01/03/2021, 00.00
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Bishop John Lee of Tainan ordained

The new bishop was appointed on November 14 by Pope Francis. The Vatican charge d'affaires read the papal bull and handed it over to Msgr. Lee. The message of wishes from Vice-President Chen Chien-jen. Given up for adoption as a child to one family and then to another, Msgr. Lee is very busy with the world of youth and the marginalized.

Tainan (AsiaNews) - Yesterday, the feast of Mother of God, Tainan diocese ordained its fifth bishop at the gymnasium hall of Catholic-run Sheng Kung Girl’s High School in Tainan city, southern Taiwan. About 1,500 guests, around 100 priests, 11 bishops and the Vatican’s Charge d’affaires joined the ordination of Bishop John Lee Juo-wang. The Kuangchi Program Service of Taipei assisted the live broadcast, allowing those who could not attend to share the joy of the ceremony.

Before the ordination Mass, a short video clip of the new bishop John Lee Juo-wang was broadcast. Lee is the first native bishop of Tainan diocese in 30 years. He was born in Tainan city in 1966 and entered the local minor seminary at the age of 12. He then entered the local St. Pius Major Seminary in 1984 and ordained a priest in 1993.

The Taipei-based Holy See Charge d 'Affaires, Monsignor Arnaldo Catalan, displayed and read out the papal bull of Pope Francis.

When Bishop Bosco Lin Chi-nan, retired bishop of Taiwan and main celebrant, said to the congregation, “Dear Catholics, this is your bishop.” The hall broke into applause, welcoming the new bishop. Accompanied by Archbishop Thomas Chung An-zu of Taipei, Bishop Lee walked down the altar and extended peace to the congregants.

At the end of the Mass, Monsigor Catalan delivered a speech, giving thanks to Bishop Lin for his 11 years of service in Kaohsiung diocese and 16 years in Tainan Diocese. Then he encouraged Bishop Lee to stay in communion with the Pope and become a member of the universal Church. He also welcomed then new bishop to the Bishop’s Conference for the continual cooperation with the Holy See. The monsignor then asked the faithful in Tainan to pray for their bishop for good pastoral services. At the end of the ordination Mass, Bishop Lee imparted solemn blessing to the congregation.

After the Mass, there was congratulatory messages from special guests, including the former Vice President Philip Chen Chien-jen. Chen added that Bishop Lin has been in Tainan diocese for 16 years, and he has been at the forefront wherever there was need for help. He wished Bishop Lee would do the same and advance better in evangelization, education and social service. “In the face of the pandemic, we need to love each other more, so that this love will spread throughout Taiwan,” said Chen.

Huang Wei-cher, mayor of Tainan, lauded that the Catholic Church has done for decades most of Tainan’s social services and Bishop Lin’s service has won the respect of local citizens. He invited Bishop Lin to serve as a municipal consultant after his retirement to help provide better services needed by the people and presented to him the appointment letter.

In his speech of thanks, Bishop Lee expressed gratitude to Bishop Lin and Archbishop Chung and to all other bishops for their acceptance.

In the photo session after the ceremony, Bishop Lee took photos with his original family surnamed Chang and his adopted family surnamed Huang.

Bishop Lee has a special life experience. His parents fled to Taiwan in 1950 due to political turmoil. They gave their youngest son to a Lee family in the same village because of financial difficulties to support a big family. Later, the Lee family also ran into difficulties and he was then adopted by the Huang family. After being a priest, his life experience, helped him understand well how to assist the children and teenagers from marginalized families. He accompanied them by organizing after-school tutoring classes at Causa Nostrae Laetitiae Church in Juzin, where he served as parish priest. He is also keen on youth services, leading the college youth and young workers.

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