Saturday, February 26, 2011
A Korean Parish for the Blind
The Seoul Diocese did have programs for the blind, and a place where they met on Sundays. 500 were registered at the mission, and on Sundays about 100 attended. It was served by diocesan priests who would take turns saying Mass at their auditorium.
An editorial in the Peace Weekly mentions how difficult it is for the blind to live their faith life. The Church has given them the opportunity of offering Mass and studying the catechism, but there was always something missing, lilke not having their their own pastor, and priests would have little time to spend with them because of their other duties. The new parish will change all that and be a catalyst in the pastoral care of the handicapped.
The registers of the Catholics will be at the new parish, helping to form this new communty. A priest will always be with the community, giving it life, with plenty of time for the members to interact, and accessing the sacramental life with less rushing.
The ideal would be to have the handicapped associate with the non-handicapped in the areas where they live, but the parishes are not equipped for this role so it was decided to have the handicapped together in the same parish. They will then relate easily with other community members and feel less alienated than they would be in a territorial parish. The priest Director of Culture and Information feels that this will encourage the diocese to become more involved in other special pastoral endeavors in the diocese.