|* Salesian Family in Korea Celebrates Its Golden Anniversary|
From September 18 to 20, 2004, the Society of St. Francis De Sales celebrated its 50th anniversary, looking into the past and present and planning the future of the Society in Korea.
Since entering Korea in 1954 right after the Korean War, the Society has contributed to giving help to the life and faith of the young, especially the underprivileged young, following the spirit of the founder St. John Bosco, known as the "Father and Teacher of the Young." For half a century, it has conducted various activities for the young, such as personality building, education in mass media, professional training, social welfare work and evangelization,
By inviting the Rev. Don Pascal Chavez, their new Rector Major, the Salesians in Korea held diverse events for three days in Seoul and Kwangju with the theme "The Way Walking with the Young towards Hope."
On the first day, under the subtitle of "the History of the Salesians in Korea," a Mass was offered in Kwangju where the first Salesians settled in Korea. Some 1,500 Catholics participated in the Mass which was presided by the Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Kwangju. The schedule also included visit to the religious communities in Kwangju and the Historical Museum located in the Salesian High School.
The second day focused on looking into the present situation of the Society. A celebrating Mass was offered in Seoul, with the Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, presiding, and a festival was held with all the Salesian family members, including Salesian sisters, Caritas sisters and Salesian cooperators, the non-religious helpers. During the Mass, Archbishop Cheong said, "I hope your work to continue so that someday your love can reach our North Korean brethren in reunified Korea."
On the third day, there were meetings of superiors and councils of the province to make a new commitment to renewal and rebirth of the members. The Rev. Paul Hwang Myeong-deok, Local Superior of the Society in Korea, said, "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, we should try to realize the will of God through the spirit of Don Bosco. We are assured that the will is 'love,' so we hope to practice love, the love of God towards the young all the more earnestly."
The Province of Korea of the Society plans to promote a supporting plan for the youth in the world in collaboration with the laity. It will also organize events to commemorate the Rev. A. Martelli, the first Salesian missionary in Korea and arrange courses to present the spirituality of the Blessed Vincent Cimatti.
* Month of Martyrs Inspires Dioceses to Admire Their Ancestors of Faith
On the occasion of the Month of Martyrs, September in Korea, events were organized on the diocesan level to remember their ancestors of faith.
The Diocese of Wonju held a congress for the exaltation of martyrs on September 17 at Baeron Sanctuary in Jecheon. In the Mass presided by the Most Rev. James Kim Ji-seok, Bishop of Wonju, some 3,000 Catholics participated and they also visited the cemetery of the Rev. Thomas Choi Yang-eop, the second Korean priest.
In the Diocese of Suwon, on September 16, a congress was made at Namhansanseong Shrine in which some 1,000 participants offered Mass and had the ceremony of unveiling the status of martyrs. On the seven-meter long status, the names of 20 martyrs were inscribed. The Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hun, Auxiliary Bishop of Suwon, said, "While our ancestors gave witness to the Lord and responded to the love of God to the point of death, we can respond to His love by conquering all the temptations around us in this world."
The Dioceses of Masan and Andong also arranged congresses and Mass. The Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyok-ju, Bishop of Andong, asked the faithful to be reborn as new Christians, "following the spirit of the martyrs who could have the courage to offer their life by virtue of the faith and hope in God and in the eternal life." The Most Rev. Francis Xavier Ahn Myong-ok, Bishop of Masan, said, "The life of martyrs was that of self-emptying and enduring every suffering and injury. Following their spirit, we should practice the spirit of sacrifice and charity."
Similarly, at the shrine in Chilgok in Gyeongsangbuk-do, five parishes in the Archdiocese of Taegu held a congress on September 17 where some 700 participated despite the recent damage by the Typhoon Maegi.
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