Today is the Feast Day of Father Andrew (Taegon) Kim, the first Korean Priest. On June 26, 2009 at the Olympic Stadium, we had the ordination of the 5oooth Korean Priest. The first Korean Priest was ordained on 1845 the 5000th was ordained for the Archdiocese of Seoul at
the ordination ceremony at Olympic Stadium where 27 priests started their new life.
Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests” beginning with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 19, 2009. The year will conclude in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father on June 19, 2010. the Pope has declared St. John Vianney the Universal Patron of Priests on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the death of the Curé d’Ars.
At the celebration of ordination to the Ministerial Priesthood, Cardinal Cheong said, "As of the year 1961 when I was ordained a priest, there were less than 250 Korean Priests. However, today we have a pleasure to see the birth of the 5000th Korean Priest here in this place."
Whenever we select a group for special attention there are reasons. The problems that priests can have in our modern society are many. The editorial in the Catholic Peace Paper this week mentions that for a priest to live as he should in our society demands that he overcome many obstacles. If one is not alert it is easy to live the comfortable life, there are just too many areas of contamination.
The Korean Priests have their older brother priest St. Kim Andrew and St. John Mary Vianney, parish priest patron, to help them in their priestly life. The life of our priests depends on the prayers and life of our Catholics; that is not overstating the case. It is said the Catholics get the priests they deserve. Priests come from the modern society in which they live and it is not easy to overcome the temptations that are prevalent in that society. Priests do influence the
Catholics but I wonder if the Catholics' influence on the priest is not greater.