Seoul (Agenzia Fides) - The Church of Seoul celebrated a solemn Eucharist with the missionary mandate to the priests who will offer their pastoral service and bring the proclamation of the Gospel abroad, at the service of the universal Church. As reported by the Communications Offices of the Archdiocese, the Seoul community will send two priests this year, one to the diocese of Luçon, in France and the other to the archdiocese of Tokyo in Japan.
The Department of Overseas Missionaries of the Archdiocese, an office that deals specifically with relations with other Churches, to monitor their needs and send local missionaries, has organized the solemn Eucharistic Celebration, on September 6, presided over by Bishop Job Yobi Koo, Episcopal Vicar for Missions. According to anti-Covid-19 regulations, only a small assembly of seven priests, in addition to Bishop Koo and the two priests sent on mission, took part in the Mass.
In his homily, Mgr. Koo underlined the significant role that the Archdiocese of Seoul plays in missionary work, contributing to the sending of priests, consecrated and lay people: "Pope Francis and his predecessors have expressly asked us to be particularly attentive and dedicated to missionary work in East Asia". He added: "We are grateful to be able to send two priests as missionaries during these crucial times when there is a great need to spread the Gospel and evangelize the world". The Bishop concluded his homily by blessing the priests and underling that "responding to God's call to missions will be an opportunity to grow and flourish as true disciples of God". The diocese of Luçon is the birthplace of Saint Pierre-Henri Dorie, a French missionary of the Foreign Missions of Paris (MEP), martyred in Korea in 1866. The Korean priest Fr. Peter Lee will be assigned to a parish in his hometown . The diocese of Luçon had planned a pilgrimage to Korea in the footsteps of Saint Dorie last year, but the initiative was canceled due to the pandemic.
The second missionary priest will reach Tokyo in the near future, at the request of Archbishop Isao Kikuchi. There are currently 8 Korean diocesan priests serving as missionaries in Japan. In addition, the Department of Overseas Missionaries of the Archdiocese of Seoul conducts missionary support and cooperation operations around the world. It sent 250,000 anti-Covid masks donated last month to support missions in Peru, Panama and the Philippines through Korean missionaries in those countries. The Archdiocese of Seoul plans to provide support also to Bolivia and to meet the pastoral needs of the Korean missionaries sent. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 10/9/2021)