Saturday, September 5, 2009

Retired Korean Catholic Priests

The clergy in Korea for the most part are young but the old timers are having their Masses of retirement rather frequently these days. We see this at the time when new assignments are being made and in many dioceses this was recent. The age of retirement for most dioceses is 70 and for many it is still too early to rest. In Korea, society does retire their workers rather early but the Church is still one that keeps them on the rolls until they are 70.

Even though they are retired there are still many who are very active in many different works. We have men who have volunteered for the foreign missions, those who are still teaching and have there own web sites, many have just changed their place of residence.

There is one priest from Taegu who from the time he was a pastor was interested in Street Evangelizing. He started this in his parish in 1990 and has spread it to many other parishes and even to the Korean Communities overseas. At the start he had 100 or so Catholics with the same mind and trained them for two months. He printed 5000 pamphlets introducing the Church and sent the team out. They started at 12 o'clock noon and ran out of pamphlets within an hour. It gave them a strong desire to make the movement part of the way we evangelize. Let us gather to pray and go out to evangelize, was the motto of the movement.The priest is now retired but feels that he now has more time to give to street evangelizing.

This year starting from June 19th to next year June 19th is the Year for Priests. The Holy Father has hopes to see a revitalization of the priesthood and a desire for a spiritually intense new life on the part of priests throughout the world. It is the “150th anniversary of the death of the saintly 'Cure of Ars', Jean Marie Vianney". Some of the Korean retired priests are giving an example of how to be apostolic even in retirement.

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