After a short stay in hospital in Weixian, the Bishop Emeritus of Handan, Hebei Province, Stephan Yang Xiangtai 杨祥太 passed away on the evening of 13 October at the age of 98. With him, another great personality of the old generation in the Chinese Church has gone.
Bishop Yang was born on 3 January 1923 (17 November 1922 according to the lunar calendar) in Gaocun village, Wu’an County, Henan Province (now Hebei Province) into a Catholic family. At that time, the village belonged to the diocese of Weihui (now Handan), which was served by the Italian PIME missionaries. Yang Xiangtai attended the Catholic primary school in Wu’an from 1933. In 1935 he entered the Minor Seminary of Weihui Diocese and in 1940 began studying philosophy and theology at the Regional Seminary in Kaifeng, Henan Province. On 27 August 1949, he was ordained a priest in Kaifeng Cathedral by Archbishop Gaetano Pollio PIME. After his ordination, he worked as a chaplain at Nanguan Church in Kaifeng.