UCA News
Contribute

MEP lauds Korean Church’s contribution to mission growth

Father Nicolas Lefébure, secretary general of the France-based congregation, was meeting Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick of Seoul
Archbishop Chung Soon-taek (center) talks with Father Nicolas Lefebüre (right) of the Paris headquarters of the Church of Foreign Missions in Paris on the 18th.

Archbishop Chung Soon-taek (center) talks with Father Nicolas Lefebüre (right) of the Paris headquarters of the Church of Foreign Missions in Paris on the 18th. (Photo: news.cpbc.co.kr)

Published: April 18, 2024 10:44 AM GMT
Updated: April 18, 2024 11:25 AM GMT

The France-based Paris Foreign Missions Society (MEP) has lauded the Catholic Church in South Korea for its support to the missionary congregation, says a report.

"Thanks to the Korean Church, the [MEP] has been able to grow and develop," said Father Nicolas Lefébure, secretary general of the congregation, Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation (CPBC) of Korea reported on April 18.

Lefébure, on his second visit to South Korea, was meeting Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick of Seoul at the archbishop’s house in Myeongdong.

Lefébure also pointed out that the MEP headquarters in Paris housed “a lot of documents from the early days of the Korean Catholic Church,” which they would gladly give to the archdiocese on request.

Korea was entrusted to the care of the MEP missionaries on Sept. 1, 1827, by the then Propaganda Fide which was later renamed as Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Meanwhile, Chung lauded the MEP congregation for “sending missionaries to Korea, even though they knew they would be martyred, from the first Korean pastor, Bishop Bruguiere.”

Bishop Barthelemy Bruguiere (1792-1835), a member of the MEP congregation was the first apostolic vicar of Korea and the first coadjutor bishop of Siam (Thailand).

He died in China and was buried there. His mortal remains were later moved and reburied in a cemetery in Seoul in 1931.

After leaving Paris in 1825, Bruguiere reached Jakarta which was known as Batavia in 1826, a report published by the Siam Society read.

Bruguiere later traveled and reached Bangkok where he engaged in extensive missionary work among the people.

In 1831, Bruguiere was appointed the Apostolic Vicar of Korea and in 1832, Bruguiere and Joseph Wang, a Penang seminary student sailed from Singapore to China.

Bruguiere left Shanxi on Sept. 22, 1834, reached the Great Wall of China on Oct. 7, and arrived at Xiwanzi on Oct. 8.

He spent around three years in China preparing for his entry into Korea. On Oct. 7, 1835, Bruguiere, Wang, and fellow MEP missionary Pierre-Philibert Maubant left for Korea.

Within two weeks, Bruguiere became ill and died. He was buried on a nearby hillside, the Siam Society report read.

Following Bruguiere many other missionaries such as Saints Jacques Chastan, Laurent Imbert, Siméon Berneux, and Antoine Daveluy, among others served in the region.

Other notable MEP missionaries were Bishop Jean Ferréol and Archbishop Gustave Mutel.

The Seoul archdiocese is promoting the cause of canonization of Bruguiere, Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, and Father Leo Bang Yoo-ryong (1900-1986), founder of Korea’s first native religious order, the Clerical Congregation of the Blessed Korean Martyrs.

Chung urged for further expanding the scope of cooperation between the archdiocese and the MEP congregation.

"The Korean Church has been able to grow thanks to the hidden efforts of the missionaries of the [MEP] congregation,” Chung emphasized.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
Publisher
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia