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This article describes the processes that culminated in Pope Pius XI’s historic 1926 consecration of the first native Chinese Catholic bishops of modern times. Since the first Chinese bishop had been named some 250 years before, the many obstacles that prevented the naming of new native bishops in the intervening centuries are explored. Spurred by progressive missionaries, the Church embarked on a reform program to indigenize the Catholic episcopacy in China. In doing so, the Holy See had to overcome opposition from powerful constituencies. A brief portrait of the six bishops provides insight into the reasons why Rome decided on this particular group of candidates.