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Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Sze-ch’wan

Ecclesiastical jurisdiction in China

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Sze-ch’wan, SOUTHERN, Vicariate Apostolic of.—On January 24, 1860, the mission of Southern Sze-ch’wan was separated from Eastern Szech’wan and erected into a vicariate Apostolic by a Decree of Pius IX. The Right Rev. Msgr. Pichon, titular Bishop of Helenopolis, was the first vicar Apostolic. The mission numbered 12,000 Catholics and the bishop there was the only European missionary with three native priests and four chapels. Bishop Desfleches gave him one missionary, Father Larcher, and one Chinese priest. In 1862 Bishop Pichon established a seminary at Ho-ti-keou. In 1871 he died in France, and Bishop Lepley succeeded him. Bishop Chatagnon succeeded Bishop Lepley in 1887. On May 28, 1895, the buildings of the Protestants at Chen-tu were destroyed. The following day the settlements of Bishop Dunand were also ruined. About half of the Catholic settlements in the Southern Sze-ch’wan missions were destroyed. Bishop Chatagnon escaped into the tribunal of Mei-chou. In July, 1898, a new persecution broke out. In 1900 the mission did not suffer much from the Boxers. In 1902 there was an awful persecution. Many Christiana were killed. From 1895 till 1904 there were about thirty Christians murdered on account of their Faith. The mission is entrusted to the Society of the Foreign Missons of Paris. The present vicar Apostolic is Right Rev. Marc Chatagnon, titular Bishop of Chersonesus, who resides at Sui-fu, and has as his Coadjutor Right Rev. Pierre-Marie Fayolle, consecrated titular Bishop of Lampas in 1909. In 1910 the mission of Kien-Chang was separated from Southern Sze-ch’wan and Father J.B. Marie de Guebriant elected bishop and first vicar Apostolic. As this mission has been newly formed, it has been impossible to get any information about the number of the Christians. In 1889 the mission numbered: 1 bishop, 26 missionaries, 9 native priests, 50 catechists, 38 churches and chapels, 1 seminary with 31 students, 68 schools with 1265 pupils, 18,000 Catholics. In 1910 there were 2 bishops, 40 missionaries, 15 native priests, 98 catechists, 2 seminaries with 115 students, 284 schools with 5765 pupils, 6 orphanages with 153 orphans, 104 churches or chapels, 30,618 Catholics.

V. H. MONTANAR


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