Chinese faithful in prayer 

By Vatican News

Jan 30 2024

Father Anthony Sun Venjun is consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Weifang, China. Pope Francis made the appointment on Apr 20, 2023, when he suppressed the Apostolic Prefecture of Yiduxian and erected the new diocese.

The new Diocese of Weifang was recently established in China, and today, Monday Jan 29, its new pastor was consecrated: Anthony Sun Venjun. Both decisions – the erection of the new diocese and the appointment of its first pastor – took place in April 2023, but were announced on the day of the Bishop’s consecration. The appointment was made in the context of the Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China.

“With the desire to promote the pastoral care of Lord’s flock, and to attend better to its spiritual welfare,” reads the statement released by the Holy See Press Office, “on Apr 20 2023, the Supreme Pontiff Francis decided to suppress in Continental China the apostolic prefecture of Yiduxian, which was erected on Jun 16 1931 by Pope Pius XI, taking territory from the apostolic vicariate of Zhifu (present-day diocese of Yantai), and at the same time to erect the new diocese of Weifang, as a suffragan of Jinan, province of Shandong, with its episcopal see in the Cathedral Church of Christ the King, located in Qingzhou, city of Weifang.”

“The ecclesiastical boundaries of the new diocese,” the statement continues, “will include the following areas: the quarters of Weicheng, Hanting, Fangzi, and Kuiwen; the four ‘zones’ of communal development; the counties of Linu and Changle; the cities of Qingzhou, Zhucheng, Shouguang, Angiu, Gaomi, and Changyi. Instead, the eastern part of the quarters of Laiwu will be incorporated in the archdiocese of Jinan; whereas the quarters of Boshane, Linzi, the counties of Guangrao, Boxing, and Gaoging will be incorporated in the diocese of Zhoucun.

“In this way, the territory of the diocese of Weifang conforms to that of the principal city of Weifang, with a total area of 16,167.23 km2 and a total population of 9,386,705 inhabitants, of whom around 6000 are Catholics, served by ten priests and six religious sisters.”

The Holy See Press Office also provided a brief curriculum vitae of the new bishop consecrated today. “The Reverend Anthony Sun Wenjun was born in November 1970. He studied at the seminary of Sheshan, in Shanghai, from 1989 to 1994. He was ordained a priest in 1995 in the parish of Xishiku in Beijing. He subsequently provided pastoral service in Shandong from 2005 to 2007. Between 2007 and 2008 he pursued his personal formation in Ireland. Upon his return to Weifang, he continued his ministry there.” – Vatican News