Friday, May 1, 2009

This Korean Bishop not too Busy for a Friendly Visit

On April 25th, I was suddenly surprised by a telephone call from Bishop Yoo Heung Sik , the very busy director of the diocese of Daejeon S. Korea. Hey, Im coming down to visit you today, he chuckled. I thought he was joking because I live in Busan several hours away by train, and he is a busy man.

My friendship with the bishop began when I was the pastor of a Busan City Parish. He came as a young seminarian for pastoral training during the summer and winter. Later he was sent to Rome for a doctoral degree in theology-and often wrote to say how things were going-often difficult as he had to tackle four new languages all at once: Italian, Greek, Hebrew and English. But he did just fine- came back to Korea to be head of the Catholic College and Seminary- and 15 years later was chosen the new bishop of Daejeon. Well, some how he got word that I had just returned to Korea after working 16 year in China.

So at 11am he knocked at my door along with 7 former mutual friends"-bearing gifts of spirit and cakes- Where shall we go for lunch he said with a big embrace. Wow!

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