CBCK Newsletter

 CBCK Newsletter




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- 2014 Autumn General Assembly of the CBCK
- Message for the 19th Farmers' Sunday
- Message for the 47th Military Mission Sunday
- Message for the Month of Mission 2014
- News from the Church in Korea
- The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea



From the Editor:


Recalling Pope Francis' Apostolic Visit to Korea

  When we look back on the Pope Francis' recent apostolic visit to Korea, from August 14 to 18, 2014, we cannot but think that it was God's gift not only for the Church in Korea but also for all of Korea. When Korea was groaning under many problems, the Pope came to this land. He was generous and tender, honest and modest, easygoing and never pretentious. His speech was temperate and forthright. He celebrated liturgical ceremonies in a simple but pious way. He made us unite as one in exultation during his five-day visit to Korea. All men and women who personally met him were immediately invited to remember the face of Jesus Christ.


  While his every single word was warm and tender as if it would heal our wounds, it penetrated deep into our heart like a sword purifying it of blurry thoughts, so that we "may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect" (Rm 12,2).


  Pope Francis called on us: to "stop" running into a society under the law of jungle, infatuated with the neo-liberalism; to "have the courage" to stand against the trend of limitless competition resulting in materialism, selfishness, and division; to "deny" the inhumane economic models bolstering new forms of poverty and marginalizing workers. Then, he urged us to build "a society worthy of the human person" and "a poor Church for the poor."


  In his Angelus address after Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis asked "all Koreans together in grief to confirm their commitment to work together in solidarity for the common good." At the meeting with religious leaders in Korea on August 18, 2014, he said that we must "acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters, and walk together," as "life is a journey which we cannot make by ourselves" in the midst of the "globalization of indifference."


  Returning to Rome, at the General Audience held in the Hall of Paul VI on August 20, 2014, the Holy Father summed up the significance of his apostolic journey with three words: memory, hope, and witness.


  I would like to summarize the Holy Father's homilies and speeches during his visit to Korea in a phrase: solidarity in order to build a society worthy of the human person.


  Pope Francis said, "Peace is not simply the absence of war, but the work of justice," therefore, "you cannot be neutral before the pain of your brothers and sisters." These words come from the divine generosity towards the people who are suffering for various reasons. The Church must bear witness to such hope with her practice.


Fr. Thaddaeus Lee Ki-rak
Executive Secretary of the CBCK


2014 Autumn General Assembly of the CBCK



  The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK) held its 2014 Autumn General Assembly at the Conference Hall of the Catholic Conference of Korea (CCK) from October 27 to 31, 2014, and covered the follwing matters:


1. The bishops deliberated on the revised draft of the Catechism for Catechumens, submitted by the CBCK Committee for Catechesis (President: Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyeok-ju) after listening to the explanation for the necessity of the general revision. They approved the draft under the condition that the title of Chapter 10 should be changed from "Holy Spirit, the Advocate" into "Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life."


2. The bishops approved unanimously the new Korean version of the liturgical texts of De Benedictionibus and Ordo Professionis Religiosae presented by the CBCK Committee for Liturgy (President: Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong-soo). The drafts will be sent to the Apostolic See for their recognition.


3. The bishops approved the revised draft Catholic Terminology in Korean after listening to the explanation of the CBCK Committee for Catholic Terminology (President: Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il) about the background of the revision.


4. The bishops examined the draft of the 'Litany of the Blessed 124 Korean Martyrs' prepared by the CBCK Special Episcopal Commission to Promote Beatification and Canonization (Chairman: Most Rev. Francis Xavier Ahn Myong-ok) to promote the public veneration of the Martyrs, and the prayer of the faithful asking for miracles through their intercession.


5. The bishops examined the revised draft "Prayer for the Beatification and Canonization of the 125 Servants of God," as the Servants of God Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 companions have been beatified. They approved the revised draft with a new title "Prayer for the Beatification and Canonization" in accordance with the proposal of the Permanent Council of the CBCK.


6. The CBCK Special Episcopal Commission to Promote Beatification and Canonization (Chairman: Most Rev. Francis Xavier Ahn Myong-ok) requested the nomination of new postulators for the causes of the beatification of 'John Baptist Yi Byeok and 132 Companions' and 'Bishop Francis Borgia Hong Yong-ho and 80 Companions' respectively. The bishops decided to appoint new postulators as follows:

- Rev. Simon Kim Jong-gang, Diocese of Cheongju, for the Cause of John Baptist Yi Byeok and 132 Companions
- Rev. John Baptist Kim Jeong-Hwan, Diocese of Daejeon, for the Cause of Bishop Francis Borgia Hong Yong-ho and 80 Companions.


7. The bishops approved the issuance of an official message for Labor Day on a regular basis to promote the significance and value of labor, as proposed by the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace (President: Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon).


8. The bishops approved that the CBCK Committee for the Pastoral Care of Immigrants & Foreign Workers (President: Most Rev. Simon Ok Hyun-jin) will hold a meeting of Asian Working Group of the ICMC at the House of Aron of the Diocese of Suwon from June 18 to 20, 2015, with the theme "Pastoral Cooperation between Countries of Origin and Host Countries."

9. The bishops listened to a report that the bishops who are going to make the Ad Limina visit to the Apostolic See in Rome from March 8 to 17, 2015. Each individual member will meet with Pope Francis on March 9 and 12, 2015. About 80 Korean representatives will have an audience with the Holy Father on March 11, 2015. This audience is meant to be an occasion to express their sincere appreciation for Pope Francis' apostolic visit to Korea in 2014.


10. The bishops decided that money for the aid to the refugees in the areas of Syria and Iraq will be gathered through a way of special collection at Sunday Mass, on November 23, 2014.


11. The bishops listened to a lecture entitled "the Challenges of the Catholic Church in Korea after Pope Francis' Apostolic Visit", given by Rev. Bartholomew Jun Won, Assistant Director of the Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea.


12. In accordance with the request of the Association of Major Superiors of Religious Women in Korea and the Korean Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Religious Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life, the bishops were asked to inform the faithful in their respective diocese of the opening of the Year of Consecrated Life 2015 (Nov. 30, 2014 - Feb. 2, 2016), and they were also invited to pray for the Year. It was reported that the Opening Mass will be celebrated by all religious on December 1, 2014 in each province respectively.


13. In accordance with the Statutes of the Episcopal Conference (Art. 15, 6°; Arts. 16 - 18), the bishops elected the officers of the episcopal conference by vote with a new President, Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong.



Message for the 19th Farmers' Sunday


"Save Our Rural Community Movement"
Aims at the "Rural-Urban Communion"

"As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
Summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Gn 8,22)


  Dear brothers and sisters,


  In this year, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Save Our Rural Community Movement" of the Catholic Church in Korea, started in 1994 when the agriculture and rural areas had to face the escalating sense of existential crisis as Korea became a contracting party of the Uruguay Round in 1994. With this movement the Church also has tried to promote the so-called "rural-urban communion" through organic farming in rural areas and the sharing of organic agricultural products in urban areas for 20 years. For example, 'Fund Raising for the Promotion of Family Farming', 'Campaign for the Promotion of Calf Breeding', 'Prepayment for the Later Purchase of Rice', and 'Campaign for Helping Farmers.'

  However, despite such efforts, the bare existence of earthly ecology and human beings is threatened by the ever worsening social polarization, poverty, and hunger, in mesh with the environmental problems resulted from climate change, energy problem and food insecurity. It is obvious that these are the results of human selfishness and greed, manifested in the evil of "throwaway" civilization, materialism, marketism, and growth first ideology.

  Over the last 20 years, the average cultivation area in Korea has remained around 1.5ha and average agricultural income has stayed around 10 million KRW, despite the efforts for the promotion of agricultural competitiveness in Korea through the policy for the economy of scale. As of 2012, even the self-sufficiency rate of rice, one of the staple grains in Korea, has dropped to 86.1%, as the average food self-sufficiency rate has reached only 23.6%. Such a situation invites us to realize that it is a challenge not only for farmers but also for all of us.

  The United Nations (UN) declared the year of 2014 as "the International Year of Family Farming" (IYFF) at its General Assembly in 2011. "The IYFF aims to raise the profile of family farming and small holder farming by focusing world attention on its important role in alleviating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and allowing a sustainable development, in particular in rural areas" (IYFF 2014 Master lan, 2013, n.1). It is in line with the resolution of the UN, which declared its aim "to halve, by the year 2015, …… the proportion of people who suffer from hunger" (United Nations Millennium Declaration, 2000, n.19) for a "sustainable development." However, we have to pay attention to the fact that we cannot achieve this goal with the existing large-scale industrial farming. Though Korea has maintained the traditional family farm system in most cases, it faces a great danger because of the rapidly aging population and a total shortage of future farmers. This year is especially important because we shall have to face the Sino-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the full opening of the rice market after 20 years of its moratorium. We should face up to the fact even now and devote all our social efforts to the sustainable development of agriculture and the rural areas of Korea. The government also should exert all possible effort for the sustainable development of the rural areas and agriculture in light of the value of agriculture, the rural areas and the family farming. It is urgently needed to renounce a one-sided policy on agriculture which puts exclusive emphasis on opening and restructuring, and to achieve a paradigm shift in policy making through systematical support and social solidarity for the small farming in favor of natural ecology and future generations.

  "Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving?"(Evangelli Gaudium, n.53) Pope Francis' exhortation invites us to a deep reflection, confession, and action. "The wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts" (Jm 5,4). It is not phenomena exclusively belonging to the early Church Community. The Pope said, "The Church has realized that the need to heed this plea is itself born of the liberating action of grace within each of us, and thus it is not a question of a mission reserved only to a few"(Evangelli Gaudium, n. 188). We should engrave these words on our hearts.

  I would like to thank farmers for their efforts in participating in God's creation in the face of difficult conditions and circumstances. Let us remember God's promise: "As long as the earth lasts, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" (Gn 8,22). I am sure that such a promise will come true, and that the rural area as the base of life and our homeland will flourish.



July 20, 2014
+ Matthias Ri Iong-hoon
Bishop of Suwon
CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace



Message for the 47th Military Mission Sunday


Towards Jesus Christ in Love 

  Dear brothers and sisters,


  In 2014, we experienced great sorrow and joy. Both the Sewol ferry disaster and a series of accidents in frontline areas and in rear bases have brought grief to many people, especially to parents whose sons are serving in the military. On the other hand, Pope Francis' apostolic visit to Korea and the beatification of the Servants of God Paul Yun Ji-Chung and 123 companions gave us great joy. It brought hope and courage to our society and showed the true way of life.


  Go Forth to a Land That I Will Show You


  Soldiers in frontline areas and in rear bases remind me of Abram, our ancestor in faith.


  In obedience to the divine order to "go forth from the land of his kinsfolk and from his father's house to a land that God will show him" (cf. Gen 12,1), Abram went on his journey (cf. Gen 12,4). He embarked on a journey towards uncertain future, leaving behind his vested rights and personal comfort.


  In this way, Abram went on a pilgrimage in accordance with God's calling, but his life was not always successful. He went through a difficult situation when, in order to keep his life, he could not but pretend that his wife was his younger sister (cf. Gen 12,10-20,20). There was a separation of his family because of a conflict with Lot, his cousin (cf. Gen 13,9). In addition, he was willing to offer his son Isaac, the sign of God's promise, as a holocaust. However, he overcame this trial and agony with a belief in God so that it became a source of blessing.


  Leaving behind their loving family and everything that gives them a sense of security, our young men join the army, an unknown place, to protect justice and peace. Jesus said, if a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it produces much fruit (cf. Jn 12,24). When a child is born, a umbilical cord which has been connected to the mother must be cut. In the same way, when a young man begins to serve in the army, his invisible emotional connection to his family is severed to become an independent man. However, such independence can sometimes result in loneliness, emptiness, and fear because of the severance and insufficient relationship. The best way to overcome the severance and insufficient relationship is to have an encounter with Jesus Christ. As the Samaritan woman who wanted to have water from a well that never dries, soldiers will eventually search for a faith in God to cope with their difficulties and fears as well as their inner emptiness.


  Charity of the Church - Towards Jesus Christ in Love


  With her virtue of charity the Church carries out her missionary activity for soldiers, who are searching for a faith in God. Charity is the language and the content of evangelical mission and its essential action of the Gospel. Indeed, we can rely on nothing but charity, because we can witness the Trinity in the charity.


  With its motto, "Towards Jesus Christ in Love", the Military Ordinariate in Korea approaches the soldiers with love to fill their physical and spiritual emptiness with love.


  A military parish represents the place for communion which appears to be impossible to sustain with human efforts. In some military parishes two or three families must take care of up to 300 soldiers. When no family is available, a military chaplain must drive all day long to celebrate Mass for the soldiers of different battalions and regiments stationed widely apart from each other. After such a tiresome day, he even visits soldiers on their night shift to cheer them up. Military chaplains might at times be disappointed and think of giving up when all these efforts show no visible results. However, they can overcome such human temptations, when they witness soldiers returning to God. Military chaplains are encouraged by meeting military families who practice charity despite their own difficulties, and by meeting warm-hearted elderly people.


  Recently we have witnessed shameful and miserable accidents at military camps. Those accidents saddened many people and even caused doubts about joining the army. However, crises such as these present opportunities for us to reflect upon our problems not only with the military system but also with our society where whole person education is on the verge of collapse.


  I would like to invite you, all the faithful, to pray for those soldiers who are trying to live the Gospel in such a difficult situation as well as for the military chaplains who are helping the soldiers overcome their difficulties.


  In his exhortation Evanglii Gaudium, Pope Francis urges us: "Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of missionary enthusiasm!" (n. 80)

 October 5, 2014

+ Francis Xavier Yu Soo-il
Bishop of Military Ordinariate



Message for the Month of Mission 2014


On the Joy of Gospel



1. During Pope Francis' apostolic visit to Korea in August 2014, we recognized a true evangelizer in his humble words and deeds. Many Koreans were touched by his deeds that woke up the yearning for infinite goodness, truth and beauty, which had entered deep hibernation in our hearts. Thus, now we come to realize the meaning of the Good News and the way of its proclamation.

  Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, is a magna carta, which explains the Good News in a more precise way. The exhortation consists of five chapters, which contains concrete suggestions for those who have come forth to proclaim the Gospel. First of all, the only requirement of an evangelizer is to have an encounter with the risen Lord and experience the true joy. However, we must face great resistance, difficulty, or temptation when we proclaim the Good News because the world seems to be overwhelmed with a trend against the Gospel. Therefore, we need a special way to proclaim the Gospel. On top of that, the Gospel cannot but have social and political dimensions because it must be the salt and light of the world, not just staying in the private sector of the inner peace of an individual person. When Pope Francis said, "where human suffering is involved, you can't be neutral" in his in-flight conference from Korea to Rome, he correctly summarized the spirit of the Evangelii Gaudium. Therefore, it is no wonder that we must doubt whether we can do such a great work. The answer is the "power from on high" (Lk 24,49), who is the Holy Spirit.


2. Chapter 10 of the Gospel according to Luke tells us a pericope of the seventy-two disciples sent by Jesus and the results of their mission. It is a good example indicating what the evangelization can bring about. Jesus sent his disciples out into a preposterous situation as if lambs could possibly live among wolves, without any daily necessities. However, the results of their work turned out to be truly remarkable. They drove out demons and returned "rejoicing".
Contrary to the twelve Apostles who had been taught for a long time and sent by Jesus, these seventy-two were sent out depended solely on the divine power without human necessities. This shows that it is not necessary to have special education or lengthy professional training in order to be the witnesses of the Gospel.


3. As the twelve Apostles were chosen by Jesus Christ, so also today we are called to be disciples who proclaim the Gospel, going on our way strengthened with "the power from on high". Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 Companions, the martyrs in the early history of Catholic Church in Korea, who were beatified on August 16, 2014, were all lay people except Father James Zhou Wen-mo. Some of them went abroad by themselves to learn the Catholic teachings. This is unprecedented in the history of evagelization.
  Today, the laity actively carry out their mission of proclaiming the Gospel at the forefront together with priests. In this regard, these days may be recorded as a great turing point in Christian history. Therefore, our ancestors in faith can be a good model for the Universal Church because from the early beginnings they played the leading roles in proclaiming the Gospel.


4. In his homily during the Holy Mass for Beatification, Pope Francis, recalling the history of the Catholic Church in Korea, made suggestions for evangelizers to keep in mind. First of all, he recalled that despite the society in those days where social class or hierarchy was consolidated, the believers bore fruit "in the communities inspired by the early Church, where believers were truly one in mind and heart, and shared all things in common." Pope said, "this history tells us much about the importance, the dignity and the beauty of the vocation of the laity." He reminded us how they suffered in order to follow the words of the Gospel as soon as the seed of evangelization was sown in this land. As the Lord tells us, "the world hated them" (Jn 17,14). Pope Francis awakened us to the similar challenge by the world of the time. "In countless ways we are asked to compromise our faith, to water down the radical demands of the Gospel and to conform to the spirit of this age. Yet the martyrs call out to us to put Christ first and to see all else in this world in relation to Him and His eternal Kingdom. …… Their example has much to say to us who live in societies where, alongside immense wealth, dire poverty is silently growing; where the cry of the poor is seldom heeded. …… The legacy of the martyrs can inspire all men and women of good will to work in harmony for a more just, free and reconciled society, thus contributing to peace and the protection of authentically human values in this country and in our world."


5. Bringing joy of the Gospel to the mankind and the Church exhausted by many difficulties and burdensome challenges, Pope Francis made an apostolic visit to Korea. On this occasion, the early martyrs of the Church in Korea have been beatified, and their images have been engraved in our hearts.
  Now, it is our turn. Following the teaching of our Lord and of Pope Francis, let us rise up and go out so that we can "boldly" (Act 13,46; 18,26) live according to God's command.

+ Vincent Ri Pyung-ho
Bishop of Jeonju
CBCK Committee for Evangelization



News from the Church in Korea


 The CBCK Committee on Education, the 3rd Granum Seminar

The CBCK Committee on Education (President: Most Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san) held the 3rd Granum seminar at the Catholic University of Korea on September 13, 2014 with the theme, "Commitment to a Happy School for All."


  As Granum means a grain of wheat in Latin, the seminar implies that each educator plays the role of a grain of wheat in the world.


  The purposes of the Granum Seminar are to build and activate a network among educators who are working in the field, and to search for educational methods in conformity with the teachings of the Catholic Church. It is also an opportunity for educators to share their efforts and experiences in evangelization, and their educational methods.


  In this seminar there were almost 100 participants, including teachers and professors at all levels of educational institutions including kindergartens, and other concerned persons.


  Rev. John Baptist Junyang Park gave a lecture with the theme, "Theological Reflection on Joy, Happiness, and Truth.” He said, "The teenagers who leave the Church and abandon their faith need attentive care." He also emphasized that Catholic educators are responsible for leading them to the Lord as they are wandering around in spiritual poverty with a sense of alienation.


  The participants had time for sharing their own experiences of putting into practice the teachings of the Catholic Church and of presenting cases of evangelization. This seminar was one more step for educators to build and activate the networks among them.


 The "Catholic School for Nuclear Power Phase-out" starts with a 9-week course

  A 9-week course dealing with the Catholic teachings on nuclear power phase-out, entitled "Catholic School for Nuclear Power Phase-out" began with an opening Mass at the Catholic Center in Myeong-dong on September 17, 2014.


  This course was prepared by the Subcommittee for Environment under the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace (President: Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon). Its purpose is to educate the faithful in the teachings of the Catholic Church on nuclear technology.


  In his homily, Rev. Stephan Yang Ki-suk, the Secretary of the Subcommittee for Environment, said that "God will ultimately restore this world according to His will, no matter how we human beings destroy it. It matters that those who destroy the environments or overlook their acts, including people who just follow them not knowing what will cause their behaviors, all of them cannot help but take the greatest responsibility."


  In the first lecture after the Mass, Rev. Yang said that the faithful have the responsibility to hand on the precious heritage of nature entrusted to us by God to the future generations. He pointed out the seriousness of radioactive contamination due to the explosion of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan and evil effects of the Four Major Rivers Project of Korea.


  In this lecture with the theme "Ecological civilization and our responsibility to carry out as believers", he attributed the ecological crisis of today to several tendances such as, anthropocentricism, techno-centered perspective and scientism, consumption-oriented life style, dichotomy between human and nature. He stressed that "the gifts of the ecosystem and resources for all of humanity are meant to promote the common good."


  This course on nuclear power phase-out was held every Wednesday evening for 9 weeks until November 11, 2014. Some of the themes were: "New Logic and Practices against Ecological Crisis", "Principle and Structure of Nuclear Power", "Discrimination and Conflicts over the Nuclear Power Plants in the World", "The Route of the Radiation Exposure of the Koreans", "Alternative Energy for the Nuclear Power Phase-out", "Nuclear Technology and Teachings of the Church." The course included on-sight exposure trips to the site of the high-voltage electric power transmission towers in Milyang, South Gyeongsang Province, and to a nuclear power plant with outdated reactors.


 The 9th Catholic Ecological Awards

  The Subcommittee for Environment under the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace (President: Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hun) held a ceremony for the 9th Catholic Ecological Award, at the auditorium of the CCK on October 14, 2014.


  The Grand Prix was awarded to the "Committee for Pro-Life and Peace of the Association of Major Superiors of Religious Women in Korea." The Subcommittee for Environment highly praised the efforts of the Committee for Pro-Life and Peace for preservation of the divine order of creation as well as humanism, despite the continuing destruction of the environment and the violation of human rights in Korea.


  Two special prizes were given. One to the 'Catholic Solidarity for Environment' of Incheon Diocese and the other to the "House for Women" in Changwon.


  The 'Catholic Solidarity for Environment' of Incheon Diocese, started out as the Catholic Research Institute of Environment in 1993. It has contributed to the renewal of the Church and the evangelization of society by encouraging the faithful to take an active part in the movement for environment in parishes and dioceses.


  The "House for Women" in Changwon, started as a temporary shelter for single-mother families who were in difficulties. It was highly praised for its campaign to reduce food waste among all the members and tending vegetable garden also with children.


  The purpose of this institution is to give motivation to face new challenges and to realize the true meaning of life, not only to the mothers and children but also to the volunteers. As a token of its appreciation, the Subcommittee for Environment chose this institution as the special prize winner, in the hope that it might be a small support and encouragement for the mothers, children, employees, and volunteers.



 The Workshop for SCCs and Parish Pastoral Care Held by the Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea

  The Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea (CPIK, Director: Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il) held 'the workshop for the Small Christian Communities (SCCs) and Parish Pastoral Care' at the Education Center of St. Paul Chong Ha-sang in the Diocese of Daejeon from October 6 to 8, 2014, with the theme, "Building Parishes Centered on the SCCs". It aimed to encourage parishes to practice pastoral care focusing on energizing the SCCs.


  The participants were representatives from parishes of 7 dioceses, some diocesan pastoral directors, and priests taking care of the SCCs. Sharing the information on the structure and developing process of the SCCs at their parishes, they exchanged experiences of pastoral care with the SCCs.


  Some of their suggestions to promote the SCCs in the Catholic Church in Korea included collecting and distributing material on the national level, practicing gradual and continuous formation, promoting mutual exchange and solidarity on the diocesan and national level.


 Rev. Bartholomew Jun Won, Assistant Director of the CPIK, said, "When a parish renews its structure in accordance with the Word, and it practices pastoral care emphasizing on revitalization of the SCCs, it can move forward with more concrete renewal. It is the strength of the Church that the laity, priests and religious are all involved in pastoral care."


  He said that this workshop has great significance because it provided an opportunity for priests to pay more attention to the pastoral care of the SCCs and renew their passion for pastoral care.


  He emphasized that the revitalization of the SCCs is fundamental for the renewal of faith and for the renewal of the Church that Pope Francis has stressed. This revitalization will be the starting point for social integration according to the Gospel.




The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea


Yi Yun-il John (1812-1867) 


  Yi Yun-il John was born in 1812 at Hongju in Ch'ungch'ong-do. He later settled down at Mungyong in Kyongsang Province. He farmed for a living. He was married and had some children. When the persecution broke out, he was 45. John was tall and had a large beard. He was known for his devout faith and simple character. His family was traditionally Catholic and produced many catechists. John tried his best to keep his family traditions.
  According to the testimony of John's son, between November 7 and December 6, 1866, John was sitting in his room, when the police approached his house. He knew that they were coming. He could have escaped, but he did not. To those searching for Catholics John said that he was a Catholic but knew of no other Catholics in his neighborhood. Of 30 or more arrested with John on that day, 8 belonged to John's household. They were all put in the Mungyong prison. Since the governor was absent, there were no interrogations, but his captors tortured John and looted all his possessions. The Catholics were sent to the Sangju prison three days later. In Sangju John was interrogated three times. Each time, John admitted that he was a Catholic but knew no other Catholics excpet those captured with him. The district government official urged John to deny God, but John strongly withstood his persuasion.
  The official finished the interrogations and divided the 70 Catholics into three groups: the first group was made up of those who had children and those who had abandoned their faith; the second was a group of 20 who refused to deny God; the third group made up of leaders like John. The Sangju official, after having consulted with the Lord Regent in Seoul, sentenced them to death on January 4, 1867.
  The Catholics were tortured again and sent to Taegu (Kyongsang Province). Before his departure to Taegu John was so happy that he said to his children: "I now leave to become a martyr. You return home, worship God faithfully and follow me when you grow up."
  John showed good examples to his cellmates. He dedicated himself to prayer and encouraged his fellow Catholics to be steadfast to their faith.
  On January 21, 1867, he was taken out to a suburb of Taegu, ate his last meal and gave all his money to his executioners. He was finally behead and received the heavenly crown. He was 45 years old.


 * As 'The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea' concludes with the 2014 Autumn issue, we will present 'The Lives of the Blessed Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 Companions' to our readers beginning with the 2014 Winter issue.
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