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Korean priests ready to embark on foreign missions

Currently 22 Korean priests are serving in 9 countries around the world
Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick (right-standing), Auxiliary Bishop Job Yobi Koo, Father Henry Chung Rok-soo (right-seated) and Father Masseo Ki Ho-bae are seen at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul on March 21.

Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick (right-standing), Auxiliary Bishop Job Yobi Koo, Father Henry Chung Rok-soo (right-seated) and Father Masseo Ki Ho-bae are seen at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul on March 21. (Photo: Archdiocese of Seoul)

 

Published: March 26, 2024 04:21 AM GMT
Updated: March 26, 2024 04:29 AM GMT

Two Korean priests are all set to leave their homeland soon to serve in Guatemala and Japan as the South Korean Church continues to send missionaries around the world, says a report.

Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick of Seoul commissioned diocesan priests — Henry Chung Rok-soo and Masseo Ki Ho-bae — during a Holy Mass at Myeongdong Cathedral in the national capital on March 21, said a press release from Seoul Archdiocese.

The ceremony was organized by the Seoul Archdiocesan Department of Overseas Missions.

“The Lord had said to Abraham, 'Come from your land, your people and your father's house to the land that I will show you.' You two, dear priests, walk the humble path that Abraham once walked, also walk the path of God's love,” Chung said in his homily.

“Never forget the love and protection of our Lord, and may you become priests who pray first for the true love that the Lord has to imprint on your hearts,” he said.

The prelate later placed a special wooden cross around the necks of the priests, symbolizing that they are committed to always following the path of Jesus in their lives as missionaries.

“The cross,” he said, “is a tangible reminder of the sacrifices and teachings of Christ that will guide them on their journey of faith and service to others.”

Since 1989, Seoul Archdiocese has trained and sent over 70 priests to various regions of the world as missionaries.

There are currently 22 Korean priests serving in nine countries, including Japan, Taiwan, Guatemala and Spain.

Catholicism arrived in Korea thanks to foreign missionaries centuries ago. Until the early 1980s, the Korea Church depended on foreign missionaries and foreign donations, according to Church sources.

However, in the past few decades the Korean Church has moved on from being a receiving Church to a sharing Church offering financial support to churches in need across the globe.

About 50 percent of South Korea’s 31.74 million people follow no religion, according to official estimates.

Christians account for about 28 percent, Buddhists about 26 percent and the rest follow other faiths such as Confucianism.   

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