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Communications on Mar. 6

2009.08.24 14:00

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* South and North Korean Catholics Attend Mass at Myongdong Cathedral -- the First Time Since the Division of the Korean Peninsula

For the first time since the division of the Korea Peninsula, North Korean Catholics visited Myongdong Cathedral of Seoul and attended Mass with their South Korean brothers and sisters on March 2. They arrived in Seoul the previous day as members of North Korean delegation of various religions who came to Seoul for the first-ever joint commemoration entitled "March 1 National Meeting for Peace and Unification of Korean People" marking the 84th anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule.
The Catholic delegation was composed of 17 North Korean Catholics, including Mr. Samuel Jang Jae-eon, Chairperson of the Association of North Korean Catholics and chief of the North Korean Religious Council and Mr. Paul Kang Ji-yeong, the Vice Chairperson of the Association.
During the Mass, in particular, Mr. Simon Jang Nam-cheol participated in the prayer of the faithful with the intention of the unification and reconciliation of Korean people, and the women choir from Jangchung parish of Pyeongyang, capital of North Korea, presented a special hymn of peace of St. Francis of Assisi which received big applause from the congregation.
The Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, President of the Committee for the Reconciliation of Korean People of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Korea and Archdiocese of Seoul, said in his homily, "Today we are offering a glorious Mass with great historical significance," and expressed his hope that this visit could be a meaningful opportunity for unification and reconciliation of Korean people as well as for a successful missionary work in North Korea.
"It is the time for all Catholics of both Koreas to stand up for realization of the unification and reconciliation of Korean people and take lead of by taking off old dresses of high wall of division." the Bishop said.
Before the Mass, the delegation visited the cripta of the Cathedral where relics of the Korean martyrs including St. Andreas Kim Tae-gon are enshrined and prayed.
The delegation also met the representatives of each diocesan committee for the reconciliation of Korean people and expressed gratitude for the relief activities to North Korea.
Mr. Jang, chief of the delegation, said, "We are very glad for this opportunity to meet many priests, brothers and sisters here at Myongdong Cathedral and I want to greet them on behalf of all the faithful of the North Korean Catholics. We are deeply moved to be here with you all as brothers of one faith and one people, and enjoy the same faith." Mr. Jang said.


* Korean Translation of Latin Typical Edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to be Published

On the occasion of the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19, the official Korean translation of Latin Typical Edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is to be published with the approval of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith, the Committee for Catechesis of the CBCK (President: Most Rev. Paul Choi Duk-ki) said.
Right after the promulgation of Latin Typical Edition, the Committee for Catechesis of the CBCK set to the revision of translation drafts and obtained the approval at the 2002 Spring General Assembly of the CBCK, and the final recognition of the Apostolic See on February 4, 2003.
Rev. Joseph Jung Seung-hyeon, Executive Secretary of the Committee for Catechesis, said, "As all capability and energy of theological field in Korea had been input to this translation project, I dare to say that this Catechism will be more understandable to Korean Catholics than any other ones."


* Archbishop of Seoul Issued Message for Lent

The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, issued Message for Lent and appealed the faithful to pray for God's grace for the reunification of Korea, which still remains the only divided country in the world.
He said in the Message titled "Let Us Clothe ourselves with the New Self and Live in Truth." that the issue of North Korea's nuclear development threatened the Korean Peninsula as well as neighboring countries and the entire world. Let us work for the settlement of peace in this land and ask God's grace for this nation and its people.
He also said, "Lent is the time to meditate the life of Jesus who suffered for the salvation of people and to prepare for the Easter. Therefore, we should renew our Christian life through conversion and penance, sacrifice and charity and pray with all people of good will for the promotion of peace in family and society and among all the people."
He also urged the faithful to invoke the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace, so that through her intercession justice and peace overflow in Korean peninsula and in the world.


* Catholic Juvenile Reformatory School in Prospect

The Catholic private correctional institution is in prospect to be realized as a form of a juvenile reformatory school.
The Catholic Social Correction Apostolate Committee of the Archdiocese of Seoul(President: Rev. Thomas Lee Young-woo) revealed that the Committee has been examining a plan to build a juvenile reformatory school accommodating some 50 youth inmates, which would be a turning point in the correction apostolate of the Catholic Church in Korea.
As the bill regarding the establishment and operation of private correctional institution and its enforcement ordinance were passed in 2000, the Catholic Social Correction Apostolate Committee formed a subcommittee for this purpose and has studied the ways to realize the plan. According to the Committee, the reformatory school will focus on the correction and provide the unfortunate youth with the ways of reform and rehabilitation.
For this, the Committee had a seminar on February 20 with the theme of "Directions and Models of Private Juvenile Reformatory School." At the seminar, Rev. Thomas Lee young-woo said, "it is very meaningful to outstretch hands to the unfortunate youth, reform them and present hope to them so that they can restore the human dignity and have opportunities for rehabilitation."
The Committee also made plans for 2003 main projects including correctional institution for systematic management of the released prisoners, development of correctional programs and pastoral care of the victims and the families of the inmates.
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