Dedication ceremony of the new headquarters building of the Korean Missionary Society
The Korean Missionary Society held a dedication ceremony of its new headquarters building on March 7, 2009 at Seongbuk-dong, Seoul. This dedication ceremony was presided over by H.E. Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jinsuk, Archbishop of Seoul and President of the Society, with the presence of the Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio in Korea, and the Most Rev. Paul Choi Duk-ki, Bishop of Suwon, who was the third president of the Korean Missionary Society, as well as about 50 priests and 500 supporters.
The Korean Missionary Society was created in 1975 by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea to form Korean priests as missionaries overseas and to lead the Church in Korea towards a 'Sharing Church' from a 'Receiving Church'. For the first time in the history of the Church in Korea, four Korean priests were sent to an island of the South Pacific in November, 1981, for the mission of indigenes. Beginning with this, the Korean Missionary Society has sent a number of missionaries abroad for over thirty years, such as Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, Cambodia, Russia, Mozambique, Philippines, Papua New Guinea. Now, about 40 missionaries are working in these countries for various activities: they do medical care in a leper village in main China, engage in social service like a crusade against AIDS and the operation of a public health center as NGO status in Cambodia, and devote themselves to a social work, including the spread of agrotechnology in Papua New Guinea.
For the formation of missionaries, the Korean Missionary Society opened a seminary in 1976 one year after its foundation, with 16 major seminarians and 33 minor seminarians. It produced its first missionary priest in 1981. Now, 34 major seminarians are studying at the seminary.