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Communications on Feb. 8, 2002

2009.08.24 12:06

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* Waegwan Abbey in Korea Associated with Newton Abbey in the U.S.A.

As of January 25, Waegwan Abbey Order of St. Benedict associated with Newton Abbey in New Jersey, U.S.A., making the latter one of its branch priories. It is the first time for a Korean religious institute to associate with foreign one.
This decision was made at a meeting of those interested, which was held from January 8 to 9 in Newton Abbey, presided by Right Rev. Jeremias Schr der, General Abbot of Congregation of St. Ottilien.
Newton Abbey was expected to be managed by Waegwan Abbey under "trusteeship", but was eventually decided to be associated because Waegwan Abbey found no problem or burden to do so.
Waegwan Abbey revealed that the question of associating was discussed in the light of canon law, positive law of the U.S.A. and economic aspects at the meeting.
"I feel proud that Waegwan Abbey is developed and mature enough to offer help to those in need", said Right Rev. Simon Peter Lee Hyeong-wu, Abbot of Waegwan Abbey. "We will do our best to restore Newton Abbey to be self-independent", he continued.
Since the crisis of Newton Abbey was originated from decrease of aspirants, it plans to focus on promoting vocations, first of all among children of Korean Catholics who live in the U.S.A.
"With this we see that the progress and vitality of the Catholic Church in Korea was recognized," he also commented.
The Most Rev. Michael Pak, President of the CBCK, said, "I would like to express respect and gratitude for the decision to overcome present difficulties with love and cooperation of two Abbeys," and added, "I pray that the religious sent to Newton Abbey could overcome various obstacles and bear abundant fruits there."
Waegwan Abbey and Newton Abbey have enjoyed close relationship in the course of history. In the 1940s, in the times of Deokwon Abbey, the then Abbot Bonifacius Sauer visited Newton Abbey three times to call for missionary support. Moreover, after Deokwon Abbey was forced to close by communists, Monsignor Timotheus Bitterli had stayed at Newton Abbey for two years to prepare for the establishment of Waegwan Abbey.


* A Zambian Young Man to Join Major Seminary of Daejeon

Ernest Mwila(25), a Zambian young man who was impressed by Korean missionary Sisters decides to join the seminary of Daejeon, Korea.
Dream of Ernest Mwila is to become a priest in Korea and go back to his country to serve the poor.
"I am a little bit worried to join the seminary because of my Korean language. I can understand only 80 percent of lectures given in Korean. However, I will make it because I want to serve my people as a priest," Ernest said.
When he was a little boy, he had a vague dream to become a priest one day, but he came to confirm his priestly vocation when he met Korean Sisters of Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Service working in Zambia. He was deeply moved by the Sisters, so much dedicated for the poor of Zambia.
"While I was helping Korean Sisters for farming, curing AIDS patients or taking care of orphans, I came to have a number of questions: what made these Sisters come to my country? What motivated them to live such life? Through them I came to understand the meaning of consecrated life to witness love of God through dedication to the poor. I decided to become a member of the community of these Sisters and to become a priest. That is how I came here in Korea. My family and relatives and friends wanted me to stay in Zambia and to go to the seminary in Zambia, but I was firmly convinced that God called me to this way." he said.
Ernest Mwila came to Korea in 1999 and studied Korean language. Admitted to the seminary of Daejeon, Ernest will start study from March among Korean seminarians.

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