CBCK Newsletter

 CBCK Newsletter


CBCK Newsletter No.48 (Fall 2004)

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From the Editor: "A Peaceful Family ...

"A Peaceful Family Is the Foundation of Everything!"

    The 8th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences was convened and conducted successfully. Clergy and lay people from various countries in Asia focused intently on the theme of "The Asian Family toward a Culture of Life."
Our ancestors thought of the family as being at the center of everything. This is demonstrated by an old proverb, "Ga-Hwa-Man-Sa-Seong," which means, "When the family is peaceful, all things go well." Sadly, however, it also must be recognized that most of the present social problems begin in, or because of, problems in the family. The Bible also stresses this point: the mutual sin of Adam and Eve (cf. Gen 3:12-17) led to the fratricide of Cain (cf. Gen 4:1-8), and this domestic problem rippled out into social problems; shameful things occurred, such as the misconduct of the sons of heaven to the daughters of man (cf. Gen 6:2) and the confusion at the tower of Babel (cf. Gen 11:1-9), which clearly showed man's disobedience to God.
     Present-day trends mirror exactly the unfortunate events in Genesis. Couples suffer from conflicts, such as the inequality of husband and wife, patriarchy and divorce. Problems between spouses lead to other problems with their children, such as school violence, sexual abuse, underage single mothers, drug addiction and excessive competition. Further still, these family-rooted problems expand outwardly to become social problems, such as the buying and selling of illegal drugs, sexual assault, prostitution, human trafficking, the spreading of AIDS, abortion, terrorism, suicide, the arms race and war. As the Holy Father pointed out, they are all the signs of the "culture of death," or the "conspiracy against life."
     On the last day of the Plenary, a message was addressed to the people of God in Asia and all people of good will. While rejoicing in the fullness of hope that we see in Asian families, the message also pointed out problems that originate from a neo-liberal culture, materialism and secularism, which threaten the integrity of the family in Asia. As pastors of the Church, the bishops promised to make every effort to find opportunities to promote the good of the family. Also, the bishops particularly expressed love and concern for the Church and families in China and North Korea.
     Following the spirit of the Plenary, the bishops in Korea decided to draft a common pastoral letter on the family during the 2004 Fall General Assembly of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, scheduled to be held from October 11th to 15th. In addition, the Council of the Lay Apostolate in Seoul recently launched the "Movement for a Beautiful Family and a Beautiful World." We hope that this effort will become a stimulus and encouragement for Asian families to faithfully follow the good example of the Holy Family of Nazareth, to restore the positive values inherent in Asian families, and to counter the culture of death by promoting the culture of life.
     Finally, I feel that mention should be made of the hard work and dedication of many volunteers which made our meeting successful. Like credits that scroll at the end of a motion picture, we also give credit to them for their efforts behind the scenes. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to them. We also need many cooperators who are willing to work behind the scenes if we are to build a culture of life. I pray for them. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God"(Mt 5:9).

Fr. Basil Cho Kyu-man
Executive Secretary
Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea





Message for the 9th Annual Famers' Sunday

Rice, Our Life

    Dear Brothers and Sisters,
    This year we observe the 10th anniversary since the founding of the "Save Our Farms Movement." During the last ten years, the Movement has made many efforts to enliven the Korean agricultural industry and to preserve the order of God's creation. Our Movement has borne much fruit.
   However, there are still many things to be done that could empower farmers and rural communities; the sad reality is that life in the rural communities is getting worse and worse. While the rural population has decreased, the debt of rural households continually increased. Hence, the Movement needs to be expanded even more, and more must be done to attract more interest inside the Church.
   The United Nations declared the year 2004 as the "International Year of Rice," which is the staple food for over half of the world's population but whose production is facing serious constraints. The purpose of the "Year" is to raise public awareness about a crop that is essential for the eradication of hunger, human nutrition and food security all over the world.
   Rice is our life, but it is more: at the same time, it stands for the sovereignty of our country. The fact that 815 million people are starving and 36 million people are dying of hunger worldwide shows that we cannot emphasize enough the importance of rice, the staple food for Koreans. Food sovereignty is the right to be autonomous in the supply of food and to have independence when making decisions in regards to national policies regarding food. Rice constitutes the lifeline of our country as an independent state, in the fullest sense.
   Therefore, it is necessary for the government and lawmakers to scrap the existing agricultural policy: it is too wide-open and it undermines the production base of rice. Instead, agricultural policies should be made with consideration of national security, the environment and the health of the people, providing policies that enable small-scale farmers to continue to engage in the farming industry within a stable environment.
   Dear Brothers and Sisters, "God …… causes the grass to grow for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth"(Ps 104:14). God is the "vinegrower"(Jn 15:1) who "sends forth his spirit and renews the face of the earth"(Ps 104:30). It is in this manner that God, the Lord of Life, gives many blessings to farmers. Accordingly, we should show affection for the rural communities, the place where life is sustained and nurtured. We also need to do more to help farmers, who are so important in sustaining life, but yet, are marginalized in our society. I sincerely urge your participation.

July 18th, 2004
+ Gabriel Chang Bong-hun
Bishop of Cheongju President
Committee for Caritas Coreana of the CBCK






New Diocese Uijongbu Erected

New Diocese of Uijongbu Erected

   The Apostolic Nunciature in Korea and the Archdiocese of Seoul announced on July 5, 2004 that the Holy Father erected the Diocese of Uijongbu, and appointed the Most Rev. Joseph Lee Han-Taek, S.J., Auxiliary of Seoul, as the first ordinary of the new diocese. The territory is 2,626㎢ in area, taken from the Archdiocese of Seoul, and will remain a suffragan of the same Metropolitan See. It has a population of 2,311,858 and 161,872 Catholics.
   The Diocese of Uijongbu is the 18th diocese (including the three dioceses in North Korea) of the Catholic Church in Korea. It covers most of the northern part of the Gyeonggi-do, including six cities and two counties. There will be 52 parishes in the new diocese.
   The Archdiocese of Seoul set up a task force to discuss and carry out the division into two dioceses. As a preliminary step, diocesan priests in Seoul were asked to submit a written application to the Diocesan Secretariate by July 15, 2004, in which they could freely choose what diocese to belong to. According to the results, the new diocese will start with 172 priests (not counting the diocesan bishop), most of whom are young, with an average age of 36.7 years.
   The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, said, "Considering the current trends, it is more than obvious that the newly erected diocese will develop and grow into a big diocese in the near future." He also said that he hoped the new diocese will bear much fruit in proclaiming the Gospel with the grace of God and special help from the Holy Father.
   The Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Kwangju and President of the CBCK, expressed gratitude to God and congratulations to the two bishops, saying, “It is a source of big happiness for the Catholic Church in Korea to have a new diocese and a new diocesan bishop.”
   Bishop Lee said, “I will do my best to respond faithfully to the will of God, Who allowed this new diocese in the Church in Korea, and Who called me to be the first ordinary of the diocese. My first objective will be to lead the faithful in living a joyful and fruitful Christian life by always adhering to God."
   The first council of the diocesan presbyterate was held from September 21 to 24, and the canonical possession of the diocesan bishop will take place on October 11, at the Uijongbu Stadium.





Intervention on the Working Paper of the 8th Plenary Assem. of the FABC

Intervention on the Working Paper
of the 8th Plenary Assembly of the FABC

Submitted by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (Summary)

Part I. The Pastoral Situation of the Family in Asia

A. Introduction

1) The "Working Paper" points out that various elements have reshaped the value system of Asian families since the middle of the 20th century. As a result, many traditional Asian family values based on social structures have begun to change gradually. Some of these values are quite negative, while many others are positive. Even so, the values proper to Asian families have been weakened or challenged.
2) The International Social Survey Program (ISSP) conducted research on “the family and gender roles” in 1994 and 2002. From the results of the surveys we can confirm that Asian countries still show conservative attitudes in regards to marriage, cohabitation and divorce. However, Asia is also experiencing many changes, especially under the impact of globalization.

B. Situation in Korea

I. Changes in Korean Families
The traditional family in Korea was in the form of an extended family. In it, family members followed Confucian values, such as politeness, filial piety to parents, respect for the elderly and giving precedence to seniors. However, this also contributed negative aspects to the social structure, such as patriarchy, a male-dominating culture, and a distinction between upper class and lower class. Since the 1970's rapid economic growth has brought materialism and individualism into Korea, and this brought about a more active participation of women in social life, a drive toward sexual equality, a challenge to patriarchy, and a decline in family education, human education and moral education. These social changes also led to changes in the meaning and structure of the family.

II. Problems in Korean Families

1. Domestic Problems in Regards to Love
1) Domestic violence, including spouse abuse, abuse of elders, and child abuse
2) Conflicts resulting from sexual inequality and patriarchy: a questioning of roles and responsibilities as husband and wife within the family
3) Lack of dialogue and absence of love expression in the family, especially between parents and children; juvenile delinquency is a consequence

2. Domestic Problems in Regards to Life
1) An aging of the population
2) A low birth rate
3) High incidence of abortion
4) Preference for single-living
5) Rise in prevalence of divorce
6) Diverse forms of families
7) Migrant workers' families

Part II. Theological-Pastoral Reflection

As we have already seen from Part I, we cannot ignore the fact that the current reality is a "challenge." Therefore, we urge that it would be better for the reflection to be more concretized; also, the negative influence of social and national policies should be mentioned.

Suggestions for Part II
1) We suggest that the subjective role of "the family as an agent of evangelization" be emphasized in family ministry. The concept of "family apostolate," - the apostolate of the family and for the family, - should be emphasized as well.
2) We suggest that more emphasis be placed on the importance of sacramental marriage. As we know, the Church in Asia exists in a multi-religious environment, unlike the Church in the west; even so, we cannot ignore the importance and grace of this sacrament. Directly related to this, we should also underscore the importance of infant baptism.
3) We suggest that a condition be added to paragraph 84, which states: "Holy Mass has to be truly a family event with the full participation of all members of the family, including children and infants." Perhaps a sentence, such as "once a month or so" could be added here, as a children's Mass and/or a youth Mass is being offered separately (from adult Masses) in some locales.
4) We hope that sibling relationships can be included in the consideration, since these are one of the important dynamics of a family.

Part III. Pastoral Recommendations for the Family Ministry

We think that Part III is very well-organized, (especially from paragraph 87 to paragraph 89), where the importance of integral ministry is highlighted and there is a call to action on behalf of a culture of life. Nevertheless, it is deemed necessary to emphasize again that the family itself should be considered to be the principal agent of the family ministry.

Suggestions for Part III

1) We should point out the mutual indifference and lack of dialogue among family members.
2) We should help the family practice the family apostolate by organizing a premarital catechesis about chastity, formation on life and the family, and formation on how to pray as a family.
3) We should lead the faithful to an understanding and acceptance of a sacramental marriage, or at least a marriage contracted with a dispensation from canonical form.
4) We should underline the importance and grace of infant baptism and teach more about the duty of parents to have their newborn children baptized.
5) We should rearrange the pastoral system to give more emphasis to the family ministry. To do this, we should look for ways to implement family ministry within the pastoral structures of parishes.
6) We should educate Catholic politicians not to act against the culture of life and family values.
7) We should stress our support for migrant workers who have left their family and homeland, so that they can maintain their bonds among family members.





Final Message of the 8th Plenary Assembly of the FABC

The 8th Plenary Assembly of the FABC
Daejeon, Korea
17-23 August 2004

Final Message to the People of God in Asia
and People of Good Will (Summary)

   Gathered in Daejeon, Korea for the 8th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences, we bishops, together with priests, religious and laypeople from various countries in Asia, reflected on the theme "The Asian Family toward a Culture of Life", in the spirit of listening to God and to the voices of Asian families. As this assembly comes to a close we are confirmed in the conviction that the family is truly God's gift and blessing to Asia!
We celebrate the signs of hope that abound in the Asian families. Inspired by religious and cultural values and traditions, many families strive to remain committed to the ideals of family life. They draw strength from Asian values like a profound reverence for life, closeness to and respect for nature, strong family ties, personal relationships, hospitality, the spirit of welcome, respect for elders, filial piety, caring for the young. The enduring spirituality and religiosity in the family and the sense of the sacredness of marriage, family and children are a cause for joy and have made many families the cradles of vocations. We thank you, families, for safeguarding genuine values and we encourage you to persevere.
We also share the anxieties of the Asian families. An emerging global neo-liberal culture that propels individualism, selfishness and greed, with lifestyles and mindsets inspired by materialism and secularism, poses a threat to the family. Elite globalization has caused untold poverty and migration. Wars and conflicts also displace people from homes. Families face the impact of the means of social communication and coercive population programs on family values. The spread of HIV/AIDS, illegal drugs, and pornography has harmed families. The rise of marital divorce and break-up signals the dwindling cohesion of the family. Abortion and other attempts to manipulate human life present a severe problem. A contraceptive mentality is undermining genuine conjugal love. The continuing oppression of women and children is lamentable. Values that have served as foundations of the family are vanishing at an alarming rate, one result being the diminishing number of vocations in some countries. We cannot also ignore the complex situation of families with single, separated, or remarried parents and the effects on the children. We unite ourselves with you, Asian families as you courageously struggle with these difficult issues.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we envision all families living by Love that comes from God, for only Divine Love strengthens and nurtures Life. We desire that the values of the Reign of God taught by Jesus (Mt 5-7) may take root in Asian families and bloom into a culture of life. A culture of life respects and protects God's gift of human life in all its dimensions from conception to death. A culture of life vigorously opposes the forces that destroy, exploit and oppress human life. A culture of life actively promotes responsible parenthood and the primacy of human life and dignity over efficiency, capital and profit. A culture of life promotes family values from indigenous people and other religions. We believe that families, steeped in the prayer and spirituality, are sanctuaries where love is faithfully shared and life responsibly generated, enriched and defended. By their shared love, communion and mutual service, Asian families can help foster communion and solidarity in faith communities and in society as we work towards forming one family of humankind.
As pastors of the Church convinced of God's unfailing love, we bishops will look for every opportunity to promote the good of families. We commit ourselves to strengthen Family Ministry so as to assist and accompany all families, especially those in dire need, on their journey towards fullness of life. In a particular way we would like to express our affection and concern to the Catholic families in China and North Korea. We are one with our Catholic brothers and sisters in China as they meet the challenge of transforming the Church into one family of God.
As builders of communities, we appeal to our governments, groups concerned for the welfare of families, educational institutions, mass media producers and promoters, our brothers and sisters of other religious beliefs, and all people of good will to join us in strengthening the family as the focal point for the promotion of a civilization of love and a culture of life.
We entrust Asian families to God, the Fountain of Love and Life. We pray that you may "put on love, the perfect bond" (Col 3:14). Families of Asia, become what you are -- God's gift of love and life for Asia!





The Seven-day Journey of the 8th Plenary Assembly of the FABC

The Seven-Day Journey
of the 8th Plenary Assembly of the FABC

  1. The 181 participants from 22 Asian countries included: 6 cardinals, 24 archbishops and 55 bishops, along with priests, religious (men and women), and lay people.

2. Daily Mass at the chapel of St. J. Hasang Education Centre.

3 and 4. The Plenary Assembly was organized by plenary sessions (left), regional sessions (right) and small workshops by language groups or themes.

5. On the 6th day, participants visited a parish in the Diocese of Daejeon and were greeted warmly by the faithful.

6. During the Mass, which was offered by the participants and parishioners at Tanbangdong parish, a rite for the renewal of marriage vows was celebrated.

7. On the 6th day, participants also visited Hwangsae Bawee in Gongju, a site where martyrs were killed; it is one of the significant historic places in the Catholic Church in Korea.

8. The Most Rev. Orlando Quevedo, Archbishop of Cotabato, Philippines, is speaking at the closing meeting.




News from the Church in Korea

News from the Church in Korea

○ Judicial Inquiry for the Beatification Cause of 124 Korean Servants of God Begins
The judicial inquiry for the cause of the beatification of the Servants of God, Paul Yun Ji-chung and 123 companions, began on July 5, 2004. It took place on the feast of St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, patron of the Korean clergy, in the conference hall of the CBCK.
The judicial inquiry is to be conducted by the Most Rev. Michael Pak Jeong-il (judge), the Rev. Joseph Rhee Chan-woo (episcopal delegate), the Revs. Chrysologus Ri Sang-guk, Donatus Pak Dong-gyun and Christopher Kim Gil-min (promoters of justice), the Rev. Paul Lee Chang-young (notary), and Ms. Jang Hu-nam (assistant notary).
The day's first session progressed smoothly: a reading of the petition was done, as well as a reading of related documents, including the Decree of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints; also, the principals involved in the inquiry took their oaths; then a list of witnesses was presented to Bishop Pak, the judge.
Starting from this day, the witnesses will attend on every fourth Friday of the month, when inquiries will be held in regards to the life and sanctity of each presumed martyr.
After the session, Bishop Pak said, "This inquiry is not the final procedure for the cause of the beatification," and warned against impetuous worship by the faithful. He added, "The faithful must not try to worship or admire publicly the 124 Servants of God until the final decision or declaration is made by the Congregation for the Cause of Saints in the Apostolic See."

○ Plenary of Korean Catholic Missionaries in Latin America Held in São Paulo
The 6th Plenary Assembly of the "Association of Korean Catholic Missionaries in Latin America" was held from July 5 to 9, 2004 in São Paulo, Brazil. It is chaired by the Rev. John Son Gyeong-su, M.M. who currently works in Peru.
This plenary assembly is for all Korean priests, religious and lay missionaries serving in Latin America, from Mexico to Argentina, so that they can exchange experiences, build communion and renew their commitment to keep missionary work dynamic. It has been held annually since 1999.
This year, some 120 Korean missionaries from 12 countries participated in the meeting. The Rev. Stephen Judd, M.M., who has been committed to mission in Peru for 30 years, gave a lecture on the mission history in Latin America from theological and sociological perspectives. Participants also had time to refresh their spirits through presentations about their missionary experiences, the performance of folk dances and other group programs.
In particular, the Most Rev. Lazarus You Heung-sik, Coadjutor Bishop of Daejeon, met the participants while he was visiting a Korean parish in São Paulo to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. The missionaries welcomed Bishop You and enjoyed a warm and fraternal time with him.

○ Diocesan Bulletin in Braille For Blind Catholics in Incheon
Blind Catholics in Incheon can now read their diocesan bulletin in braille, thanks to the efforts of the "Catholic Association for the Blind" of the Diocese of Incheon (President: Mr. Park Myong-jo; Spiritual Director: Rev. Justinus Yun Seung-il).
The association has been publishing and distributing diocesan bulletins every Sunday since June 2004 in braille, so that the blind faithful can share information and spiritual readings. It is the first time for a diocese to regularly publish diocesan bulletin in braille with the same contents as the printed bulletin. Bulletins in braille were occasionally published in other dioceses, and only in an abridged version.
The Rev. Justinus Yun Seung-il said, "The reality is that access to catechesis or spiritual programs is available in a very limited way for the blind on the parish level," and added, "We are going to help the blind enrich their Christian life by publishing various materials in braille and offering educational courses on how to read books in braille."

○ Bishops Issue Messages During Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
The Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, and the Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyok-ju, Bishop of Andong, issued Messages on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, August 15.
Archbishop Cheong, in his Message entitled, "Omnia Vincit Amor (Love Conquers All)," said, "It is the duty of all Christians to make peace in all circumstances," and added later, "The Assumption of Mary is a sign of comfort and hope foretelling the glory which all believers will enjoy when salvation history is completed." He continued, "We should exert ourselves to recognize the will of God and put it into practice, following the example of Mary who was always obedient to God in all circumstances."
He especially urged the faithful to pray for North Korean brethren so that they too can enjoy genuine liberation within the love of God. Archbishop Cheong said this while mentioning the establishment of the new Diocese of Uijongbu, which is located along the border with North Korea, far north of Seoul.
He concluded the Message by asking the faithful to promote and actively participate in the "Movement for a Beautiful Family and a Beautiful World," recently launched by the Lay Apostolate Council of Seoul. The movement was launched to address some of the current problems from which society suffers, such as the wide gap between the rich and the poor, domestic problems, disrespect of life, sexual degradation and the high rate of divorce.
The Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyok-ju, Bishop of Andong, also issued a Message entitled, "Mary Singing the Peace of the Kingdom of God." In the Message, he delineated a number of things that we can do for peace; they include: to embrace and love all people without condition; to make efforts for the reconciliation and unification of the Korean people; to make the world a place where all people are equally treated; to serve the poor and the marginalized; to give hope to farmers who are in plight; to take care of the sick; to console the mourning; to proclaim God to those who have not heard about Him; and to create joy and beauty wherever we are.
He also stressed that we should make efforts to bring the peace of the Kingdom of God to this land, saying, "If we try to practice any one of the things mentioned above, we can be peacemakers (cf. Mt 5:9)."

○ Catholic Engaged Couples Show Secularized Attitudes
The Office for Evangelization of the Diocese of Suwon recently conducted a survey of 559 couples who have completed the Pre-Cana program. One of the conclusions that can be drawn is that Catholic engaged couples think or behave no differently than non-christian young couples when it comes to the family or life-related issues.
In the survey, more than 80% of respondents gave consent to premarital sex so long as the two people simply love each other (51.6%) or promise to marry (30.5%). In fact, 81.1% answered they have already engaged in consensual sex. This sexual openness leads to a weakness in moral consciousness in bio-ethical issues as shown in the questions about abortion: they supported abortion in the event that the fetus is deformed (67.6%) or if the pregnancy was the result of rape (81.1%). In addition, six of ten agreed that divorce is alright, if necessary as "a choice for a better life."
In light of this, experts said that adequate formation about sex, life, and vocation to marriage must be offered in Sunday schools from an early age. In fact, only 35% of the respondents answered they had ever received the Church's instructions regarding the family or issues of life. It may be concluded, therefore, that the wide gap between what the Church teaches and what people do in reality results from the absence of proper education.
The Rev. Andrew Lee Yong-gi, who is in charge of the family ministry in the Diocese of Suwon, said, "This survey shows that awareness among young Catholics regarding life-issues is very weak and no better than non-believers. The most important responsibility of the family is being threatened." He continued, "The family ministry should focus on the formation of engaged couples as its main objective."

○ Small Christian Communities Bloom in Cheju
On September 5, 2004, the Diocese of Cheju (headed by the Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il) held a "Congress of Small Christian Communities." Some 5,000 Catholics from 24 parishes participated and confirmed the vitality of the SCCs in the diocese.
After an opening ceremony, the Most Rev. Vincent Ri Pyung-ho, Bishop of Chonju, offered a special lecture on the theme "The Way of Being Church," and a presentation was made that focused on parishes in which SCCs are successfully organized. In addition, a Mass was offered in which ten resolutions were made. Some of them were: to actively take part in and activate SCCs; by effecting unity and charitable sharing, thus being like salt for society; to spread love and peace in their neighborhoods; and to first make communion with near neighbors, then expanding it to a wider scope.
Since Bishop Kang declared 2004 as "The Year to Be United in the Word of God," the faithful in Cheju have responded positively to this call by living out the Gospel. They have been transcribing the Bible and bringing prayer to God for the animation of SCCs, for example.
Bishop Kang said at the Congress, "If the diocese, parishes, and SCCs are to grow in faith, they must be nurtured by the Word of God. So I hope that all diocesan faithful will gather around the Word to encounter the Lord in His Word and to put it into practice in solidarity with neighbors."
The Pastoral Administrator of the Cheju Diocese, the Rev. John Ko Byeong-su, said that since the diocese started to focus on the SCCs in 2003, the number of baptized, Mass attendants and returning Catholics has been gradually on the rise in the diocese.

○ News in Brief
- On June 23, the Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul and Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang, appointed the Very Rev. Matthew Hwang In-kuk to be Episcopal Vicar of the Diocese of Pyongyang. With this appointment, Msgr. Hwang is to be entrusted with an important role in the restoration of the Church in North Korea.

- The "Committee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants" brought together all chaplains (in charge of pastoral care of migrant workers in each diocese) for a meeting on July 14th, 2004. During the meeting, they drafted a strong appeal for postponing an enforcement of the "Work Permit System," saying, "We call on the Ministry of Justice to reconsider this matter more seriously. We believe that it will only result in producing more illegal residents and there exists a danger of violating their human rights."

- Those engaged in caring for the welfare of the elderly in each diocese gathered at St. J. Hasang Education Centre in Daejeon from September 6 to 7, 2004, and formed a "Catholic Association for the Welfare of the Elderly." This is to fall under the wing of the CBCK Committee for "Caritas Coreana." The members resolved to commit themselves to the welfare of the elderly, in the spirit of the Gospel.

- The Lay Apostolate Council of Seoul opened a series of lectures with diverse themes, dubbing it the "Hasang Christian School." The overall theme will be, "Touching the Souls of Contemporaries," and will run for 12 weeks, beginning September 7. The invited instructors include His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan, the Most Rev. Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk, Archbishop of Seoul, the Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Kwangju, and other priests and scholars as well.




The Lives of the 103 Korean Martyr Saints

The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea 

Saint Pierre Aumaître, the Priest (1837-1866)

   Pierre Aumaître was born on April 8, 1837, in the small village of Angoulême, as the first of five brothers. His father was a small farmer and shoemaker. He and his wife were devout Catholics. Young Pierre was a very good boy, but not so intelligent and had a poor memory.

   Pierre wanted to be a priest, but his pastor thought he could not make it. In the meantime the pastor was changed. The new pastor refused to teach him Latin. But Pierre went to a lay teacher living four kilometers away to study Latin. Every morning Pierre ran to his Latin teacher. The pastor admired Pierre's diligence, and recommended to the bishop that he be admitted to the minor seminary in Richemont in 1852. Although his memory was poor, he studied hard and became one of the best students. He had a strong will.

   Pierre entered the major seminary in Angoulême in 1857. Even his superiors admired his exemplary life. His obedience was complete. When he was in the first year of philosophy, he told his spiritual director that he wanted to be a missionary. In 1859 he was admitted to the seminary of the Paris Foreign Mission Society. After three years of studies and spiritual training there, Pierre was ordained a priest in June 1862. He arrived in Korea on June 23, 1863.

   He first stayed in Saemgol to study the Korean language, and later moved to Naepo near the place where Bishop Daveluy was staying. All the Catholics loved Father Aumaître and admired his goodness and kindness. Bishop Berneux once wrote about him, saying, "This little priest is working little miracles, and excellently teaching his people devotion to the Eucharist and Mary."

   When the persecution began, Father Aumaître told his people that it was time to profess the Catholic faith publicly to non-Catholics. He went to the village of Bishop Daveluy and surrendered himself there to the police. He was sent to Hongju first together with Bishop Daveluy and Father Huin and then to the Seoul prison. They endured severe interrogations and tortures. Father Aumaître was beheaded, right after Bishop Daveluy, in Galmaemot on March 30, 1866. His age was 29. Father Aumaître gave encouragement to others while he was being executed. It has been said their bodies were not corrupted until their burial and that they had gentle smiles on their face.

Saint Martin Luc Huin, the Priest (1836-1866)

   Martin Luc Huin was born in Guyonville, France, on October 20, 1836, the youngest of nine children. He was usually called just Luc. His parents were devout vineyard farmers. His father was proud of his family tradition that had priests in every generation. His mother was an equally devout woman. His pastor was also very interested in Luc's priestly vocation so taught him Latin even before he entered seminary. In 1851 he became a seminarian and his academic achievements were highly esteemed. The discipline of his life was also excellent. His only defect was his extreme sensitivity.

   From the time Luc received sacred orders, he was thinking of becoming a missionary. After he entered the major seminary near his home, he heard many missionary bishops speak about the foreign missions. His desire to become a missionary became stronger. But the fact that his house was destroyed by fire slowed down his desire to become a missionary. The problem with Luc was that he was too attached to his family.

   Luc was ordained a priest on June 29, 1861. He was very successful in his work as an assistant pastor, but his desire to become a missionary did not vanish. He sent a letter to his bishop asking to be released to become a missionary. The bishop gave him permission but told him to wait until June 1863, when his replacement would arrive.

   In June 1863, Father Huin obtained permission to join the Paris Foreign Mission Society. He joined the Society in August 1863 and was assigned to Korea in June 1864. He left Paris on July 15, 1864, with nine other missionary priests. He and Fathers De Bretenières, Beaulieu and Dorie arrived at Naepo, Korea on May 27, 1865, after a long, tiring voyage. Father Huin stayed in Naepo with Bishop Daveluy until June 18, and then he went to Sekori in Haptok. Father Huin was quickly accustomed to the Korean way of life. He was willing to make any sacrifices. He learned the Korean language so fast that he could already hear confessions and teach catechism in Korean by February 1866. The Korean Catholics were very happy to have him around. Father Huin heard more than 500 confessions, administered Extreme Unction to about 20 Catholics, and even performed the sacrament of matrimony for some couples. Before he was martyred, he said, "I am sorry to die, neither because I am still young nor because I have to die so miserably, but because I have to die having done nothing for the salvation of my dear Korean people."

   Father Huin was arrested on March 12, 1866, and was sent to the Seoul prison with Bishop Daveluy and Father Aumaître on March 19. He was severely interrogated and tortured in Seoul. Then, with Bishop Daveluy and Father Aumaître, he was transferred to Galmaemot. Following Bishop Daveluy and Father Aumaître, Father Huin was beheaded at last on March 30, 1866. He was 30 years old.

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CBCK Newsletter No.46 (Spring 2004)

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CBCK Newsletter No.47 (Summer 2004)

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CBCK Newsletter No.48 (Fall 2004)

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CBCK Newsletter No.49 (Winter 2004)

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CBCK Newsletter No.50 (Spring 2005)

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CBCK Newsletter No.53 (Winter 2005)

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CBCK Newsletter No.54 (Spring 2006)

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CBCK Newsletter No.55 (Summer 2006)

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CBCK Newsletter No.57 (Winter 2006)

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CBCK Newsletter No.58 (Spring 2007)

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CBCK Newsletter No.59 (Summer 2007)

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CBCK Newsletter No.60 (Fall 2007)

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