|* General Assembly of Lay Apostolate Council of Korea Held |
The Lay Apostolate Council of Korea held its 37th general assembly on March 13, 2004 at Catholic Center, downtown Seoul, and built consensus among members on the need to concentrate its effort on overcoming the crisis of the family. In this general assembly, Mr. John Bosco Son Byeong-du, the Seoul branch president of the Council, was elected as its 15th President.
Pointing out that the crisis of the family is that of the Church and country, the attendants made some suggestions: making daily prayer of the family; reading and sharing the Holy Scriptures with family members; building collaboration with other apostolate associations for sanctification of the family; in April 15 General Elections, voting for the candidates who lead healthy and sound family life.
The Council also set its goal of the year 2004 as "Activating Lay Apostolate to Build Beautiful Family and Society," and outlined major projects such as realizing social evangelization through sanctification of the family, establishing and intensifying the Council's identity, undertaking projects in accordance with the pastoral directives of the episcopal conference or each diocesan bishop, and promoting "Ttokbaro" (upright) Movement continuously.
* Cause of the Beatification of the Confessor Thomas Choe to Begin
The Holy See permitted the Catholic Church in Korea to begin the procedure of the cause of beatification of the Servant of God Confessor Thomas Choe Yang-eop, Priest. It is the first time the Holy See entrusted to the Church in Korea a cause of the beatification of a confessor, not a martyr.
On March 5, 2004, the Most Rev. Francis Xavier Ahn Myong-ok, Bishop of Masan who has the competence of the forum, received a letter issued by the Congregation for the Causes of Saint regarding the approval of the "Decree of competence of ecclesiastical" (dated January 10, 2004) and the "nihil obstat" declaring there is no obstacle on the part of the Holy See to the cause of beatification of the Confessor Thomas Choe (dated January 31, 2004).
Thus, the CBCK Special Episcopal Commission to Promote Beatification and Canonization will initiate the process for the cause of beatification of Confessor Thomas Choe Yang-eop, independent of the cause of Servants of God Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 Companions.
The Rev. Peter Ryu Han-young, Secretary of the Special Episcopal Commission, said, "We expect the abundant data prepared for the cause can enable the process to go on smoothly; however, for the beatification of a confessor a 'miracle' must be proved. This condition would be of primary importance in the process."
The Servant of God Thomas Choe Yang-eop was the second Korean priest, following the St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon. Ordained a priest in 1849, he devoted his entire life to pastoral ministry of the faithful of the early Church in Joseon. After twelve years of enthusiastic ministry with tears and sweats, he died of typhoid due to overwork in 1861. He also wrote a few books on doctrines for the faithful and nineteen beautiful letters in Latin.