CBCK News


* Guest Workshop for German Bishops on Korean Basic Ecclesial Communities 


An exposure program for German bishops on the "Asian Integrated Pastoral Approach" (AsIPA), that is, a guest workshop for German Bishops on Korean Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs), was held respectively in the dioceses of Suwon and Cheju from April 14 to 22, 2009, under the joint auspices of the Committee for Basic Ecclesial Communities under the Committee for Evangelization of the CBCK (President: Most Rev. Paul Choi Deok-ki), the Diocese of Cheju, and the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC).


Five bishops from Germany including the Most Rev. Ludwig Schick, Archbishop of Bamberg, participated in the workshop to learn the Korean BECs movement. Eight Asian bishops from Thailand, India, and the Philippines also joined the exposure program and shared their own experiences in BECs. On the part of the Church in Korea, the Most Rev. Paul Choi Deok-ki, Emeritus Bishop of Suwon, and the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, Bishop of Cheju, introduced the participants into the actual spot of the local BECs.


The workshop was divided into three parts on the whole: seminars, sharing of the Gospel, and visits to the actual spot of the BECs.


In the seminars, the participants had a time to illuminate the Korean BECs movement through theme presentations: "History of Korean BECs" by Fr. Bartholomew Jeon Won (Archdiocese of Seoul) and "BECs as an Integrated Pastoral Approach" by the Most Rev. Oswald Thomas Colman Gomis, Archbishop of Colombo, at Aaron Retreat House in the Diocese of Suwon on April 15; "Grounds and Roots of BECs" by the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, and "Growth of the BECs in the Diocese of Cheju" by Fr. John Ko Byeong-su (Pastoral Administrator of the Diocese of Cheju) in Jeju Island on April 16. Moreover, every morning the participants had experienced these small group meetings through Gospel-sharing. They also visited basic ecclesial communities of Ojeon-dong, Maegok, and Beomgye Catholic Churches in the Diocese of Suwon and Seoguipo and Nohyeong Catholic Churches in the Diocese of Cheju to examine the reality of the BECs movement. They also made pilgrimages to the Jeoldusan Martyrs' Shrine in the Archdiocese of Seoul, and the site of drifting ashore of Saint Andrea Kim Dae-geon, Gwandeokjeong and the graveyard of Martyr Hwang Sa-pyeong in the Diocese of Cheju.


Archbishop Schick together with the other participants expressed deep satisfaction with the workshop, saying, "We, German bishops, can realize that the BECs have driven not only the growth of faith of Korean Catholics but also the maturity of the whole Church. The BECs movement is an important one to spread all over the world." He expected that the BECs which systematically integrates personal faith and social practices would be a seed of regenerating the Catholic Church in Germany.


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