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Gathering to strengthen bonds among Korean religious orders

During the day-long program in Seoul, religious groups ran exhibition stalls and conducted cultural activities

Children are seen at one of the stalls by religious groups during a special program for religious congregations in Seoul, South Korea on May 21

Children are seen at one of the stalls by religious groups during a special program for religious congregations in Seoul, South Korea on May 21. (Photo: Seoul Archdiocese)

Published: May 22, 2023 10:55 AM GMT

Updated: May 26, 2023 08:28 AM GMT

Seoul Archdiocese of South Korea organized a special gathering to improve the bonds and understanding among religious congregations operating within its territory.

The daylong event at the premises of Myeongdong Cathedral in the capital Seoul on May 21 allowed the religious orders to come closer to the faithful and each other, the archdiocesan official site, Good News reported.

On the day. 34 male and female religious orders joined the program that featured stalls exhibiting and selling products prepared by the groups, history, and activities, recruitment process for new members, and counseling services.

Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-Taick of Seoul, who initiated the event, expressed optimism that the gathering would become “an opportunity for the presence of religious... to get closer to you [believers],” during the Mass held in the Cathedral.

It is essential that religious life is closely connected to bearing witness to the Catholic teachings and faith in front of the faithful, he said.

“A clergy or religious is a being called to live by showing and testifying to the life of God's kingdom ahead of time,” the prelate said.

Archbishop Chung along with auxiliary bishops and Benedictine monks visited the stalls set up by religious congregations.

Other activities of the groups included choir, hands-on activities such as calligraphy, games, etc., and the promotion of new vocations and counseling for interested candidates.

The religious congregations also arranged for singing, saxophone, band performances, plays, and traditional folk performances.

Sister Christina Jee of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception who participated at the gathering stated that she was very happy to get the opportunity to meet and greet believers and other religious groups.

“I am very grateful for this time today [representing] a religious congregation that does not have a parish pastoral ministry,” she said.

“We carefully made products and set up a booth to meet the believers today. I am very happy… to be able to meet and share with believers like this,” the nun further added.

According to the 2022 statistics of the Catholic Church in Korea, there are a total of 48 male and 125 female religious congregations in the country.

The statistics also indicated that the country had around 9,974 nuns and 1,602 priests serving under various capacities in the country while serving its 5.9 million Catholics who constitute 11.3 percent of the country’s 52.6 million population.

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