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    » 06/30/2009, 00.00


    The 5,000th Korean priest is born in Seoul

    Theresa Kim Hwa-young

    Card Nicholas Chung Jin-suk presided over the ordination ceremony for 27 priests and deacons. The prelate remembers the first Korean priest ordained 164 years ago who died a martyr’s death. The number of South Korean Catholics tops five million or about 10 per cent of the population.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – After 164 years since the first Korean priest, Saint Andrew Kim Dae-gon, was ordained the Catholic Church welcomed its 5000th Korean priest, this in a country, South Korea, where Catholics now number five million or 10 per cent of the population

    Card Nicholas Chung Jin-suk, archbishop of Seoul, presided over the ceremony of ordination for 27 priests and deacons at Olympic Park in downtown Seoul.

    The event was indeed particularly poignant because Dionysious Son Ho-bin from Jaegi-dong Parish was among them. He is Korea’s 5000th Korean priest.

    “Today, here at this place, the 5000th Korean priest is born to the example of Father Andrew Kim Dae-gon, the first Korean priest, who died a martyr 164 years ago during harsh persecution,” Cardinal Chung said. “We are honoured to preside over the ordination” as “we celebrate the year of St. Paul and the Year of the Priest.”

    Some 14,000 priests, religious and faithful were present at the ceremony. They prayed for the new priests and the new deacons, who will celebrate their first Mass in their respective parishes.

    Recently the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK) released data showing that as of the end of 2008, local Catholics numbered just over five million or 9.9 percent of the total population of 50,394,374. This represents a 130,000 increase from 2007.

    The CBCK noted that while the Catholic population has increased by 2.7 per cent a year on average over the past 10 years, the country's overall population has edged forward by just 0.8 per cent.

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    See also

    05/07/2012 SOUTH KOREA
    Saint Andrew Kim, "the light that brightens our daily faith"
    The bishop of Daejeon celebrated a solemn Mass this morning, anniversary of the great martyr's beatification, on the site where he met a martyr's death. "I called on the faithful to examine their conscience to see if they live according to the right principles," he said. We prayed for the pope who "needs all the support and love he can get."

    27/04/2016 14:07:00 VATICAN - SOUTH KOREA
    Thomas Choe, the second Korean priest, toward beatification

    The Pope approved a decree attesting to the heroic virtue. Together with St Andrew Kim Dae-gon, he entered the seminary in Macao in 1836. After his ordination he returned home and, despite the persecution of the Joseon kingdom, cared for about 4 thousand faithful spread throughout the peninsula. He translated catechism books from Chinese and put Catholic teaching to verse to foster learning. He died consumed by the mission in 1861.


    18/12/2007 SOUTH KOREA
    Presidential elections: waiting for Lee’s victory in Seoul
    A day before votes are cast, surveys indicate that the former mayor of Seoul will win the bid for the highest office. A declared Christian Lee Myung-bak can count less on his party’s political positions than on his own status as a symbol of South Korea’s economic success, rising like the phoenix out of the ashes of war.

    21/07/2005 CHINA
    Shanghai church draws Korean pilgrims
    Church building was torn down and rebuilt as part of Pudong district's redevelopment plans. Koreans visit the site to see relic of Saint Andrew Kim, the first Korean martyr.

    21/06/2006 SOUTH KOREA
    Pro-birthrate social pact approved
    Government, business and labour pledge to work together to create new jobs for pregnant women and build better childcare facilities to reverse the declining birthrate.

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