Seoul (AsiaNews) - Korean Catholics "have not experienced the Year of Faith as a year-long event, but as a very important mission that must now continue. Thus, on the 24th, together with the Pope, they shall not celebrate the end of something but rather the 'beginning of a new Christian commitment'," said Fr Matthias Hur Young- yup, director of the Secretariat of the Archdiocese of Seoul.
Next Sunday, Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung will celebrate a solemn Mass in Myeongdong Cathedral to mark the end of the Year of Faith proclaimed by Benedict XVI.
"For us," Fr Hur said, "this Mass and the Year of Faith represent a starting point from which to start reflecting on our faith, so as to make it grow stronger than before."
"Every parish in the Archdiocese of Seoul is trying different ways to apply the spirituality of the 'five basics' of our faith as discussed during this period, i.e. Bible study, meditation, prayer, attendance of Mass and the transformation of love into action. "
Indeed, the archdiocese continued its involvement in a number of important social and charitable activities, which it has pursued for years. This included the active participation of the faithful in works supporting the poor, the sick, the elderly and those in prison.
Likewise, the Church has placed special emphasis on caring for life by preventing abortions through economic and spiritual counselling and by getting involved in dozens of pro-life activities.
Similarly, the local Church has not forgotten the Korean martyrs who have been honoured in a special way.
"This year we dedicated September to the martyrs," Fr Hur explained, "by creating a special route in the archdiocese to inform the faithful about the life and works of these witnesses of Christ."
At the same time, "Encouraged by Pope Francis' blessing, we shall continue to focus on this point as much as possible and push people to go on pilgrimage and follow in the footprints of the saints."