HOME >> Sight Seeing

Diocesan Curia

Source: hubei.gov.cn 09/01/2016 04:09:30

A grandiose wood and brick building located at 2 Huayuanshan, the south-facing Diocesan Curia is a two-story structure with a basement below; its shape is somewhat concave and similar to the Chinese character "凸." It is distinguished by its bilateral symmetry, protruding center section, and its Western-style three-section facade. There is also a veranda which gives this classic building a sense of solemnity and simplicity.

On a triangular decorative wall located at the center of the building, there is a clock which is flanked by two triangle patterns with holes at their centers. This style echoes the decorative styles of the Holy Family Church nearby.

According to historical records, the magnificent building cost 8,000 taels of silver. During the past century, the church has lost some of its former glory. Time has taken its toll on the building; rust and mold can be seen in various places.

If you were to walk up the steps and enter the door on the first floor, you would see spacious corridors extending out on both sides with doors located in the middle, as well as on the right and the left. If you continued out to the back of the building, you would see the veranda. You would also be able to spot a number of classrooms, which are big and bright.

These classrooms, which are still in use, once belonged to the Major Seminary of the Apostolic Vicariate of Eastern Hubei, what was once called Chongzheng Academy. Contained within is a large collection of over 10,000 precious books from both home and abroad; the academy has broadened the horizons of the many students who have passed through these classrooms.

Joseph Rizzolati, a famous Italian educator and missionary, has been teaching here since the academy opened; he has been teaching for over fifty years. Forty of his students became priests. The school earned a reputation as the Mother of Dioceses.

The flooring of the second floor of the church is inlaid with woods, which shine red in the sunlight. The rectangular hall used to be a chapel; the altar is still unique and shrouded in mystery.

In the two wings of the building, there are two spacious galleries, along which are classrooms and offices of all sizes. At the end of the building, there is a narrow wooden staircase that gives you a real sense of the building's long history.

Two bishops, Vincenzo Epiphane Carlassare O.F.M., who designed the church, and his successor Graziano Génnaro, a member of the Franciscan Order, died in this building in 1906 and in 1923 respectively.

Located at Huayuanshan, this church was initially the Curia of the Wuchang Apostolic Prefecture. It became the Curia of the Wuchang Apostolic Vicariate in July, 1930. It was elevated to Diocesan Curia of the Wuchang Diocese in 1946, and it has maintained this status ever since.

In 1921, Chongzheng Academy was renamed Academy of Theology and Philosophy in Hubei and Hunan Provinces; it was relocated to Jingzhou, Hubei the following year. After that, the Wuchang Saint Ann Dorney minor and intermediate seminaries were set up here. In October, 1983, the South Central Academy of Theology was formally established by the Catholic churches from six Central and Southern Chinese provinces. In the past thirty years, it has cultivated and supported a large contingent of elite individuals; the educational traditions of Chongzheng Academy have been preserved and perpetuated through the legacy of institutions operating here.