Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Yu Gyoung-chon of Seoul, apostolic vicar for social ministry, presiding over the 30th anniversary Mass of the Catholic Urban Poor Pastoral Committee at Coste Hall of Myeongdong Cathedral on April 30. (Photo by The Catholic Times of Korea)
Thirty years' worth of pastoral activities by a committee from the Seoul Archdiocese for people in poor urban areas was celebrated with an anniversary Mass on April 30. The Catholic Urban Poor Pastoral Committee of Seoul Archdiocese celebrated its 30th anniversary with a Mass at Coste Hall at Myeongdong Cathedral. Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Yu Gyoung-chon of Seoul, apostolic vicar for social ministry, presided over the Mass. "The evangelization rate in poor areas such as Dongdaemun and Jungrang-gu areas is about 5 percent, less than half the evangelization rate in the affluent Gangnam-gu area. We should focus more on the poor areas," Bishop Yu said in his homily. "I hope more priests join mission parishes to activate pastoral activities for poor people in urban areas," he added. The committee runs five mission parishes in disadvantaged areas. During the Mass, the committee offered its agenda titled "Being Neighbors, 40 Years for Catholic Urban Poor Pastoral Committee," which contained its future plans. The committee created 14 guidelines such as forming local communities through solidarity with poor people, practicing the spirit and value of the Bible and implementing a "poverty of Jesus" program through solidarity with local communities. The Catholic Urban Poor Pastoral Committee of Seoul Archdiocese was set up in 1987, in response to the forced eviction of people from Sanggye-dong village. Since its foundation, the committee has offered various pastoral programs and shown solidarity with people forcibly evicted due to urban redevelopment projects.
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