On the occasion of the first Sunday of Advent, each Diocesan Bishop issued his 2013 pastoral letter in faithful celebration of the Year of Faith and invited the faithful to actively ponder upon the way of new evangelization with new ardour, method and expression.
Each diocesan Bishops stressed that the Church herself must be first evangelized to evangelize the world anew and urged the faithful to renew and confirm themselves as the witnesses of the Gospel. In this regard, each diocese aims at inner renewal to consolidate the foundation of faith. Especially for this aim, each diocese expressed its intention to establish active plans for learning and practicing the spirit and teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Indeed, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, as well as the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The diocesan bishops also suggested the invigoration of the Small Christian Communities (SCCs) and the commitment for the evangelization of society based on pastoral care for family and the youth, as well as on social teaching of the Church. Actually, the SCCs are becoming an option for the future pastoral ministry of the Catholic Church in Korea.
In his pastoral letter, the Most Rev. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, said that he will carry out the mission of the new evangelization with the focus on the Year of faith. He also suggested five mottos: faith starting with the Word; faith growing up in prayer; faith confirmed with the teachings of the Church; faith united in the celebration of Mass; faith bearing fruit of love.
The Most Rev. Thaddeus Cho Hwan-kil, Archbishop of Daegu, suggested three agenda of his Archdiocese in his pastoral letter: establishment of a follow-up committee for the decision of the 2nd Archdiocesan Synod; preparation for the chance to learn the deposit of faith anew; commitment for the reconciliation with the non-practicing faithful. These agenda were set to reaffirm the mission of the new evangelization, as well as to carry out the resolution of the 2nd Archdiocesan Synod.
In his pastoral letter, the Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, Archbishop of Gwangju, invited the faithful to live the year 2013 under the motto “Family Church proclaiming the Gospel” as much as they lived the year 2012 under the motto “Family Church in Prayer”. In 2012, the Archdiocese of Gwangju had decided to observe the “Year of Family” for three years to emphasize the pastoral care for the family.
Other dioceses also put emphasis on the chances to learn and practice the teachings of the Church. Many dioceses ask the faithful to have a frequent chance to learn ecclesiastical teachings in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Pastoral care for the family and youth is also a matter of great interest of bishops. Among others, the Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Bishop of Daejeon, stressed that the faithful must count on the youth with a new point of view, and at the same time, the youth must be the protagonist of the pastoral care for youth.