Monday, October 2, 2017

Korean Small Christian Communites

This year was the 25th year of the formal beginning of the Small Christian Communities in Korea. The movement had already been incorporated in parishes but the Seoul diocese was the first diocese to make it part of their pastoral planning. 

Last year a questionnaire was given to a number of the participants to find ways to improve and examine the reality of what has happened.This has been done before but this is the first time they have made an in-depth study. The results of the study have been reported in both Catholic Weeklies, much space was devoted to the survey and the results.

The Small Christian Community movement was imported from South America. The four elements of community: fellowship, sharing the word of God, prayer and service all have their place. 

The results of the survey showed a  need to adapt it to the life in the city. A symposium on the results proposed the meeting of different age groups and different interests groups but the fear of dividing the community was strongly expressed. The younger groups have shown a decrease in attendance and the elderly have increased.

Comparing those who participated in the monthly or weekly meetings and those who did not, in most cases there was a difference in the participation in  parish life. Participants were more active in difficult works, more active in church activities, read the Scriptures more often, and had a better understanding of  the liturgical year. More interested in the poor, helping others, and helping financially, however, the difference was slight.

The issue that was noticed and commented on was the lack of interest in social matters where those who did not attend the weekly or monthly meeting showed a higher interest in social concerns, although this was only a minimal difference. This was unsettling in what it was saying to the diocese. The church has not been living the teachings of the Second Vatican Council.

Materialism, individualism, and worldliness has influenced the church greatly. The Holy Spirit has been with the movement and in the years ahead efforts will be expended to make it a leaven for the whole church community.

Crisis are opportunities for change. It takes time to change our physical condition so also the change for the better in the small community meetings. By a process of trial and error this will improve. The problems discovered will be the fertilizer that will help the movement to improve.

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