Chengdu (AsiaNews) - Fr Simon Li Zhigang, who was appointed bishop of Chengdu (Sichuan) a month ago, died today of liver cancer at 9:48 (local time), at the age of 48 years. The date of the funeral has not yet been set.
This year they had celebrated the 20th anniversary of Father Li’s priesthood and 10th as an administrator of the diocese of Chengdu. He was elected May 10, 2011 by an assembly composed of 23 priests, 17 lay people, four sisters and a seminarian. He received 41 votes of the 45 votes, with three abstentions and one against. Until now he had not received the mandate of the Holy See.
Church sources told AsiaNews that Father Li was hospitalized in recent days, and most of the priests from the diocese gathered at his sick bed yesterday (June 17) and prayed for him, during which Father Li received the Last Sacrament. “Apparently Father Li was peaceful and happy with the prayer gathering of the priests, despite he suffered physical pains,” a priest said.
Other Church sources also said Father Li’s episcopal ordination was scheduled to be in late 2011, after other bishop ordinations of Sichuan. The dioceses of Leshan, Xichang, Nanchong and Yibin (all in Sichuan) are ready with bishop candidates. So far, Father Li and two of the Sichuan candidates had no mandate from Holy See.
Born in October 1963 in Mianyang of Chengdu diocese, Father Li studied at the Sichuan Regional Seminary in 1984-1987. He was ordained a priest in April 1991. He had been an assistant parish pastor of the cathedral parish. In 1996-2000 He had served as vice-rector and rector at the Sichuan seminary. Since December 2000, he had been administrator of the diocese. Since 2006, he had been the chairperson of Chengdu city patriotic association.
Chengdu diocese has 23 priests, 13 nuns, and nearly 100,000 Catholics. In 2008, Sichuan province was hard-hit by earthquake. Many places of Chengdu diocese have been devastated. Father Li was involved in the reconstruction work.
The king, whose person is "inviolable", remains "Head of believers and the Head of State" and will remain head of the armed forces. In his speech to the nation for the presentation of the new Constitution, Mohammed VI ensured that he will guarantee, as a "Leader of the Believers", "freedom of religious worship" in the country. Another important point concerns the the new official language of the country: in addition to Arabic, the language of the Amazigh (Berber), spoken by most people, becomes an official language. The "February 20 Movement", the movement of young people and human rights organizations that animates protests in Morocco, however, have criticized the new Constitution, as it believes that the proposed openings are not yet sufficient to ensure full democracy, and has called for tomorrow, Sunday, June 20, a series of demonstrations around the Country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 06/19/2011)
NEWS.COM.AU REPORT: TO his family, Tony Guerra was a loyal father, husband, brother and son.
Yesterday the proud family man paid the ultimate price for his loyalty, dying as he bravely fought to save his wife and daughter from their burning family home.
Tony and his 10-year-old daughter, Brittany, died in a fire that broke out in his Sorrento property about 7 o'clock yesterday morning.
Family members said his wife of almost 20 years, Kylie, woke to discover their TV room's curtain on fire and daughter Brittany standing nearby.
- Girl, 10 and father killed in house blaze
As smoke billowed throughout the home, it is believed Tony and Kylie struggled to get their daughter to safety.
Tony then smashed the room's window and dragged Kylie, who was severely affected by smoke, out the broken window. In the confusion, the couple lost sight of Brittany.
Kylie told family members she remembers Tony then passing out, presumably from smoke inhalation.
Tony's brother, John, told the Herald Sun: "Kylie said that (Tony) passed out, but then got back up again and ran around the other side (to look for Brittany) and that was the last she saw of him. She never got to see him again."
Tony was later dragged from the home, with paramedics working for almost an hour to resuscitate him.
He died at the scene while Brittany was found in the kitchen area of the house. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
Family yesterday congregated at a Rosebud family home to remember the man who loved to surf and waterski.
John Guerra told the Herald Sun his brother met Kylie when she was just 17, and they had been together ever since.
Tony, aged in his 40s, had recently stopped working to care full-time for Brittany, who was left with a disability after complications at birth.
"They have been together since she was 17 and he was about 19, and ... have been married a good 20 years or so, and they really loved each other," John said.
"He and Kylie were both water babies, they loved to waterski. He played football for Rosebud, but it was his surfing and the water he loved most. He was loyal to his family, he loved his girls and living with a handicapped child would drive a lot of couples apart, but it made them stronger."
John said his family were thankful the tragedy was not worse as Tony's youngest daughter, Marlie, was staying with a nearby relative at the time of the fire started.
Kylie was taken to hospital in a stable condition.
The suspension will remain in effect until Father Antonio Fernandez has “irrefutably shown—in the judgment of the bishops” that he has renounced “all public office, commitment or political activity” and displays “willingness to act in communion with the Catholic Church.”
Fr. Fernandez, who ran for a spot on the city council, was elected and took office on June 11. The Diocese of Ourense announced he would be suspended as pastor of the four parishes under his care, prohibited from “interfering in any way” in the choosing of his successor, and forbidden from exercising priestly ministry.
The diocese said it exhausted every means before making “this difficult determination” once the priest’s decision had been made known and that he had been respectfully and clearly notified “of the canonical consequences that could result from such a decision.”
According to Canon Law, members of the clergy are not permitted to hold public office or to actively participate in political parties.
ABBOT AND FOUNDER
Feast: June 19
Born at Ravenna, probably about 950; died at Val-di-Castro, 19 June, 1027. St. Peter Damian, his first biographer, and almost all the Camaldolese writers assert that St. Romuald's age at his death was one hundred and twenty, and that therefore he was born about 907. This is disputed by most modern writers. Such a date not only results in a series of improbabilities with regard to events in the saint's life, but is also irreconcilable with known dates, and probably was determined from some mistaken inference by St. Peter Damian. In his youth Romuald indulged in the usual thoughtless and even vicious life of the tenth-century noble, yet felt greatly drawn to the eremetical life. At the age of twenty, struck with horror because his father had killed an enemy in a duel, he fled to the Abbey of San Apollinare-in-Classe and after some hesitation entered religion. San Apollinare had recently been reformed by St. Maieul of Cluny, but still was not strict enough in its observance to satisfy Romuald. His injudicious correction of the less zealous aroused such enmity against him that he applied for, and was readily granted, permission to retire to Venice, where he placed himself under the direction of a hermit named Marinus and lived a life of extraordinary severity. About 978, Pietro Orseolo I, Doge of Venice, who had obtained his office by acquiescence in the murder of his predecessor, began to suffer remorse for his crime. On the advice of Guarinus, Abbot of San Miguel-de-Cuxa, in Catalonia, and of Marinus and Romuald, he abandoned his office and relations, and fled to Cuxa, where he took the habit of St. Benedict, while Romuald and Marinus erected a hermitage close to the monastery. For five years the saint lived a life of great austerity, gathering round him a band of disciples. Then, hearing that his father, Sergius, who had become a monk, was tormented with doubts as to his vocation, he returned in haste to Italy, subjected Sergius to severe discipline, and so resolved his doubts. For the next thirty years St. Romuald seems to have wandered about Italy, founding many monasteries and hermitages. For some time he made Pereum his favourite resting place. In 1005 he went to Val-di- Castro for about two years, and left it, prophesying that he would return to die there alone and unaided. Again he wandered about Italy; then attempted to go to Hungary, but was prevented by persistent illness. In 1012 he appeared at Vallombrosa, whence he moved into the Diocese of Arezzo. Here, according to the legend, a certain Maldolus, who had seen a vision of monks in white garments ascending into Heaven, gave him some land, afterwards known as the Campus Maldoli, or Camaldoli. St. Romuald built on this land five cells for hermits, which, with the monastery at Fontebuono, built two years later, became the famous mother-house of the Camaldolese Order. In 1013 he retired to Monte-Sitria. In 1021 he went to Bifolco. Five years later he returned to Val-di-Castro where he died, as he had prophesied, alone in his cell. Many miracles were wrought at his tomb, over which an altar was allowed to be erected in 1032. In 1466 his body was found still incorrupt; it was translated to Fabriano in 1481. In 1595 Clement VIII fixed his feast on 7 Feb., the day of the translation of his relics, and extended its celebration to the whole Church. He is represented in art pointing to a ladder on which are monks ascending to Heaven.
[Note: By the Apostolic Constitution Calendarium Romanum, promulgated in 1969, the feast of St. Romuald was assigned, as an "Optional Memorial," to 19 June, the day of his death.]
|Exodus 34: 4 - 6, 8 - 9|
|4||So Moses cut two tables of stone like the first; and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tables of stone.|
|5||And the LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.|
|6||The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,|
|8||And Moses made haste to bow his head toward the earth, and worshiped.|
|9||And he said, "If now I have found favor in thy sight, O Lord, let the Lord, I pray thee, go in the midst of us, although it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thy inheritance."|