Seoul (Agenzia Fides) – Five new Korean missionaries are charged to carry the good news of the Gospel to distant lands: with a special Mass celebrated in Seoul Cathedral on 3 March, Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, Catholic Archbishop in the capital, conferred a solemn missionary mandate on five priests of the archdiocese who will soon start their missionary adventure in a foreign country. Fides learned from the local Church the priests’ names: Fr. Nam-eun Goong, who will go to Saitama diocese, in Japan; Fr. Shin Gwang-ho, who will go to Sydney, Australia; Fr. Kim Sung-min is destined for the Chinese diocese of Xi'an; Fr. Lee Hyun-gyu and Fr. Jung Sung-hoon will join the Saint Columba Mission Society.
Since 2006 the Korean Catholic Church has 19 priests from Seoul on mission “ad gentes” in ten countries, Taiwan, China, Japan, Tanzania, Peru, Guatemala, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Spain and France.
Fides was told that the Mass was organised by the Seoul Foreign Missions Department, an office instituted by Cardinal Yeom in 2013 to underline the importance of mission ad gentes . Fr. Park Kyu-hee, Missions Department head, said: “we will do our best every year to send more missionaries to spread the Gospel of Our Lord ”. The Mass was presided by Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung and concelebrated by his auxiliary bishops. With their Mandate as a sign of diocesan unity, the five priests received a special stole bearing the official Seoul archdiocese logo and the laying on of hands by the concelebrating auxiliary Bishops.
In his homily reflecting on the passage in the Gospel where Jesus sends his disciples to proclaim the Gospel, Cardinal Yeom reminded those present that it was thanks to the work of foreign missionaries that the Catholic Church developed. “Now it is our turn to go to countries in difficulty and share the Good News with them” he said. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 4/3/2016)