For three days, Seoul Church celebrates new bishops, priests and deacons
by Stephany Sun*
Card Yeom, archbishop of Seoul, consecrates two auxiliary bishops named by Pope Francis on 30 December 2013. This will be followed by 26 deacons; and on 7 February, 38 new priests, including one Vietnamese.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - For the first time since its establishment, the Archdiocese of Seoul will hold three consecutive ordinations of bishop, priests, and deacons from 5 to 7 February.

Pope Francis has named Rev Father Timothy Yu Gyoung-chon and Rev Father Peter Chung Soon-taek as Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Seoul on 30 December 2013.

The ordination will be held at 2:00 pm tomorrow at Olympic Gymnastics Hall of the Olympic Park in Seoul. Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung will ordain the bishop-elects, while concelebrated by the bishop conference. A number of 10,000 people, including priests and faithful, is expected to participate in the event.

For the Archdiocese of Seoul, this is the first ordination of bishop in eight years since Auxiliary Bishop Basil Cho Kyu-man was ordained in 2006. For the Korean Catholic Church, this is the second ordination of two bishops in history since Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung and Bishop Lee Han-taek (former bishop of Uijeongbu) were ordained in 2002.

Archdiocese of Seoul has formed a committee on 6 January to prepare for the ordination of bishops. About 10,000 souvenirs were made and will be distributed to the faithful. From 27 January to 4 February, parishes and institutes throughout the Archdiocese of Seoul are offering novena prayers for the bishop-elects.

The ordination of priests will be held on 7 February, two days after the ordination of bishops. Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung will ordain 38 priests, including one Vietnamese (Deacon Vu Tan Tuan from Thai Binh Diocese) and one member of the Catholic Seoul International Mission Community who studied in Panama.

Panama Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta is scheduled to attend both ordination of bishops and ordination of priests. He has arrived Korea on 30 January and will stay until 8 February. Bishop Nguyen Van De of Thai Binh Diocese, Vietnam, wrote in his letter to Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung, "We are very joyful and thankful to your sacrifice in giving [Deacon Vu Tan Tuan] a sound and good priestly formation."

The ordination of deacons will take place on 6 February at the same venue. Card Yeom Soo-jung will ordain 26 Archdiocesan deacons.

* Archdiocesan Secretariat of Seoul