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Communication on July 2

2009.08.25 13:54

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*  Episcopal Vicar Appointed for the Diocese of Pyongyang

The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul and Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang, appointed the Very Rev. Matthew Hwang In-kuk, Episcopal Vicar of the Eastern District of Seoul, as the Episcopal Vicar of the Diocese of Pyongyang on June 23.

The Diocese of Pyongyang, a diocese of lost territory of which the competent ordinary exists but cannot visit his diocese freely, is expected to lay solid foundation for preparing the new chapter of history, that is, the time of unification of Korea.

Since 1950 when the Very Rev. George Carroll, M.M., was appointed as the Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang, the Diocese of Pyongyang has been managed for more than 50 years under the apostolic administratorship.

An Episcopal Vicar has the ordinary power over the specific part of the territory or the type of affairs for which he was appointed by the diocesan bishop by law.

Before the announcement of this appointment, Bishop Cheong, on the same day, hold the first official meeting of priests from the Diocese of Pyongyang. Ten priests attended the meeting and reached a consensus on the need to prepare for the time of unification of Korea. At the meeting, Bishop Cheong expressed strong will for the reconciliation and unity of the Korean people, saying, "Concrete effort for the restoration of the Church in North Korea cannot be delayed any longer."

With this appointment, Msgr. Hwang is to be endowed with an important role for the restoration of the Church in North Korea and the effort of the Catholic Church in Korea for the reconciliation of Korean people seems to gain momentum, in particular in the field of formation of agents for this purpose.

* Diocese of Cheongju to Hold Synod to Mark its 50th Anniversary

The Diocese of Cheongju, which will have the 50th anniversary of its institution in 2008, plans to hold a diocesan synod and promote three projects to celebrate its 50 years of history.

In this regard, the Most Rev. Gabriel Chang Bong-hun, Bishop of Cheongju, promulgated a special letter on June 26, titled "To Be an Ecclesial Community Being Respected."

Explaining the biblical meaning of the 50th anniversary, he said, "The year 2008, the 50th anniversary of the institution of diocese, is the first holy year we will have," and emphasized, "The year, as the 'jubilee', the 'thanksgiving day', and a new 'Pentecost,' will offer us the opportunity for renewal of diocese and become the starting point of new evangelization,"

He, in particular, suggested the aim of raising "the rate of evangelization to 15% and the numbers of faithful up to 200,000" and asked the diocesan faithful to make the diocese "a community of faith centered on the Eucharist," "a community of learning centered on the Word," and "a community of sharing centered on the communion."

At the Mass offered on the same day with some 700 participating, Bishop Chang said, "I sincerely wish that the 50th anniversary can become the year of grace with the concern and prayer of all the faithful. Therefore, I ask you to invoke the help of the Holy Spirit, resorting to the commitment of the martyr ancestors and foreign missionaries and the example of many good lay faithful."

The laity, religious and priests in the diocese pronounced a resolution during the Mass, which said, "We resolve to faithfully practice the four basic duties, namely, attending every Sunday Mass, praying daily prayer, participating in the basic ecclesial community, offering the monthly contribution to the Church, and to participate in the diocesan synod, to be dedicated to the mission, to read and transcribe the Scriptures in whole and memorize at least 50 phrases, and to strive to make the community be respected through the life of sharing."

* "Teenstar" Program Helpful for the Proper Sexuality Education of the Young

On June 27, "Teenstar" Korea held a meeting to evaluate the effect of the program, which aims at offering proper sexuality education for the youth, and confirmed the potentiality of the program for the sex education for the youth and conscientization of the parents.

Sr. Mariejean Bae, Director of the Teenstar Korea, said at the meeting, "Today's meeting enabled us to have a border perspective to envision the long-term and integral sexuality education, escaping from the short-term education." She also hoped that "more and more young people can be invited to this program to learn sound and healthy spirit of life and practice the spirit in real life."

Teenstar Korea plans to publish the full translation of educational material by the end of July 2004 and to have a workshop from August 11 to 15, 2004 by inviting Sr. Hanna Klaus, the founder of Teenstar program.

"Teenstar" is a sexuality education program for the youth aiming at integral understanding of the sexuality from the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual perspectives.

Teenstar Korea started last year and is expanding its scope among young people as a spontaneous movement of the youth.

* Mass and Walking Campaign for the Reconciliation and Unity of Korean People

On June 25, the 54th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, the Association to Aid the Korean People offered a Mass at the Tongil Observation Post near the cease-fire line and had a walking campaign wishing the reconciliation and unity of Korean people. Some 300 faithful having separated family members in North Korea, religious, priests, and the handicapped participated in the campaign.

In the Mass, presided by the Most Rev. Paul Kim Ok-kyun, emeritus auxiliary Bishop of Seoul, the participants wished peace in the Korean Peninsula and in the world and especially mourned over the death of Mr. Kim Seon-il who was recently kidnapped and beheaded in Iraq by militants.

Bishop Kim asked the faithful in his homily, "to pray that the day may come as soon as possible when the light of Christ shines in North Korea and all brothers and sisters can share the love of Christ." He also called on the faithful to recite the rosary every day with the intention of the unity of Korean people.

The Association to Aid the Korean People (President: Most Rev. Paul Kim Ok-kyun, Chairman: Mr. Bong Du-wan) was formed by some priests who have helped the North Korean people individually and plans this year to send candles to North Korea, considering the poor electricity service there.

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