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Korean missionaries head to France and Japan

Seoul Archdiocese has dispatched 23 missionary priests who serve in 11 countries

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Published: September 10, 2021 09:14 AM GMT

Updated: September 10, 2021 11:28 AM GMT

Korean missionaries head to France and Japan

Bishop Job Yobi Koo blesses and prays for two Korean priests who will serve as missionaries in France and Japan during a Mass in South Korean capital Seoul on Sept. 6. (Photo: Archdiocese of Seoul)

Seoul Archdiocese in South Korea has held a special Mass for two priests who will serve in France and Japan as missionaries.

Bishop Job Yobi Koo, episcopal vicar for overseas missionaries, celebrated the Mass of Dispatching Overseas Missionary Priests on Sept. 6 at the Coste Hall in Seoul, according to a press release from Seoul Archdiocese.

The overseas missionary department of the Archdiocese of Seoul arranged the Mass. Due to Covid-18 restrictions, only seven priests besides Bishop Koo and the two priests heading overseas attended the liturgy.   

In his homily, Bishop Koo noted that Seoul Archdiocese has been playing an important role by sending missionaries on overseas missions.

“Pope Francis and successive popes have requested that the Archdiocese of Seoul be especially devoted to missionary work in East Asia,” he said.

“I am grateful for being able to dispatch two priests as missionaries during these crucial times when we need to spread the gospel and evangelize the world.”

Lucon Diocese is the birthplace of St. Pierre-Henri Dorie, a French missionary of the Paris Foreign Missions Society

Bishop Koo then blessed the dispatched priests and thanked them for answering to God’s call for missions that “would be an opportunity for them to grow and blossom into true disciples of God.”

Father Peter Lee will serve in a parish in the Diocese of Lucon in France. Lucon Diocese is the birthplace of St. Pierre-Henri Dorie, a French missionary of the Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP) who was martyred in Korea in 1866.

A delegation from Lucon Diocese had planned a pilgrimage to Korea last year but it was canceled due to Covid-19.

Father Kim Phill-Joong (John) will be based in the Archdiocese of Tokyo in Japan as requested by Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi. There are currently eight Korean diocesan priests serving in Japan.

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The overseas missionary department sent 250,000 masks to support overseas missions in Peru, Panama and the Philippines through four missionary societies in Korea last month. The Archdiocese of Seoul will also send masks to Bolivia as well as other mission fields where its diocesan priests have been dispatched.

Seoul Archdiocese has provided 23 missionary priests who serve in 11 countries.

South Korea has about 5.6 million Catholics spread across three archdioceses, 14 dioceses and a military ordinariate.

Official government records say about 56 percent of South Koreans have no religion, 20 percent are Protestant, 8 percent are Catholic and 15.5 percent are Buddhist in a country with more than 51 million people.

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