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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Our Missionaries To Korea

Circles: Bro. Josef Gossenreiter, Fr. Leonard Thome, Fr. Paul Schmidt:

From left: Bro. Eugene Frank, Fr. James Mifsud, Bro. Melvin Sylva, Bro. John O'Donnell, Bro. Paul Nomi, Bro. Dennis Schmitz, Bro. Clarence Chew.

Photo scanned from The Marianists in Korea 50 Years pg. 13 (Korean).

Pacific Province

The Pacific Province sent missionaries to Korea in 1960. Bros. Charles Goedde, Melvin Silva and Fr. Peter Choo arrived in Seoul on September 17th. At that time, Fr. Leonard Fee was Provincial of the Pacific Province. Bro. John McClusky was on the Provincial Council as Inspector. From 1960 to 1964 The missionaries were stationed in the city of Guangju. Peter Choo was Chaplain and Charlie Goedde, Director. Fr. Peter Choo left Korea in 1962 and was replaced by Fr. Leonard Thome. (Ref. Province Personnels)

Province of Austria

In 1960, The Austrian Marianist Provincial was Fr. Alois Handelbaur. At that time certain Korean Bishops requested an Austrian Marianist presence in Korea. The Austrians were aware of the Pacific Province presence in Korea but didn't want to be involved with schools; their goal was to simply to establish the Marianist Order there.

The Austrians sent Fr. Paul Heinz Schmidt to Korea in 1963, his first two years were devoted to learning Korean. After his studies, Fr. Schmidt went to Chungju. Archbishop Han had asked that the Marianists take over the Tokjin Parish there. (Photo from Paul Schmidt's 50th anniversary card)

On December 9, 1965 Bro. Josef Gossenreiter arrived at the port of Busan; soon he went to Seoul to study Korean at the Franciscan Language School in Myeongdong, Seoul. After 3 months he decided to life with Koreans as a way to experience more fully life in Korea. He moved to a house owned by the Chungju diocese. A Korean family was already boarding at that house.

In April 1966 Bro. Charles Goedde visited Josef in Seoul. Bro. Melvin Silva had recently arrived in Korea and went up to Seoul to study Korean while living with the Jesuits at Sogang University He visited Joe at his house and taught him how to make creme de menthe. (Ref: Austria data from a taped interview with Joe Gossenreiter - History of the Austrian Province in Korea, Box 4 - C159, Province of Pacific Archives).