The Association Fraternelle Internationale (AFI) in Korea celebrated the 50th anniversary of its entering Korea on September 2, 2006 at the Coste Hall in Myeongdong Cathedral of the Seoul Archdiocese. The AFI is a lay missionary institute, which was established in 1937 by André Boland and Yvonne Poncelet. In 1952 it became the Society of Lay Auxiliaries of the Missions, and is now known as the Missionary Society of International Catholic Auxiliaries (ICA).
Along with His Eminence Stephan Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan and the Most Rev. Joseph Lee Han-taek, Bishop of Uijeongbu, about 60 members of the AFI celebrated its anniversary with more than 500 guests of religious and the laity.
Bishop Lee, who presided over the Mass, said, “The AFI has been a leaven in every corner of the Korean society leading a humble life.” And he expressed his hope that “The AFI will pave the way to the Kingdom of God for more people by fruitful activities in Korea.”
At the congratulatory ceremony, Cardinal Kim said, “The AFI has gone through hardships just as our Lord Jesus Christ. Everything is well now thanks to the blessing of God.” And he added, “I sincerely congratulate the AFI on its 50th anniversary and hope that it will make another good 50 years from now on.”
The Inauguration of the New Presidents of Catholic Universities
The Rev. Joseph Chong Seung-hyon took his office as the 5th president of Gwangju Catholic University in succession to the Rev. Marius Lee Yeong-heon on September 4, 2006. The Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Kwangju, presided over the inauguration Mass.
The Most Rev. Choi said, “The inauguration of a new president means just a position change in a Church community, quite different from that of other secular universities.” And he asserted that “We are all true witnesses who proclaim Jesus Christ as our Lord and serve the Lord united as one in Him.”
The Rev. Joseph Chong said, “I have contemplated what my Lord asked of me with this mission. And I found that I have to live and grow just like you, as a seminarian, planted in this seminarium.” And he explained, “For me this seminary is nothing but Jesus Christ. I am planted in Him, and living here means growing up like Jesus Christ.” And he added, “I am your ‘Doban’, which means literally ‘a friend searching the truth together.’ I would like to interpret it as 'a company on the way to the truth', and in this regard, you are my Dobans. I praise God who has given me so many good Dobans.”
On the other hand, the Rev. Peter Bang Sang-man has become the 8th president of Suwon Catholic University on September 4, 2006. The Most Rev. Paul Choi Deok-ki, Bishop of Suwon, presided over the inauguration Mass.
The Rev. Peter Bang said, “I will do my best to make this university an educational institution for priests, religious, and the laity, which is a divine calling for me from the Lord.” And he proposed three goals for which he would strive: 1. formation of a priest who has humanity, intelligence and spirituality as one. 2. strengthening practical foreign language education to be prepared for international exchanges and Asian solidarity. 3. establishing a status as an open seminary in the cooperation with the laity and the religious.