Diocese of Zhengzhou
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The diocese covers Henan's provincial capital of Zhengzhou and prefectural cities of Xuchang and Pingdingshan, with a total territorial area of 20,324 square kilometers.

Population

In the recent census conducted in 2010, the three cities of Zhengzhou, Pingdingshan and Xuchang have a population of 8.63 million, 5 million and 4.56 million respectively.

Language

Mandarin and the local Zhengzhou dialect are in use in the diocesan territory. The Zhengzhou dialect, however, has been affected by the Kaifeng dialect, which is more similar to Mandarin, when a great migration took place in 1953 as the provincial capital was moved from the neighboring Kaifeng city to Zhengzhou.

History

Established as the Apostolic Prefecture of western Henan in 1906, Zhengzhou was entrusted to the Italian St. Francis Xavier for Foreign Mission Society where the church administration was located at the Xiang County of Xuchang. It was elevated to an Apostolic Vicariate in 1911 with Bishop Luigi Calza, S.X. appointed as the apostolic vicar. Due to better transportation, the church administration was moved to Zhengzhou in 1917. It was made a diocese when the hierarchy was established in China in 1946.

In 1953, Bishop Faustino M. Tissot, S.X. and 16 other foreign priests were expelled due to political reason, leaving six Chinese priests to continue the pastoral work. Religious activity resumed when China adopted the open door policy in the 1980s. The diocese restored several churches and built a few more. 

Transportation

The advancement of infrastructure has made Zhengzhou a railway hub and a center of postal service of the country.

Besides the intersection of the south-to-north Beijing-Guangzhou Railway and the east-to-west Longhai (Jiangsu to Gansu) Railway of the normal speed train services, the high-speed train going horizontally between Zhengzhou and Xian and vertically between Beijing and Wuhan, now under construction, will create "double-cross" railway network.

The airport and flight service creates a 1.5-hour economic zone which covers two-thirds of the major cities for about 60 percent of the total population in China.

Climate

Zhengzhou has a subtropical continental climate. The four seasons are distinct and the average temperature is 14.4 degrees Celsius. The annual precipitation is about 640mm.

Economy

The first experimental futures exchange of stock market was established at Zhengzhou. Approved by the State Council in 1993, the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange (ZCE) is now one of the four futures markets in China, mainly trading wheat, cotton, sugar, oil, rice and methanol. In 2010, ZCE achieved a total turnover of 30,895 billion Yuan.

Topography

Zhengzhou is located just north of the center of the province and south of the middle reach of the Yellow river, with Xuchang to its south and Pingdingshan to its southwest. The land in Zhengzhou generally slopes down from west to east. A vast, fertile floodplain is found in the easternmost county.

Culture

Zhengzhou is believed to be the birth place of Xuanyan Huang Di (the first legendary Yellow Emperor) some 5,000 years ago. Huang Di is regarded as one of the 2 great ancestors of the Chinese civilization. Zhengzhou was a capital in Xia Dynasty (2070 BC-1600 BC) and Shang dynasty (1600 BC-1046 BC), as well as the capital of the States of Guan, Zheng and Han. These States were all in the Ji's lineage, a tribe which was famous of their bravery.

The historic Shaolin Temple is one of the famous tourist attractions in the region. The Temple is not only known as one of China's important Buddhist shrines and for the Zen Buddhism, but also as the ancient center of Chinese kung-fu (martial arts).

The Shaolin Temple's architectural complex, together with eight other structures, are listed by the UN as a World Heritage Site in 2010.

Song Shan, where the Temple is situated, was listed a national Geopark. It is regarded as a textbook for geological history and orogeny.

A scenery of the Yellow River near Zhengzhou city

A night view of Zhengzhou city, capital of Henan province

Sistine Chapel Choir enchants Hong Kong

Sistine Chapel Choir enchants Hong Kong Under the directorship of Monsignor Massimo Palombella, the choir performed classical arrangements of ancient prayers and parts of the Mass.