In a land area of 10,782 square kilometers, the Andong diocesan includes cities of Mungyeong, Sangju, Andong, Yeongju and counties of Bonghwa, Yeongdeok, Yeongyang, Yecheon, Uljin, Uiseong, Cheongsong in Gyeongsangbuk-do (province).
The diocese belongs to the ecclesiastical province of Daegu which comprises Daegu archdiocese, and the dioceses of Cheongju, Masan and Busan.
Andong diocese was carved out of Daegu archdiocese on May 29, 1969, as a suffragan diocese of Daegu metropolitan. At that time, it had only 18 parishes and 175 mission stations with 27,742 Catholics.
Bishop John Chrisostom Kwon Hyeok-ju of Andong issued a special pastoral letter on Nov. 28, 2004, asserting that the diocese has made the pastoral care of farmers its top priority. He noted that the number of farmers in the country has dramatically decreased from around 10 million in 1983 to 3.5 million in 2003. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, as of Dec. 31, 2005, South Korea produces only 29.4 percent of food it needs.
In Andong diocesan jurisdiction, the population is 772,843 at the end of 2006. (Some 1.6 percent of the whole population 49,624,269 in the country) Most residents are ethnic Koreans.
Standard Korean is in use. English, a mandatory subject in schools, can be spoken and understood in tourist areas. All traffic signs are in English and Korean.
Andong diocese falls within the temperate zone and has the seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter. The yearly average temperature here is 13.2 degrees Celsius. The annual precipitation in the region averages 1,046 millimeters. Most of the rainfall is concentrated in the rainy months of June through August.
Andong is located in the southeastern part of the Korean peninsula, in Gyeongsangbuk-do.
Gonsalo's martyrdom at Nagasaki with the other Christian missionaries is regarded as the most tragic and historic event for Catholicism in Japan
Calungsod and his companion Father Vitores baptized infants, children and adults, defying the risk of persecution and murder
Despite being an ordinary layman, Ruiz remained defiant while facing torture by the Japanese and died a brave martyr
He was the first Korean-born Catholic priest and is now the patron saint of Korea
This fabled church is also known by its Syriac name Mar Sleeva (Holy Cross) Church
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