Diocese of Fenyang
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In a land area of approximately 21,000 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the prefecture-level city of Luliang in the central part of Shanxi province. Their administrative area includes 1 urban district (Lishi), 2 county-level cities (Xiaoyi and Fenyang) and 10 counties.

Population

Luliang has a total population of 3.6 million.

Language

Mandarin Chinese and Jin (Shanxi) dialect are in use in the diocesan territory.

History

Erected from Taiyuan diocese, Fengyang is one of the six native dioceses created in 1926 with the approval of Pope Pius XI and the efforts of Archbishop Celso Costantini, the first Apostolic Delegate to China, and Belgian Father Vincent Lebbe.

Bishop Aloysius Chen Guodi was ordained as the first bishop of Fengyang by Pope Pius XI in St. Peter's Basilica together with other five Chinese bishops on Oct. 28, 1926. The new diocese covered 15 counties with about 11,000 Catholics.

Bishop Chen established the minor seminary in 1927 and pooled efforts with four other dioceses to form St. Joseph's Regional Seminary in Xuanhua in 1930, which nurtured 28 priests for Fengyang until it was disbanded in 1943.

Fengyang diocese also opened up various educational and social services to serve the needy. However, all Catholic properties had been confiscated after the founding of People's Republic of China in 1949. Religious activities were stopped, churches were damaged and clergy suffered from persecutions during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76).

Since 1979, Church life gradually normalized after 16 priests were released and churches were restored. In 1982, the government-sanctioned "open" Church authority restructured the ecclesiastical territories of Fengyang in accordance with civil administrative boundaries, covering 13 counties (among which a few were elevated to cities in 1990s).

The diocesan Convent of Sacred Heart of Jesus was formed in 1991 and its first batch of nuns took their first vows four years later.

Transportation

The city has a comprehensive highway and railway network. The Xiajiaying-Fenyang Highway, the Fenyang-Liulin Highway, the Taiyuan-Zhongwei Railway, the Datong-Puzhou Railway and the Xiaoyi-Liulin Railway go through the city, connecting the city with most domestic cities in China. The construction of Luliang Airport, located 20.5 kilometers from the city's downtown area, started in February 2009 and is scheduled for completion in 2011.

Climate

Luliang has a dry continental climate, with four distinct seasons. Its annual precipitation is 422 mm. The average temperature is 19.4 degrees Celsius.

Economy

In 2010, Luliang city's GDP rose 21 percent from a year earlier to 84.55 billion yuan ranking sixth in Shanxi Province. The value-added output from primary industry, secondary industry and tertiary industry reached RMB 4.3 billion, RMB 58.82 billion and RMB 21.43 billion, comprising 5.1 percent, 69.6 percent and 25.3 percent of the city's GDP, respectively. Coal mining and dressing, coking, metallurgy, electricity production and supply are the traditional pillar industries.

Fenyang is famous for the production of Fenjiu, a kind of fragrant distilled liquor with a long history of 1,500 years. The company situated in Xinghuacun village was set up in 1949 and was listed in 1993 on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Topography

Fenyang is a county-level city under the administration of Luliang prefecture-level city in Shanxi Province. Luliang adjoins Jinzhong and the provincial capital city Taiyuan to the east, Linfen to the south, and Xinzhou to the north, and faces Shaanxi Province across the Yellow River.

Culture

Luliang has a long history of more than 2,000 years. It is famous for Chinese wine and Chinese wine culture, as Fenjiu originated from there. Since the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), Xinghua village has been the wine center in Shanxi. Fenjiu was praised by many poets and scholars, such as Li Bai and Du Mu, who are famous poets in the Tang Dynasty.

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