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Vicariate Apostolic of Southern Sze-Ch'wan

On 24 January, 1860, the mission of Southern Sze-ch'wan was separated from Eastern Sze-ch'wan and erected into a vicariate Apostolic by a Decree of Pius IX . The Right Rev. Mgr Pichon, titular Bishop of Heliopolis, 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 Desflèches 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. On 28 May, 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. From 1895 to 1904 there were about thirty Christians murdered on account of their faith. The mission is entrusted to the Society of the Foreign Missions of Paris. The present vicar Apostolic is the Right Rev. Marc Chatagon, titular Bishop of Chersonesus, who resides at Sui-fu, and has as his co-adjutor 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 Guébriant 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 Christians. In 1889 the mission numbered: 1 bishop, 26 missionaries, 9 native priests, 50 catechists, 38 churches or chapels, 1 seminaries with 31 students, 68 schools, with 1265 pupils, 18,000 Catholics. In 1910 there were 2 bishop, 40 missionaries, 15 native priests, 98 catechists, 2 seminaries with 115 students, 280 schools, with 5765 pupils, 6 orphanages with 153 orphans, 104 churches or chapels, 36,618 Catholics.


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