CBCK News


Communication on June 6

2009.08.25 10:15


* U.S.A. Catholic Church to Offer a Mass for Korean Martyrs

The Catholic Church in U.S.A. will offer a Mass to commemorate Korean martyrs at National Shrine of Immaculate Conception, located in Washington, D.C., on September 21. His Eminence Theodore Cardinal E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., will celebrate the Mass.
This is the first time for the U.S.A. Church to offer a Mass for Korean martyrs on the national level, not on the diocesan level as it was done sometimes in certain dioceses.
With the celebration of the Mass, a statue of Mary or of Mary and Jesus displaying the characteristics of Korean people's faith will be installed in the National Shrine, which is expected to let Americans know about the Catholic Church in Korea and promote the relationship of the two Catholic Churches.
This decision was made public at May 20 meeting of the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, President of the Committee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants of the CBCK(Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea), and the Most Rev. Thomas G. Wenski, Chairman of the USCCB(United States of Conference of Catholic Bishop) Committee on Migration.
In this regard the Most Rev. Wenski reportedly called for positive participation and concern of Korean bishops.
The Most Rev. Kang visited U.S.A. to participate in the 2003 General Assembly of Priests in Charge of Pastoral Care of Koreans in North America, held from May 19 to 23 at Benedictine Newton Abbey, in New Jersey.
During the first official meeting of bishops in charge of migration of the two countries in charge of migration, they discussed pending questions and agreed to readjust the Agreement between Korea-U.S.A. Episcopal Conferences on Sending Priests for Pastoral Ministry of Korean Catholic Communities in U.S.A. issued in 1999.
Rev. Peter Chung Byeong-jo, Executive Secretary of the Committee, commented, "The fact that bishops concerned in the pastoral care of migrants met and exchanged opinions shows well the visible concern of the Catholic Church in U.S.A. about the Catholic Church in Korea."

* Basic Ecclesial Community of the Catholic Church in Korea to be Grafted on the Catholic Church in Japan

A group of 24 faithful of the Diocese of Nagasaki, Japan, including Rev. Nakamura Mitsro, President of the Committee for Family of the Diocese of Nagasaki, made a four-day visit to Seoul from May 26 to learn about the Basic Ecclesial Community(BEC) of the Catholic Church in Korea.
The Most Rev. Joseph Takami Mitsuaki, Bishop of Nagasaki, also made a two-day visit to Seoul and joined the team.
This is the fifth visit of the faithful from the Diocese of Nagasaki to see the BEC of the Catholic Church in Korea. Their visit was focused on learning the educational system of the BEC of the Archdiocese of Seoul and BEC activities in parishes of Seoul area.
During their stay they met various people related to BEC and had meetings with priests of the pastoral department, and participated in 2-step educational program for neighborhood and territorial BEC leaders, BEC meetings in Sinnae-dong and Chang-dong, and meetings of Region of Mary in Guui-dong and Gupabal parishes etc.
"Presence of many young women in BEC was very inspiring. This is something unimaginable in Japan. I want to make efforts to build BEC in my diocese on the model of Korean BEC," said Rev. Nakamura who came to Korea for several times for BEC affairs.
"The BEC movement of the Catholic Church in Korea is full of energy and ardor as I heard it in Japan. Harmonious atmosphere of meeting impressed me. I wish the vitality of the BEC of the Catholic Church in Korea be transmitted fully to Japan and take root. The Catholic Church in Japan is run by clergy, thus, the laity is more or less passive. The BEC may be one of the most effective ways to induce the laity to the activity." said the Most Rev. Takami and asked continual support of the Archdiocese of Seoul.
The Diocese of Nagasaki had come to be interested in the BEC when His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan introduced the BEC movement of the Catholic Church in Korea to the missionary priests' meeting of the East Region of Japan in 1999. Since then the Diocese of Nagasaki invited the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il and Rev. Chung Wol-gi, director of the pastoral department of the Archdiocese of Seoul, for special lectures on the BEC movement in Korea. And they have been translating over 40 teaching materials since last year.
The Diocese of Nagasaki will have a training meeting of priests on BEC in August with the material of "Education of Neighborhood Leaders" that has been translated in Japanese.

* Activities to Abolish the Capital Punishment to Be Intensified

The Committee for Abolishing the Capital Punishment (President: Most Rev. John Choi Young-soo) under the Committee for Justice & Peace of the CBCK had its regular meeting on May 28 and resolved to develop various activities to exert more influence on the society.
In accordance with the decision, the Committee will organize 'delegation team composed of representatives of the seven main religions of Korea to visit the National Assembly' around the extraordinary session of the National Assembly in this June.
In addition, it also plans to arrange for a meeting with the Minister of Justice to explain the current situation of campaign for abolition of the capital punishment and to convey the view of the Church. Similarly, the Committee hopes to meet the President before the regular session of the National Assembly in coming September.
For well-ordered operation, the Committee reshuffled its structure into four divisions, that are, planning & publicity, external affairs, legal affairs, and organization of events.
Not to speak of the internal activities like seminars or cultural events, it hopes to develop external activities such as building solidarity with domestic NGOs, other religions or international organizations.

* Catholics, Protestants and Buddhists Join Hands to Help the Incurable

Catholic Suyu-1 dong Parish of Seoul (Pastor: Rev. Raymond Lee Jong-nam), Protestant Song-am Church (Rev. Park Seung-hwa) and Hwagye-sa Temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism (Ven. Seong-kwang) held the 4th joint charity bazaar to help incurable children on May 31 at Hanshin Theological College in Seoul with the theme of "Unity in love and compassion can give hope to suffering neighbors."
The charity bazaar that Catholics, Protestants and Buddhists prepared together in fraternal love and unity attracted many visitors and volunteers.
"We Catholics, Protestants and Buddhists began the joint charity bazaar in 2000 to share love and hope beyond religion and denominations. Since then we make it every year," said Rev. Raymond Lee and went on "we hope that people come to understand through this bazaar that love grows when it is shared."
All funds of the bazaar will be used to help incurable children of poor families who are recommended by the three organizers of the bazaar and the Kangbuk-gu district office of Seoul.

* Volunteers for Reconstruction Work of Iraq Invited

The Caritas Coreana of the CBCK (President: Most Rev. Gabriel Chang Bong-hun) will send large scale volunteer group for the postwar reconstruction of Iraq.
On May 29, the Caritas Coreana said that it plans to send a medical staff composed of five to ten medical doctors and ten nurses, and ten construction technicians and ten electronic technicians.
"For this we need people who can give hands to help the war-stricken Iraqi people who are waiting for our help. And donations of pharmaceutical companies and water cleaner companies are needed because they suffer from critical shortage of medical supplies and clean water," said Rev. Paul Jeremiah Hwang Yong-yeon, Executive Secretary of the Caritas Coreana.

* Novena and Prayer Meetings Held for Two Middle School Girls Killed by the U.S.A. Armored Vehicle

A Novena was arranged to commemorate two middle school girls who were killed by the U.S.A. armored vehicle a year ago.
The Committee for Social Evangelization of the Diocese of Inchon (Chairman: Rev. John Park Yo-hwan) organized the Novena and prayer meetings that are held in nine Catholic parishes in rotation, starting from Bupyeong 1-dong parish on June 4.
In particular, on June 9 midday people will visit the venue of the accident and offer a memorial Mass in front of the U.S.A. military camp.

* Dioceses Trying to Offer Pastoral Care to Foreign Workers

On June 1, the Office for Pastoral Ministry for Foreign Workers of the Archdiocese of Kwangju (Director: Rev. John Lee Jun-ho) organized "Day for the Philippine Community" at Catholic Ongoing Formation Center in Kwangju Archdiocese in which some 200 Philippine migrants and families participated. They attended a Mass and enjoyed cultural events of the Community.
On the other hand, Songu-ri parish (Pastor: Rev. Hyginus Hong Gi-seon), in the Diocese of Chunchon, decided to concentrate on pastoral ministry of foreign workers, considering the characteristics of the region where hundreds of foreign workers live including illegal residents.
As a part of it, it was decided to offer from June weekly Mass at Gasan secondary station and provides Mass in English and Tagalog languages for some 100 foreign Catholics by inviting Rev. Giovanni Glen of Philippine Foreign Mission Society.
It also plans to provide educational opportunity and medical support for foreign workers despite financial difficulties.
With regard to this, Rev. Hong Gi-seon said, "We want to live out the spirit of hospitality to strangers, as emphasized in the Bible, but for now our economic means are insufficient," and added "we will ask relevant social welfare offices in the Diocese for help."
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