CBCK News


Communication on September 17

2009.08.25 14:01


* Diocese of Uijongbu Framing Its Structure

After forming the diocesan presbyterium, the newly-erected Diocese of Uijongbu is gradually framing its structure and holds the first council of diocesan priests from September 21 to 24, 2004.

The preparatory working group for the canonical possession of the Diocese of Uijongbu issued on September 10 a statement addressed to diocesans and revealed the planned schedule: congratulatory Mass on September 16; transferring of priests on September 21; the first council of diocesan priests from September 21 to 24; first Sunday Mass on September 26; canonical possession of the Diocese on October 11.

The Rev. Anthony Lee Sa-eung, the chairperson of the working group, said in the statement, "While we are full in hope before this new change God granted for us, at the same time, we feel concern for an unknown future and sorrow for parting." He continued, "Despite this human weakness, we are trying to start anew with firm confidence that God has always guided the Church through the Holy Spirit." For this, he also urged the faithful to pray for all the priests of the Diocese and the Most Rev. Joseph Lee Han-taek, the appointee of the first Bishop of Uijongbu.

According to a source of the Diocese, the diocesan curia of Uijongbu will have three departments - secretarial department, managerial department and pastoral department - and three offices - planning office, office for the clergy, office for communication and information. About 30 priests will work for the diocesan curia.

In addition, the new Diocese seems to be the youngest diocese in the Church in Korea with the average age of the 172 priests (except the Diocesan Bishop) being 36.7. The presbyterium was composed of those priests who applied to serve in the new diocese on their own free will. The number of pastors is estimated to be about 100.

The first council of priests will start with a retreat to thank God and make new commitments and the participants will deal with various questions, such as the preparation for the episcopal installation, roles and responsibilities of each department in diocesan curia and general management of the diocesan curia. Besides the council of priests, for those priests currently serving in the Military Ordinariate or staying abroad, the Diocese of Uijongbu web site will be available soon for exchange of opinions and information among priests.

* Hasang Christian School Draws Keen Interest of the Faithful

"Hasang Christian School," prepared by the Lay Apostolate Council of Seoul with the theme "Touching Souls of Contemporaries," opened with the first discourse by the Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, on September 7, 2004, at Myongdong Cathedral of Seoul.

The School attracted much interest from the faithful even before opening and indeed more than 1,000 Catholics from many parts of the country attended the first class.

In his discourse on the theme "Who Am I and Where Am I Going?" Archbishop Cheong said, "The family is the place where trust and love are closely integrated. Therefore, it is the key to happiness and life to defend firmly the family and to be good parents." "On the stage of life, there are millions of actors assuming different roles. It does not matter whether we assume leading roles, supporting roles or minor roles. If we faithfully fulfill our role conforming to the will of God, the director, we can be all excellent actors in the eyes of God." He also called on the faithful to abandon their arrogance, saying, "Arrogance disturbs the way towards happiness and becomes the source of every evil."

Mr. Lee Man-su, who came from Busan, about 400km southeast of Seoul, said, "I decided to take this course because I had been hungry for spiritual teachings. I will attend all classes and convey the teachings to my neighbors because I think that the teachings contain the essence of life and a longtime experience of eminent ministers."

The School will offer 12 lectures once a week, by inviting prominent leaders and scholars in the Catholic Church, including Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, the Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Kwangju, and the Rev. Paul Jeong Ui-chae, Emeritus Professor at Sogang University, with various themes like "What is Life?" "Evolution or Creation?" "Roles and Missions of Catholic Intellectuals in the 21st century."

* Breakthrough in the Research of Adults' Stem Cell

On September 10, Catholic Medical Center (CMC), a general hospital affiliated with the Medical School of the Catholic University in Korea, opened the Institute of Functional Cell Therapy, which will be granted 12 billion won (USD 10 million) for six years by government (cf. Communication on June 11).  

This Institute will make efforts to take the lead in the field of cell therapy by developing highly functional cell therapeutic products through the study of adults stem cells, which is recognized as ethical by the Catholic Church.

The Rev. Matthias Choi Young-sik, Director of CMC, asked for concern and support so that "the center can take a big step towards overcoming incurable diseases by using adults' stem cell and promote the standard of regenerative medicine of Korea." He added, "The Catholic Church suggests adults' stem cells as an alternative to embryonic stem cells. Being faithful to the teachings of the Church, the Institute will contribute to developing the study of cell therapy for the whole humanity."

Prof. Oh Il-hwan, Director of the Institute, said, "We will concentrate our efforts on developing highly efficient cell therapy products to cure myocardial infarction, strokes and diabetes and putting them to practical use."

* Foreign Mission Society in Korea Sent Priests to Cambodia and Papua New Guinea

The Foreign Mission Society in Korea offered a Mass on September 11 to send two priests to Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.

The Rev. Andrew Kim Ji-hun, sent to Cambodia, will promote work of evangelization in collaboration with other NGOs working for the human rights of the AIDS patients or the disabled and the Rev. Gabriel Kim Dae-young, sent to Papua New Guinea, will serve the Catholics in the Diocese of Mendy, which will become the second missionary place of the Society in Papua New Guinea since it entered the Diocese of Madang in 1982.

The Rev. Augustine Kim Myong-dong, Superior General of the Society, said, "Missionaries should constantly empty themselves and fill themselves with the will of God. I ask these two priests to be faithful to their mission by resorting to God who is always with us as our shield."

Responding to this, the priests said, "With humbleness, we will try to discover Christ among the people we will serve and to realize the spirit of sharing and serving." They departed to their mission on September 17.

In coming November, the Society will also send three missionary priests to Mozambique. So far, it has sent 27 missionaries to five countries, such as Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, China, Cambodia and Russia.

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