Both Catholic weeklies had articles and even an editorial on two Maryknollers who will be leaving for the States in March. Father Gerald Farrell 93, and Fr, Joseph Slaby 84, who have spent over a half a century in Korea.
Sadness is present, they expressed to
the interviewer, but they were led by the Spirit at the same age to
come to Korea with joy in their hearts and they leave with joy.They have
no misgivings on their new calling. This will be their new life in the
States. They have no pictures to show of their life.They have tried to
live in the present and not look back with lingering attachment to the
past. They both worked to deepen their own spiritual life and those with
whom they worked.
Many are the similarities of the two
missioners. They both came to Korea at the age of 33. Both were delayed
vocations. Fr. Farrell started off as a medical officer in the Navy and
Fr. Slaby was an engineer. They both entered Maryknoll with the
opposition of their fathers. Fr. Slaby's father was Protestant and found
the son's decision hard to accept. Both had difficulty in the study of
Korean they told the interviewer.
Father Farrell joined
the navy as a medical officer after graduation from medical school.
During this time he made his decision to be a missioner. He had a bright
future but decided to leave it all which was a big blow to his father.
He mentions how difficult it was even to mention his decision to his
father. The father hearing about his son's plans refused even to speak
to him. This changed the day before ordination.
Slaby worked as an engineer after college and had the same problem with
his father who was a Protestant. He mentioned the most difficult part
of the missionary life was language as did Fr. Farrell. Fr.Slaby, also
mentions to the interviewer some difficulty with scrupulosity with which
he had to struggle and worked hard to live thoroughly the life of a
priest and missioner. He spent a year at the Angelicum in Rome studying
Both where involved in the Charismatic
movement from the beginning. Fr. Farrell was one of the leaders of the
Charismatic movement in Korea when the whole idea seemed Protestant and
many priests not happy with the movement. They were also instrumental in
introducing the Eucharistic Adoration Movement to Korea. In 1978 they
began the Marian Priestly Group, meeting every two months for the
study of the spiritual life.
The editorial mentions how
the two missioners considered their time in Korea a grace and gift. The
work of the missioners in Korea have done much to make the Korean Church the envy of many other nations. In conclusion the editorial hopes with the growth of the Church and the blessings of large numbers of
clergy being ordained each year they will like the two old
missioners consider going to other countries as a grace