|* Auxiliary Bishop Appointed for the Diocese of Suwon|
Pope John Paul II has appointed Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hun, currently dean of the graduate school in Catholic University of Suwon, as Auxiliary Bishop of Suwon, according to the announcement made by the Apostolic Nunciature in Seoul on March 19.
With this appointment, the Diocese of Suwon has become the third diocese having an Auxiliary Bishop, with the Archdiocese of Seoul and the Archdiocese of Taegu.
The appointment is expected to enable the Diocese of Suwon, which has made a significant growth in the number of Catholics and parishes in recent years, to meet pastoral needs and put spurs to the diocesan development with a new Auxiliary Bishop.
The Bishop-designate Ri said on March 20 at a press conference, "Relying on the grace of God and prayer of the faithful, I will try to give good assistance to the Diocesan Bishop."
Born in 1951 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi-do, Bishop-designate Ri graduated from Catholic University of Seoul and was ordained a priest in 1979. He taught at high schools and Catholic University of Suwon. From 2002, he has served as the dean of the graduate school in Catholic University of Suwon.
The Most Rev. Paul Choi Duk-ki, Bishop of Suwon, said, "I hope this appointment can be a momentous opportunity for building a future-oriented Diocese."
The episcopal ordination is scheduled for April 24 at Jeongja-dong Cathedral of Suwon.
* The Church in Korea Prepares for the Pastoral Ministry in the Era of Unified Korea
On March 20, the Committee for the Reconciliation of Korean People of the Archdiocese of Seoul (President: Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe) had a standing committee and decided to set up a research body under its wings in preparation for the pastoral ministry in the era of unified Korea.
It also resolved to promote the supporters' association and to offer a monthly Mass at parishes in the Archdiocese. There are some 7,000 supporters at present.
The Most Rev. Kim said, "It is necessary to establish a research body for the reconciliation of Korean people in preparation for the unification of Korean people," and added, "despite many difficulties, the Church in Korea should continue her efforts to offer humanitarian aid to North Korea."
* Two Prominent Priests Pass Away
The Catholic Church in Korea lost two prominent priests at interval of four days.
Rev. Dominic Pak Do-sik of the Archdiocese of Taegu who is well-known for his catechism for catechumens written in plain conversational style died of a cancer at the age of 68 on March 20.
The funeral Mass was celebrated with solemnity at Gyesan Cathedral of Taegu on March 22 with the Most Rev. Paul Ri Moun-hi, Archbishop of Taegu, presiding. He is buried in the clergy's cemetery of the Archdiocese.
Rev. Pak was born in Chilgok, Gyeongsangbuk-do in 1935 and ordained a priest in 1961 after graduating from Catholic University of Seoul. After taking a doctoral degree in philosophy and literature at La Sorbonne and Université de Paris VII, France, he came to Korea in 1977. Since then he taught at Catholic University of Gwangju and Catholic University of Daegu until he took the sabbatical year in 2002.
As a scholar and pastor, he wrote some 30 volumes of distinguished books on the basis of his broad experiences and knowledge.
On the other hand, Rev. Joseph Im Seung-phill, Executive Secretary of the Biblical Committee of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea(CBCK), died of a cancer at the age of 52 on March 24 at St. Mary Hospital in Seoul. Born in Hanlim, Jeju Island in 1951, he graduated from the Catholic University of Gwangju in 1975 and was ordained a priest in 1979. He studied theology at the University of Innsbruck, Austria from 1975 to 1979 and pursued Biblical studies at the Biblicum in Rome from 1979 to 1989 and obtained a doctoral degree in Bible. From 1989 he has served as the Executive Secretary of the Biblical Committee of the CBCK and dedicated the past 14 years to translate the Holy Scriptures.
Finally last year, he completed the Korean translation of the Bible, with the Revelation being the last, but right after the completion of the translation he found he had a stomach cancer. Despite the illness, however, he did not stop proofreading of the translation and giving witness to the Word of God through the Bible retreats etc.