Monday, August 15, 2011

Korean Catholic Church Efforts in Mission Overseas

At the Suwon Cathedral, the diocese will be ordaining 17 deacons to the priesthood on August 19th. With this class of newly ordained, we will have 417 priests in the diocese, and, as Korea continues to be blessed with vocations, 4,490 priests in the country, for about 5 million Catholics, which makes it  relatively easy for our bishops to plan and develop programs for the dioceses.

Interviewed by the Catholic Times, Auxiliary Bishop Jung of Inchon, on returning from a meeting of Korean missioners in Panama working in Latin America, knows that Korea by sending missioners to countries in need of them, will be  blessed. Korea will be returning to other countries what Korea has received from foreign missioners.

Bishop Jung, president of the  Committee for Pastoral Care of Koreans Living Abroad, carefully expressed in the interview his feelings on a name change for the committee. "It is not the overseas Koreans but evangelization overseas that should be the focus of our work, " he said. "Consequently it is time to change the name of the committee to the more appropriate title of  Evangelization in Overseas Missions." He feels that the committee should have its primary interest in missions overseas to the non-Christian. "Water that stays put putrefies," he said. "The Church's involvement in mission work will make us break out of our stagnate situation."

The bishop concludes the interview by saying, "The missioners overseas need your financial aid but more so your interest and  prayers.  I hope all  understand that  missions  overseas are not the work of others; there are many places that we can be of help. The Committee for Pastoral Care of Koreans Living Abroad will form a network for missioners abroad, supporting and publicizing their efforts; to this task, I will zealously devote myself."

Hearing what the bishop had to say brought to mind our own Catholic Mission Society of America (Maryknoll) that will be celebrating this year our centennial year. Sadly, we are not doing well in recruiting vocations to the missionary life, as once was the case. I received a few days ago a video, another attempt to  move  the hearts of our young people to consider the work of mission. The efforts  of those assigned to this very important work are great, but the results are few. For those interested, the video can be seen at:

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