* Rt. Rev. Abbot Placid Ri Dong-ho Passed Away
The Rt. Rev. Abbot Placid Ri Dong-ho, the Second Abbas of the Order of St. Benedict (OSB) and Emeritus Apostolic Administrator of Hamhung and Tokwon, passed away on November 18, 2006 at the age of 71. The funeral Mass was offered at the Church of the OSB Waegwan Abbey on November 20, 2006. The deceased was buried at the cemetery of Waegwan Abbey.
While many faithful and religious mourned over his death and prayed for him, the funeral Mass was presided over by the Rt. Rev. Simon Petro Ri Hyong-u, Abbas of the Waegwan Abbey, with concelebration by the Most Rev. Emil Paul Tscherrig, Apostolic Nuncio to Korea, the Most Rev. John Chang Yik, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, the Most Rev. Paul Ri Moun-hi, Archbishop of Daegu, and other Bishops and diocesan priests.
In the homily, the Rev. Gregory Lee Seok-jin said, "The Rt. Rev. Placid Ri Dong-ho laid the foundation for the development of the OSB Waegwan Abbey and became an exemplary to his brothers. Moreover, as President of the CBCK Committee for the Evangelization of North Korea from 1985 to 1999, he played a vital role to support and evangelize the North Korean brethren. Thus he made a significant contribution to the Church in Korea."
Born in Manchuria in 1935, the late Abbot entered the monastery of the Waegwan Abbey in 1957, made his final vows in 1961, and was ordained a priest in 1962. He was appointed as the second Abbas of the Waegwan Abbey in April, 1971, and also as the Apostolic Administrator of Hamhung and Tokwon in 1981. Afterwards, he devoted himself to the evangelization of North Korea for 24 years.
* Message Issued for the 2006 Biblical Week
The Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyeok-ju, President of the CBCK Biblical Committee, issued a message for the 2006 Biblical Week, which lasts from November 26 through December 1. He said that the biblical apostolic activities by reading and transcribing the Bible have been carried out throughout the Church in Korea for 20 years since the institution of the Biblical Week.
In the message, Bishop Kwon presented as this year's theme 'Deep, deep into the Word: Were not our hearts burning! (Lk 24;32)' and called on the faithful to "listen to the Word of God with heart, and then bear witness to it through our sincere deeds and practices."
He stressed that the faithful can deeply engrave the Word of God on their hearts during the week. In addition, he said, "Like the Blessed Virgin Mary who conceived Jesus Christ, our life must radically be transformed. It is the grace of the Word that we come to change ourselves as authentic Christians so that our neighbours can find the life of Jesus Christ in the witnesses of our life."