Updated: November 17, 2021 11:12 AM GMT
Catholic volunteers serve free meals to poor people at Myeongdong Bajib, a church-run soup kitchen in Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul, on Nov. 14. (Photo: Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation)
Church officials in South Korea have observed the World Day of the Poor by feeding hundreds of hungry and homeless people.
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Suu-jong, outgoing archbishop of Seoul Archdiocese, Archbishop-elect Peter Chung Soon-taek and Auxiliary Bishop Benedictus Hee-Song Son joined dozens of volunteers at Myeongdong Bajib, a free soup kitchen for homeless people, on Nov. 14.
Some 400 homeless and hungry people received dishes that included rice, soup, three side dishes, rice cake and snacks.
The prelates sweated as they served meals to hundreds of people with smiles on their faces, reports Catholic Times of Korea.
A homeless man said the food was delicious because it was prepared with “love and care.”
Cardinal Yeom said it is a duty of every Christian to work with others to support and welcome the poor and needy so that they can feel they are a “good person and precious.”
We need to realize that we are all poor before God, so we need true solidarity and sharing
He is among the founders of Myeongdong Bajib that started to distribute food to hundreds of poor people three days a week since January. It collaborates with the One Body One Soul (OBOS) Catholic movement and the Energy and Chemicals Division of SK Group, the third-largest conglomerate in South Korea.
The initiative later developed a free healthcare service for homeless sick people.
Archbishop-elect Chung said that such services are essential to establish a church of the poor.
“We need to realize that we are all poor before God, so we need true solidarity and sharing. We have to keep celebrating the World Day of the Poor by paying more attention to the poor,” the prelate said.
Similar efforts were undertaken in other dioceses of South Korea.
On Nov. 12, Archbishop Thaddeus Hwan-ki Cho of Daegu Archdiocese and auxiliary Bishop John Bosco Shin-Ho Chang delivered lunch boxes, warm clothes and quarantine materials to Joseph House, a church-run center for homeless and elderly people.
The center, run by Sacred Heart of Jesus sisters since 1989, has been offering free meals to 120-150 people during the Covid-19 pandemic. In recent times, the center has been grappling with a lack of funds as the number of people seeking food increased significantly to 300-380 each day.
Archbishop Cho said it was important to think about poor always, not just occasionally.
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