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Communications on Jun. 8, 2001

2009.08.24 11:00

Views:7763

◎ The Second Sports Day of Buddhists-Catholics for Solidarity and Harmony Held

Staff Members of the Secretariat of Chogye Order, the largest Korean Buddhist denomination, and the one of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea enjoyed their Second Sports Day at Ttuksom gymnasium on June 1st.
Under the burning sun in early summer in Korea, about 200 staff members (about 100 by each part) from the two secretariats, socked in sweat, shared friendship through sports.
"It's been quite long time now that we the servers of the Catholic Church and Buddhist Chogye Order are working together in solidarity towards a common goal to promote social justice and national reconciliation and other important issues of environment and dignity of human person. So, it is natural that the staff members of our two secretariats get acquainted and share friendship, and the sports games are excellent means for this purpose. I wonder why we had such a good initiative so late, but, never too late. Please, play tie game until you get socked in sweat and become one spirit and one body for our solidarity and harmony," the Venerable Yang-san, director of Social Department of the Chogye Order, said in his opening address. And Rev. John Kim Jong-su, secretary general of the CBCK, strongly encouraged the participants to enjoy friendship each other and to play a fair game and said; "The more we get closer, the more we see the real face of other side. That is my experience since I'm involved in common cause with our Buddhist counterpart."
The participants played over 10 sports games including soccer, basketball, volleyball and Korean traditional folk sports like 'Jaegichagi', tug of war etc.
Buddhist monks Venerable Wontaek and Yang-san and Rev. Paul Lee Chang-young, undersecretary of the CBCK, showed their interest by playing soccer and volleyball.
"It is not seldom for Korean people to live in an interreligious environment on family level. For example, in my family, three religions coexist in harmony; Buddhist, Christianity and Shaman. But, on social level and as individual religion we don't get along. Therefore, meeting each other and exchanging friendship like today is very meaningful," staff of secretariat of Chogye Order said to his Catholic counterpart.
"I loved and enjoyed heartfelt time with Buddhist friends. An encounter today made me think that we wear different costumes, but, we have the same 'heart and feeling' in deep inside us. I felt that even though we are from different religion but we are very close to each other. Finally, that's it! I watched the Buddhist monks and Catholic priests with wonder and good curiosity playing soccer in sport wear; with no Roman collar and surplice .... That was really something else that I never expected to see." Agnes Yeon Sook-jin, staff of CBCK, said and went on; "I wish to have such occasion more often. Our encounter can be done by different way than the sport games that request victory or defeat. For instance, we can plan mountain hiking; visiting Catholic shrines or Buddhist temples; mutual visit of our work place; hiking to Kumgang mountain with staff members working at secretariats of seven religions etc."
"At the beginning I wished our team to win. But while the games advanced I was happy and I amused watching Buddhists and Catholics playing together, all socked in sweat. I feel that my heart was divided in two at the beginning but it became one as time goes by. May I call such a feeling an interreligious experience!? Anyway I want to keep today's experience in my heart as a precious gift," Angela Lee Eun-young, staff of the CBCK, said.
After all-day-long play the participants concluded the day with dinner and entertainment.
The first Buddhist-Catholic Sports Day was held last September for the first time by initiative of the leaders of the two religions.
Many participants wished that other religions joined in it to exchange friendship and to consolidate solidarity and harmony between religions.
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