The Church in Korea Welcomes New Auxiliary Bishop of Daejeon, New Bishop of Suwon, New Coadjutor Archbishop of Kwangju
Statement Opposing the Enactment of a Law on So-Called 'Dignified Death' Which in Reality is Euthanasia
Message for the 14th Farmers' Sunday
Message for the 42nd Military Mission Sunday
News from the Church in Korea
The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea
From the Editor:
We are Called to Evangelization
For us who are familiar with the word 'mission', the expression 'evangelization' may be unfamiliar. However, when we say 'mission', it gives the impression that we are insisting on the Christian standpoint, whereas 'evangelization' has a more neutral one. For this reason, these days, the word 'evangelization' tends to be used more frequently and freely in place of 'mission'. Since evangelization means a visible or invisible fulfillment of the Word of God, it is more suitable to use this term when we proclaim the Gospel to non-Christians. On the other hand, we use the expression reevangelization or new evangelization when we speak of those who are already Christians. Indeed, in some Church documents, the expressions 'apostolate' or 'evangelization' are often used as synonyms for 'mission' (Cf. Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolicam Actuositatem, nos. 5.6.).
All of us who became Christians through baptism are called to dedicate ourselves to building the Kingdom of God on earth according to our abilities. Therefore, evangelization is not a choice, but a duty. Furthermore, it is our vocation and mission. If there is one value to be sought absolutely in the process of evangelization or reevangelization, it is true humanization.
We live in the 21st century with numerous challenges. This world in which we live is becoming more and more inhuman because of accumulated problems such as famine, the widening economic gap and polarization between the rich and the poor, culture clash, religious conflict, racial discrimination, the commercialization of sex, and the destruction of nature and the environment. On the other hand, the desired values of fraternity or sacrifice are lost and the world becomes more and more inhuman. All Christians are called and sent to proclaim the Gospel in these circumstances of life, but they cannot but experience some limitations with just a simple understanding of the Gospel. They need, thus, a proper understanding of the Gospel and at the same time the courage to face the reality with open minds. They must do their best to evangelize, not turning away from but facing willingly numerous problems and issues in this world.
On the occasion of the Month of Mission, celebrated in October, let us keep in mind the words addressed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pilgrim Church in his message for the 83rd World Mission Sunday 2009: "This Kingdom, although ultimately eschatological and not of this world (Cf. Jn 18,36), is also in this world and within its history a force for justice and peace, for true freedom and respect for the dignity of every human person. The Church wishes to transform the world through the proclamation of the Gospel of love."
Fr. Thaddaeus Lee Ki-rak
Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea
The Church in Korea Welcomes
New Auxiliary Bishop of Daejeon, Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong Soo
The episcopal ordination of the Most Rev. Augustinus Kim Jong Soo, who was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Daejeon on February 10, 2009, took place on March 25 at the Cathedral of Daeheungdong in Daejeon, with the Most Rev. Joseph Kyeong Gap-ryong, Emeritus Bishop of Daejeon, presiding. Some 2,000 participants including His Eminence Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jinsuk, Archbishop of Seoul, the Most Rev. Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio in Korea, the Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik, Bishop of Daejeon, other bishops, priests, religious and the laity congratulated the new bishop on the occasion of his consecration.
The faithful of the Diocese of Daejeon thanked God for giving them their first auxiliary bishop since the establishment of the diocese in 1948. Bishop Kim was born in Daejeon in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1989. After obtaining a master's degree in biblical studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, he served the diocese as a pastor and as a professor at the Catholic University of Daejeon where he became president in 2007.
New Bishop of Suwon, Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon
The Apostolic See announced on March 30, 2009 that Pope Benedict XVI had accepted the petition of Bishop Paul Choi Deok-ki, who presented his resignation from the pastoral care of Suwon because of health reason, and that the Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon, Coadjutor Bishop of Suwon, would succeed him automatically.
Bishop Ri was born in 1951 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi-do and was ordained a priest in 1979. After obtaining a doctorate in moral theology at the Pontifical Lateran University in 1988, he was an instructor, professor, and finally president of the Suwon Catholic University until 2002. He was nominated as the Auxiliary Bishop of Suwon on March 7, 2003, and became the Coadjutor Bishop of Suwon on October 10, 2008.
The installation ceremony of the 4th Bishop of Suwon was held at Cathedral of Jeongjadong in Suwon on May 14, 2009. About thirty bishops, many priests, and many lay persons celebrated the installation of the new Bishop of Suwon, including the Most Rev. Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio in Korea, His Eminence Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jinsuk, Archbishop of Seoul, and the Most Rev. Paul Choi Deok-ki, Emeritus Bishop of Suwon.
New Coadjutor Archbishop of Kwangju, Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong
On July 10, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed the Most Rev. Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, Auxiliary Bishop of Kwangju, as coadjutor archbishop of the same archdiocese having the right of succession.
Since his episcopal consecration in June 2003, he has served as the auxiliary bishop of Kwangju, assisting the Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Kwangju. He has committed himself to the unity of Christians and interreligious dialogue, as the president of the Committee for Promoting Christian Unity & Interreligious Dialogue of the CBCK since 2005 and as a member of the Office of Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs of the FABC since 2006. He has also been a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue since 2007 and of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since 2008.
The inaugural ceremony of the new coadjutor archbishop of Kwangju was held on September 8, 2009 at the Church of Gwangju Catholic University. The Mass was presided over by the Most Rev. Andreas Choi Chang-mou, Archbishop of Kwangju, with the Most Rev. Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio in Korea, the Most Rev. Victorinus Youn Kong-hi, Emeritus Archbishop of Kwangju, the Most Rev. Ren? Dupont, M.E.P., Emeritus Bishop of Andong, the Most Rev. Vincent Ri Pyung-ho, Bishop of Jeonju, and the Most Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san, Bishop of Incheon concelebrating. The new coadjutor archbishop thanked God and all the faithful of the archdiocese for the graces he has received.
Statement Opposing the Enactment of a Law on So-Called 'Dignified Death' Which in Reality is Euthanasia
A heated controversy has arisen in our society, caused by the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Korea to allow the removal of an instrument for artificial respiration from a Mrs. Kim who is in a vegetative state. The decision of the Supreme Court did not intend to put an end to the life of Mrs. Kim but to interrupt a meaningless treatment prolonging her life, but quite a few media and medical circles regarded it as a decision in favor of a so-called 'dignified death', insisting that the removal of the instrument was a practice of 'dignified death'. Contrary to their intention, however, Mrs. Kim still survives with self respiration even after the practice of so-called 'dignified death'. We are appalled by the reaction of our society to this situation. People are asking, "Why is she still alive?" In the face of such a reaction, the Catholic Church in Korea is fully aware of its responsibility to express its opinion on the controversial issue of so-called 'dignified death'. The Catholic Church deplores the intention to use the controversy to support the intentional death of a patient or euthanasia.
1. We oppose the passage of the so-called 'Dignified Death Act', because the term 'dignified death' which is being used in our society is just a euphemism for euthanasia. By euthanasia "is understood an action or an omission which of itself or by intention causes death, in order that all suffering may in this way be eliminated" (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia, 1980, II). The important criterion in euthanasia is the presence of the intention to cause death. We can say that so-called 'dignified death', so heavily disputed in our society today, is in fact euthanasia or the intentional death of a patient. That is why we witness that some medical circles and some people in the media are confused and confounded by the survival of Mrs. Kim after the removal of the instrument for artificial respiration. They regarded the decision of the Supreme Court as a victory for a 'dignified death'. Therefore we are firmly opposed to the passage of the law on 'dignified death' which in reality is euthanasia.
2. We urge people to be prudent and not use the expression 'dignified death' when referring to the interruption of meaningless treatment for the prolongation of life. The expression 'dignified death' has come to imply the intention of causing death. Those using the expression 'dignified death' are using it as camouflage to evade ethical responsibility, even when they intend the death of a patient. In the end, the expression 'dignified death' can lead to public confusion since it can easily be interpreted as an approval of euthanasia. No action intended to cause death can be justified or legalized.
3. We respect the decision of a terminally-ill patient not to use an instrument for artificial respiration, even if the patient cannot make sufficient respiratory effort on his or her own. The instrument may not be used if the patient previously manifests his or her refusal of such a treatment. "When inevitable death is imminent in spite of all means used, it is permitted in conscience to make the decision to refuse forms of treatment that would only secure a precarious and burdensome prolongation of life" (Declaration on Euthanasia, IV). Such a refusal, however, should not be made with the intention of preempting death. The removal of an instrument for artificial respiration is the interruption of mechanical treatment of a patient for the prolongation of his or her life, but it is not so-called 'dignified death' where the intention is to cause death. In every case a terminally-ill patient should be treated with all proper medical care, even if an instrument for artificial respiration is not used. Artificial feeding and hydration are considered basic medical treatments that should be taken for granted.
4. We hold that permission for the 'interruption of the treatment for the prolongation of life' in accordance with the will of the patient depends on his or her spontaneity of physiological function. It is not ordinary for a terminally-ill patient to use an instrument for artificial respiration when he or she shows no sign of recovery of self-respiration. On the contrary, when a patient can ingest and digest, artificial feeding and hydration are very natural treatments. In such a case, it does not matter whether or not the patient is conscious. We strongly affirm that artificial feeding and hydration should never be interrupted in such a case.
5. True dignity for a patient in his or her final days comes from a peaceful death, where the inevitability of death is accepted as natural. In other words, it is an inalienable principle regarding the respect of human dignity that the process of death be in accordance with nature. The interruption of treatment with the intention of causing death necessarily hinders a natural death and thus deprives a human being of his or her full dignity. Our society will fall into a culture of death if such an interruption is legalized. In solidarity with all people of good will, we will initiate an active campaign against the enactment of a law promoting so-called 'dignified death' which in reality is euthanasia.
July 8, 2009
+ Gabriel Chang Bong-hun
Bishop of Cheongju
Committee for Bioethics of the CBCK
* On July 29, 2009, the National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency in Korea, through a series of forums with participants from medical, religious, and legal circles, made its position to use the term 'Withholding and Withdrawing Life-prolonging Medical Treatment', instead of the term 'Dignified Death' which is misleading.
Message for the 14th Farmers' Sunday
The More a Value of Life is Shared, the More It Becomes Enriched
Dear brothers and sisters,
today we observe the 14th Farmers' Sunday.
Nowadays the life of Korean farmers is becoming one of continuous hardship. The difficulties for farmers are worsening because of the increase in U.S. rice imports, the Korea-Chile Free Trade Agreement, U.S. beef imports, and the impending signature and ratification of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. The rural population has become aged because of the migration of young people from rural communities. The rural population accounts for just 6.6 percent of the total population.
We find hope, however, in the farmers who despite these difficulties and without any complaints do not follow an easy and comfortable way of life but practice bio-farming that respects life. Bio-farming refers to organic circuit eco-farms that go beyond just an environment-friendly agriculture and preserve the energy of divine creation as found entirely in the sky, wind, water and land. It includes endeavors to save both life and the environment and to preserve the value of God-given life within foods.
For the last 15 years, the "Save-Our-Farm Movement" launched by the Catholic Church in Korea in 1994 has made every effort to spread widely the value of life-giving agriculture and to revive our agriculture from a state of crisis. It has borne much fruit. Direct mutual exchange through sister relationships between rural communities and urban parish communities and support for raising cattle for self-sufficient farmyard manure have been the basis of the production of bio agricultural products through organic circuit eco-farm.
Direct mutual exchange, however, through sister relationships between rural communities and urban parish communities have to be extended further. The only way to transform the rural areas that are in difficulty into places of hope is to share the value of life between urban and rural areas through direct sales of agricultural products.
This is also a way to save each other. The more a value of life is shared, the more it becomes enriched. The win-win relationship between rural and urban communities should be more systematically developed, so that farmers can commit themselves to bio-farming with a sense of stability despite changes in the external environment. When farmers engage in bio-farming without difficulties and when urban consumers are willing to buy bio agricultural products even at a higher price, the value of life will gradually increase and the rural areas will be transformed into places of hope.
Moreover, the relationship between rural and urban communities should not be limited to a mere economic relationship between producers and consumers, but should be a relationship of sharing a value of life. We sing together with the Psalmist: "How good it is, how pleasant, where brothers dwell as one!" (Ps 133,1). In this way, it is not simply a choice but a vocation that rural and urban believers become brothers and sisters and share bio-agricultural products.
Beloved brothers and sisters,
let us remember the farmers who work without stint in sweltering weather to supply food for life. Today, on the occasion of Farmers' Sunday, I express my respect and thanks to farmers. I also wish to show appreciation to urban consumers who give hope to rural areas through their direct purchasing.
We pray that God may bless all of our brothers and sisters in urban and rural communities who make efforts to realize the value of life. We also pray for a hopeful future for our rural areas.
July 19, 2009
+ Boniface Choi Ki-san
Bishop of Incheon
Committee for Justice & Peace
of the CBCK
Message for the 42nd Military Mission Sunday
"They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength,
they will soar as with eagles' wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint" (Is 40,31)
Dear brothers and sisters!
today we mark the 42nd Military Mission Sunday. We are grateful to all of you for materially and spiritually supporting Korean soldiers who are engaged in military service for the defense of our country.
Particularly on the occasion of this Military Mission Sunday, I invite you to pray for our soldiers who spare no effort for national peace and security, and to encourage them to faithfully fulfill their military service for the country. I also ask you to generously give your prayers and support to military chaplains who accompany and care for soldiers.
Above all, I thank God for the dedication of Kim Taegon Church within the military training camp.
A dedication ceremony for Kim Taegon Church built within the Nonsan Military Training Camp was successfully held on September 19, 2009, with many bishops, priests, religious men and women, Catholic soldiers and their families, and supporters from all over the nation in attendance. Also present of course were military trainees who will be the worshipers in this church. On the occasion of this Military Mission Sunday, I want to express my appreciation once more to all of you, Korean Catholics, for your sincere prayers and for the support that you gave during the process of constructing Kim Taegon Church.
I think the completion of Kim Taegon Church is a gift of God and a visible encouragement from all Korean Catholics given to the Military Ordinariate in Korea, in anticipation of the 20th anniversary of its foundation in 2011.
The Military Ordinariate in Korea now comes of full age. However, in the process of maturing it has gone through many hardships. The Military Ordinariate in Korea, as a diocese responsible for the pastoral care of the Catholics living in the world, has made every effort to form an appropriate structure and to engage in suitable pastoral and missionary work.
New beginning and role for youth ministry
With the completion of Kim Taegon Church within the military training camp, the Military Ordinariate in Korea is ready for a new beginning with a new role in the Church in Korea.
The new beginning and the new role lie, above all, in youth ministry. In preparing for its 20th anniversary, the Military Ordinariate in Korea has to renew its important role in the area of youth ministry.
As we care pastorally for a new generation of soldiers, we realize their unique characteristics. They have their own culture, entirely different from that of the older generation, and they think and act according to their own culture. They have grown up with the goal of entering a so-called prestige university, but they have not received human and religious formation. Therefore, new pastoral programs and initiatives are necessary for these new generation soldiers to find inner peace and rest in a Church that can satisfy their inherent spiritual thirst.
Military to be renewed and encouraged
The Military Ordinariate in Korea consists of military chaplains, soldiers and their families. Therefore, the army is the pastoral area in which military chaplains like any other diocesan ministers encourage and support the soldiers to be faithful to their given circumstances. The army in Korea has made many changes in recent years, characterized especially by modernization and democratization. Circumstances of military service have been improved and the soldiers, respecting one another, have exerted themselves to make the army culture better.
Since army life involves a process of personal growth for the youth, many commanders try to give attention to the education of the young soldiers to cultivate their minds during military service.
With the passing of time people's attitudes towards the army seem to be changing also. Faced with the inevitable reality of Korea divided into south and north, the army has become a community which needs much trust and encouragement. The Catholic soldiers can commit themselves to fulfilling the role of apostles of peace, as the late Pope John Paul II recommended.
Once more, I express my appreciation to all of you, brothers and sisters throughout the nation, for your consistent prayers and encouragement. May God's grace fill you and your families.
October 11, 2009
+ Peter Lee Ki-heon
Bishop of the Military Ordinariate
● News from the Church in Korea
● Events for the Year for Priests Held in Each Diocese
On the occasion of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, on Friday, June 19, 2009, each diocese celebrated a Mass to open the Year for Priests and held various events to mark this day of prayer for the sanctification of the clergy.
On this occasion, each diocese sought practical ways to observe the Year for Priests in a significant way, hoping that the year will be one of spiritual renewal with grace and blessings for priests. In particular, the Diocese of Suwon issued a Message of the Bishop for the Year for Priests and sent it to all diocesan priests with instructions on how to obtain a plenary indulgence, along with a calendar containing the names of all departed diocesan priests. The Archdiocese of Daegu announced 'practical suggestions for the Year for Priests' under the heading of 'holy priests, love-filled priests and happy priests'. Other dioceses such as Daejeon, Andong and Cheju set aside a time for a retreat for priests where there were holy hours with special prayers and meditation on St. John Mary Vianney's life and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
● Masses Mark the End of the Pauline Year in the Church in Korea
The Pauline Year, inaugurated by Pope Benedict XVI on 28 June, 2008 to commemorate the 2000th anniversary of the birth of St. Paul, the Apostle, closed on 29 June, 2009. In communion with the universal Church, each diocese and religious institute in Korea celebrated a Mass on June 28 or 29 and held various events marking the end of the Pauline Year.
The Archdiocese of Seoul celebrated closing Masses of the Pauline Year presided over by the Most Rev. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Vicar General of Seoul, at Myeongdong Cathedral on June 28 and at the Jeoldusan Martyrs' Shrine on June 29.
In his homily, Bishop Yeom underlined that "when we Christians live following the example of St. Paul who showed us true faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the spirit of the Pauline Year can be realized within us."
The Society of St. Paul and the Daughters of St. Paul in Korea also celebrated a Mass to close the Pauline Year at the church of the Daughters of St. Paul in Seoul on June 29. They made a resolution to keep the spirit of the Pauline Year alive.
The other dioceses throughout the country took time to recall the life and faith of St. Paul, the Apostle, with closing Masses and various ecclesiastical events.
● Catechism for Youth, vol. 3 "Pilgrim People of God," Published
The CBCK Committee for Catechesis (President: Most Rev. John Chrysostom Kwon Hyeok-ju) published "Pilgrim People of God," in April 2009, the third in a series of seven volumes of the Catechism for Youth. The Korean bishops approved its publication at the 2009 Spring General Assembly of the CBCK.
This volume is composed of six parts: the Catholic Church in Korea; Establishment and Background of the Church; Mystery of the Church; Nature of the Church; Members of the Church; the Blessed Virgin Mary; Death and New Life.
The purpose of the Catechism for Youth is to help the youth of today understand what life, faith, and hope is for them. Volume 1, entitled "Faith is the First Step of Life," and volume 2, entitled "My Life, My Salvation," were published respectively in April 2008 and in January 2009.
● The 5000th Korean Priest Ordained
At the beginning of the Year for Priests, the Church in Korea had the pleasure of ordaining its 5000th Korean priest, counting from the first Korean priest ordained in 1845, St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon (1821-1846).
Fr. Dionysious Son Ho-bin of the Archdiocese of Seoul, ordained a priest at Olympic Stadium with other 27 new priests on June 26, 2009, had the honour of becoming the 5000th Korean priest.
At the celebration of ordination to the ministerial priesthood, His Eminence Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jinsuk said, "In the year 1961 when I was ordained a priest, there were less than 250 Korean priests. However, today in this place, we have the pleasure of witnessing the birth of the 5000th Korean priest." In closing the Pauline Year and in welcoming the Year for Priests that marks the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, he invited the newly ordained priests to sincerely and ardently commit themselves to their ministry following the example of St. Paul and of St. John Mary Vianney.
● Plenary Indulgence for Pilgrims Visiting Some Churches Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary
A plenary indulgence can be gained by the faithful who visit some churches dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Diocese of Cheongju which have a spiritual bond with the Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome. This affinity was approved by the Apostolic Penitentiary with a decree of April 20, 2009 (Prot. No. 240/09/I), in response to a request by the priests of the churches dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Diocese of Cheongju.
In accordance with the decree, the faithful can receive a plenary indulgence when they make a devotional pilgrimage to one of the designated churches on one of the following days: August 5, the feast of the patron of Saint Mary Major in Rome; on the feast of the patron of each designated church; on all feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary; any one day of the year convenient for the faithful. When the faithful make the pilgrimage, they have to fulfill the ordinary conditions for a plenary indulgence, i.e. Sacrament of Reconciliation, reception of the Eucharist, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father.
The designated churches are: Naedeokdong Cathedral, Gamgok Church, Gyohyeon Church, Boeun Church, Bokdaedong Church, Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Jihyeondong Church, Jincheon Church.
In a related way, in accordance with another decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary (406/09/I) in response to a request from Rev. Francisco Seo Jeong-hyeok, parochial priest of Naedeokdong Cathedral who has the earnest support of the Most Rev. Gabriel Chang Bong-hun, Bishop of Cheongju, a plenary indulgence over the next seven years will be granted to the faithful who participate in special devotions on the first Saturday of every month before the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary on display for public veneration in the Naedeokdong Cathedral. The faithful have only to fulfill the ordinary conditions: Sacrament of Reconciliation, reception of the Eucharist, and prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father.
● Incheon Youth Day 2009
The Department for Youth Ministry of the Diocese of Incheon (Director: Rev. Matthias You Seung-hak) held its first Youth Day from September 6 to 13, 2009, in each parish of the diocese and at the Songsim Campus of the Catholic University of Korea. "With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation" (Is 12,3), as its theme, the day included various programs like seminars, a choir contest, a photo exhibition, and diverse hands-on events.
The Most Rev. Boniface Choi Ki-san, Bishop of Incheon, encouraged the youth at the closing Mass saying, "Jesus Christ was a young man when he began his ministry, and most of the Korean martyrs who founded the Church in Korea were also young and were martyred young. I hope that as young people, following the examples of Jesus Christ and our ancestors in the faith, you will open your hearts to the call of God and the world and use your energy to serve the Church and your neighbors."
● Pilgrimage on Foot with the Clergy in Daejeon Diocese
The Diocese of Daejeon (Bishop: Most Rev. Lazzaro You Heung-sik) made a pilgrimage on foot, with the diocesan clergy, religious and laity participating, to observe the Year for Priests on September 1, 2009, the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney.
With the sacred images of St. John Mary Vianney and St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon at the head of the procession, 110 diocesan priests and about 2,500 religious and lay people participated in the 8 kilometer pilgrimage.
At the Shrine of Solmoe, the destination of the pilgrimage and the birthplace of the first Korean priest St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, a Mass for the sanctification of priests was celebrated, presided over by Bishop Lazzaro You and with all the pilgrims, especially the Provincial Governor of Chungnam and other local authorities participating. In his homily, Bishop You expressed his feelings about the pilgrimage saying, "While walking on the road that numerous martyrs like St. Bishop Marie Nicholas Antoine Daveluy walked before us in the past, we have recalled their lives and their faith." He urged the participants to live a life of grace following the example of the martyrs who always lived lives of joy in the midst of trials and prayed with thankful hearts. In conclusion, he asked everyone to pray for the priests that they might cultivate divine virtues and live holy lives.
News in Brief
The Committee for Social Communications of the CBCK, following the forum held last May 15 with the theme 'Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan and the Media.' held its second forum on June 19, 2009 at the Franciscan Education Center in Jeongdong, Seoul, with the theme 'Mission and Media: the Image of the Catholic Church as Presented by the Media'. This forum examined the image of the Catholic Church in Korea as reflected in the media and our society and analyzed the reports on the Catholic Church presented in the media.
A seminar on 'Human Rights of the Poor and the Laws of Korea: the Common Good and Government Power' was held by the Committee for Justice & Peace of the CBCK on June 12, 2009 at the Catholic Center in Myeongdong, Seoul. This seminar examined the proper relationship between the common good and government power and sought ways to protect the human rights of the poor.
The Committee for the Biblical Apostolate of the CBCK held its 18th plenary meeting and a seminar on "The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church" from August 20 to 22, 2009 at St. J. Ha Sang Education Center in the Diocese of Daejeon. At this meeting, 185 priests, religious and lay persons involved in the Biblical Apostolate from all the dioceses of the country indicated the lack of animation for the Biblical Apostolate on the parish level and proposed concrete ways to promote the Biblical Apostolate.
The Subcommittee for Women under the Committee for the Lay Apostolate of the CBCK held a seminar on "Women and Communication in the Church" at the Catholic Center in Seoul on September 11, 2009. This seminar was held to seek solutions for the difficulties of communication with the ecclesiastical hierarchy that Catholic women have experienced and to find an effective way for women to participate actively in the decision-making process of the Church where they account for over 70 percent.
The Most Rev. John Choi Young-soo, Archbishop of Deagu, died of a chronic illness at the age of 67 on August 31, 2009. His funeral Mass was celebrated at the Namsan-dong Campus of Daegu Catholic University on September 4, 2009. Installed as Archbishop of Daegu in April 2007, the late Archbishop Choi, even as he struggled with illness, took the lead in renewing the Archdiocese before 2011, the 100th anniversary of its establishment. Renewal came through the improvement of the archdiocesan structure, a change in pastoral attitude and mission animation.
The Lives of the 103 Martyr Saints of Korea
Kim (Kopch'u) Lucia (1769-1839)
The common sentiments in the soul of a martyr are faith and courage. It is surprising to find such sentiments abundantly in a woman like Kim Lucia. God's grace and her deep faith and humility combined together to make a simple woman an heroic martyr.
Lucia was usually called "Hunchback Lucia." She seems to have been a Catholic since her youth. She married a pagan man; but, since her husband did not want her to be associated with her fellow Catholics and to fulfill her religious duties, she left him and lived in many different Catholic homes. The Catholics were glad to welcome Lucia. She used to help them with housekeeping and take care of children and sick people in order to return their kindness.
Although Lucia was an uneducated woman, she loved God, had zeal for souls and converted many people. Lucia once explained about hell to a nobleman. He said, "You say that hell is a very narrow place. How can it hold so many people?" Lucia replied, "You have never thought that a small heart, which can contain ten thousand books, is too small or too narrow." The nobleman was amazed that the unlearned woman could speak so eloquently.
In prison Lucia was a weak and old woman 71 years of age, but she helped sick inmates and gave them even the small amount of money she had.
When the police chief asked her to deny God and reveal the whereabouts of her Catholic friends, she simply said that she wanted to die for God. Old Lucia was whipped 30 times. People said that it sounded like they were beating her bones. When she returned to prison, she was so sick and tired that she was never able to get up again. About three days after her beating, around the end of August or the beginning of September of 1839, Lucia expired, calling the holy names of Jesus and Mary and attended by some Catholic women in prison. She was 71 years old when she died for her faith.
Yu So-sa Cecilia (1761-1839)
Yu So-sa Cecilia was the second wife of the famous Chong Yak-jong Augustinus, martyred in 1801, and the mother of Chong Ha-sang Paulus and Chong Chong-hye Elisabeth. Cecilia became a Catholic through the persuasion of her husband and showed a great deal of courage and faith. When her husband was arrested, she was also arrested with her three children. She was released later with her children, but all her belongings were confiscated. She went to live with her husband's brother in Majae (Mahyon) in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, but he did not treat her well.
Most of her relatives were martyred, including her children, Paulus and Elisabeth. One night she dreamed of her martyred husband who told her in the dream that he had built a house in heaven with eight rooms, of which five were occupied and three were vacant, reserved for her and their remaining children. Indeed, five of her eight family members had already been martyred. The dream was a source of great encouragement for Cecilia.
Her son, Chong Ha-sang Paulus, was deeply involved in getting foreign missionaries into Korea, and Cecilia had been separated from him for many years. The separation was a painful trial for her. When Paulus became an assistant to the bishop and other priests, she followed them and lived with her son.
When she was too old to do any work, she spent her time in prayer. Her charity was so great that she sometimes fasted to feed others.
In 1839 one of her nephews provided a house in the countryside for Cecilia and asked her to come down to escape from the persecution. But Cecilia refused to go and said that she wanted to be martyred with her son Paulus.
Cecilia was arrested on July 19, 1839, at the age of 79. Despite her age, she was treated as an important criminal, probably due to her family's fame. Since she refused the demand of the police chief to give up her faith and reveal the whereabouts of her fellow Catholics, she was whipped 230 times during the first five interrogations.
Cecilia wanted to be beheaded to become a martyr, but the Korean law of that time prohibited an old person from being beheaded. The judges tried to beat her to death, but she endured all the beatings with courage and patience. She finally expired in prison on the bare ground, calling the names of Jesus and Mary. It was November 23, 1839, and she was 79 years old.