March 31, 2011. Monsignor Paul Lian Jiansen has been ordained as the new bishop of the Diocese of Jiangmen in China. This is the country's first Episcopal ordination in 2011 and the first since recent tension between the Vatican and China over illicit ordinations carried out by the Chinese government.
The ordination of Monsignor Jiansen is a landmark because it has been approved by the pope and by Beijing. It was also well attended by Catholics from the provinces of Shanxi, Hong Kong, and Macao.
Jiansen will take over the diocese of Jiangmen which has been without a pastor since 2007. It's also located on the island of Shangchuan, which is where Saint Francis Xavier died in 1552. The church that commemorates this missionary saint serves as a site that still attracts thousands of pilgrims.
The bishop already has plans in motion for his new diocese that will help strengthen the spiritual training for priests and nuns, as well as restoring church properties that have not yet been returned to the diocese.