to be the largest church in
northwestern China, the report said.