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Seoul UCIP chapter aims to expand

Low number of Catholic journalists spark move to attract new members

Members of UCIP Seoul at their 2011 plenary session Members of UCIP Seoul at their 2011 plenary session
  • John Choi, Seoul
  • International
  • February 11, 2011
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The Korean branch of the International Catholic Union of the Press (UCIP) has pledged to boost dwindling membership by inviting more Catholic media workers to join its ranks.

Plans for developing the local association were discussed yesterday at UCIP Seoul’s plenary assembly held at the Franciscan Education Center in the Korean capital.

During the meeting, the 20 participants pledged to increase membership and develop the association by having each member invite one new member, increase financial support through membership fees and form closer links with overseas UCIP associations.

“We currently have 426 members on our list, but some 250 of them are not active. Also, only about 30 join the monthly Masses,” said Thomas Kim Tae-shik, president of UCIP Seoul.

“We need to check the real status of our membership and use that information to restructure our group for further development,” he said.

Francis Lee Gun-bok, the vice-president believes the potential for attracting more members is promising.

“In Seoul, some 40,000 people work in journalism and publishing. If 10 percent of them are Catholics, our membership could blossom to 4,000.”

Another area to be addressed is building ties with the international association’s other branches.

“We are a member of UCIP but we have very little contact with other UCIP groups like UCIP Asia,” Thomas Kim said. “We need to build solidarity with other UCIP groups to forge closer bonds.”

Currently, UCIP Seoul organizes monthly Masses, annual retreats and pilgrimage to holy places in Korea to help the faith life of media workers.

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