CBCK News


Communication on July 4

2009.08.25 10:21


*The Last Letter of St. Andrew Kim Dae-geon to Fellow Priests Opened to the Public

On the occasion of The World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests on June 27, the Research Foundation of Korean Church History disclosed to the public the testament of the first Korean priest who was martyred and canonized.

It was the letter of St. Andrew Kim Dae-geon, the patron of Korean priests, which was sent to his fellow priests about a month before he was martyred. He originally wrote the letter in the jail on September 16, 1846 and Rev. Thomas Choi Yang-eop (then a deacon) transcribed and delivered it to Paris Foreign Missions Society with the original copy. Both the original copy and its transcript were opened to the public on this occasion.

Rev. Theophilus Choi Seung-ryong, who is in charge of the Archives of the Research Foundation of Korean Church History, said, "We hope that Korean priests, following the spirit and passion of St. Andrew Kim and the fraternity of the two priests, will devote themselves to their sacred ministry and build fraternity with fellow priests."

The letter, the last testament written before his martyrdom, tells about the situation of persecution and asks the French consul to write to Korean King to allow the freedom of religion to Korean people. He concludes the letter entrusting his mother to his fellow priest Rev. Choi Yang-eop, the second Korean priest.

*Commemorative Monument Erected in Paris for French Missionary Martyrs in Korea

On June 21, a monument was erected in Rue de Bac in Paris to commemorate the martyr saints of the Paris Foreign Missions Society who gave their lives for the evangelization of Korean people.

This monument, presented by the faithful of Myongdong Cathedral of Seoul in January 2003, has been kept in the house of the Paris Foreign Missions Society for several months.

Some 230 Korean Catholics living in Paris and priests of the Paris Foreign Missions Society attended the unveiling ceremony and recalled the precious sacrifice of the French missionaries to announce the Kingdom of God among Korean people 150 years ago.

The Society expressed gratitude to Korean Catholics, saying, "For our 400-year history, it is the first time to receive gift of reward like this to commemorate our missionaries martyred in mission country."

Rev. Etcharren, Superior General of the Society, said at the ceremony, "This monument shows well the vitality of the Catholic Church in Korea who now makes important contributions to missionary work in every part of the world."

Rev. Theophilus Choi Seung-ryong of the Research Foundation of Korean Church History who planned to make this monument responded, "It is our pleasure and honor to express our gratitude to missionaries and their sacred and just martyrdom."

*Bishop and Priests of Cheongju Serve the Least in Kkottongnae

On the Solemnity of Sacred Heart and the World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests on June 27, the bishop and priests of the Diocese of Cheongju met "Christ who is present among the least" by serving the poor and weak in Kkottongnae, Diocese-run social welfare facilities.

The Most Rev. Gabriel Chang Bong-hun, Bishop of Cheongju, and 68 diocesan priests spared no pains for a day to bathe the inmates, wash the dishes, and take care of babies and the sick in eight facilities of Kkottongnae, meditating the Word of Jesus who said "I came not to be served but to serve"(Matt. 20,28).

Rev. Felx Kang Hee-sung, Pastoral Administrator of the Diocese of Cheongju, said, "Maybe it is very unusual case for all diocesan priests to serve in social welfare facilities. With today's experience, I felt myself that we cannot serve people if we do not have love. I thank God for allowing us this opportunity and being with us all day long."

The Most Rev. Chang asked the priests to serve the inmates "as if you met and served the Lord" and wished that their service would give courage to the family of Kkottongnae whose former chairman Rev. Oh Ung-jin is now summoned by the court for being allegedly involved in corruption scandal of misusing the fund.

*208 Policemen Received the Sacrament of Confirmation

The Committee for Police Pastoral Ministry of the Archdiocese of Seoul(President: Rev. Augustine Kang Hyeok-jun) held a ceremony of Confirmation for a group of 208 policemen on June 29 at the Myongdong Cathedral of Seoul with the Most Rev. Lucas Kim Woon-hoe, auxiliary bishop of Seoul, presiding.

It was the first time for this large number of people to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in a group since the Committee for Police Pastoral Ministry was established on September, 2000.

208 policemen who were conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation are from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Office, the mobile police forces in Seoul area and the retired policemen's association.

Most of them had difficulties in fulfilling Church observances due to the requirement of their service. Some of them had to learn the catechism for Confirmation individually during their break time.

"I received the Sacrament of Baptism during my service and today I'm honored to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. I won't forget that I'm born again as children of God in more difficult situation than anybody else. So, I will try to be faithful to the Church and be the salt and light in the world," said Leo Cheong Tae-su, police from the West Gate police office.

Considering such a fruitful work of the Committee for Police Pastoral Ministry in three years of its establishment the Archdiocese of Seoul plans to promote it further and wishes those Catholic policemen to become important mission resources in their environment.

The Committee will confer the Sacrament of Confirmation every two years accordingly. The Most Rev. Lucas Kim, in his homily, said, "I pray to God that this ceremony to be time of grace and consolation for each of you, and time of healing in faith of all sufferings you had to endure to fulfill your duty."

*Seminary Leaders Consolidate Inter-seminary Collaboration

The Catholic Theological Association of Korea (CTAK) plans to animate exchange of information concerning the formation of seminarians, exchange of material and human resources, and exchange of opinions between priest professors.

The participants in the regular general meeting of the CTAK from the seven Catholic Universities across the country made the above proposals pointing out the exchange of information between diocesan seminaries has been insufficient.

In this meeting hosted by the Episcopal Commission for Clergy & Religious (President: Most Rev. Andrew Choi Chang-moo) and sponsored by the Catholic University of Gwangju (President: Rev. Mario Lee Yong-heun) some 120 priest professors from the seven Catholic universities participated.

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