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South Korea

Mass held for missing victims of 'Sewol' tragedy

When a ferry sunk in 2014 hundreds died but not all the bodies have been recovered

Updated: March 31, 2017 10:14 AM GMT
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Mass held for missing victims of 'Sewol' tragedy

Mass being held on March 28 for the recovery of nine missing victims of the 'Sewol' ferry disaster. The ferry is currently undergoing salvage work at 'Sewol' shipboard as seen in the photo's background. Three other religions on the same day also held separate ceremonies. (Photo by Catholic Times of Korea)

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A Mass was held at Sewol shipboard on March 28 to pray for the recovery of undiscovered bodies from a ferry disaster that occurred off the South Korean coast in 2014.

For the Catholic Church, Father Simon Min Se-young, parish priest of Jindo Church which covers the accident area, presided over the liturgy together with Father Columbanus Lee Young-sun, president of the Justice and Peace Committee of Kwangju Archdiocese.

Father Lee said, "The ship was heavily damaged and it does not seem to be easy to recover the bodies of missing victims. We should pray harder to get them returned to their families."

Three other faiths — Buddhism, Won Buddhism and Protestantism — also held separate ceremonies on the day. Each religion held its own ceremony for 30 minutes.

In total, 304 passengers and crew members died in the disaster but only 295 bodies were recovered. Most of those who perished in the disaster were teenage school children. Salvage work is still ongoing and there remains hope that the nine missing bodies will be recovered.

Suwon Diocese will hold a commemoration Mass on April 7 at Ansan's Hwarang Resort.

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