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Korea Church builds its first ’senior town’

Service to accommodate increasing elderly population

Korea Church builds its first ’senior town’
Model of the ’Mary Stella’ home
Stephen Hong, Seoul

January 14, 2011

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Incheon diocese in South Korea has announced its plan to set up and manage a town for senior Catholics in response to the country’s rising old-age population. It is for the first time in the country that a diocese is to build and run a town for senior citizens, said Justina Kang, public relations head of the diocese’s senior town committee. Kang told today that in 2013, the diocese plans to establish a senior town for elderly Catholics aged 60 years or older to be called “Mary Stella” after the patron of the seashore diocese. The diocesan committee for senior town said the center will provide an integrated pastoral care for Catholic elders and focus on improving their quality of life. Under the construction plan, a church will be built with a priest staying and running the spiritual life programs for the senior residents. The town can accommodate up to 237 families with living spaces starting from 80 square meters. The senior residents will be charged with a deposit of 18 million won (US$16,150) per 3.3 square meters area and 1.7 million won monthly rent. Statistics Korea as of 2005, states that 10 percent of the 48 million South Korean populations are 65 years old or older. The number is estimated to rise to more than 15 percent by 2020. Moreover, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea says in 2009, 19.2 percent of South Korea’s 5,120,092 Catholics are 60 years or older. Related report Korea’s senior citizens urged to trun God KO12855.1636
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