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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

MLC Groups in Korea

Bro. Dennis Schmitz sent a report to the Province about Fr. Timothy Kim's work with Marianist Lay Communities in Korea. The report titled "MARIANIST LAY COMMUNITIES, HISTORY & NEWS" was published in the December 15,1993 issue of PAC. The following summary of the report is found below:

Adult Lay Groups

The recent development of the lay groups of Marianists in Korea began when Brother Timothy Kim struck up a conversation on the bus with Veronica Kwan, a woman who rode the same bus everyday after Mass at Seokyo Dong Parish. Brother Timothy talked with her about Marianist Lay Communities and through her the idea was shared with other women. These women studied Marianist spirituality for a year as aspirants. All of the Brothers in the Seoul Community took an active role in their formation. They took the name "Bordeaux Community" and made their Consecration on March 18, 1990.

Soon another a group of five couples from the local parish expressed an interest and they too made a year of initial formation. They made their Consecration on October 14, 1990, took the name "Saragossa Community."

Meanwhile, in Inchon the Marianist Sisters had a Bible Study Group, they eventually decided that they too wanted to be lay Marianists took the name "Our Lady of the Pillar."

The groups in Seoul and Inchon continue to develop with yearly Consecration ceremonies; November in Inchon, and February in Seoul. At the present time (1993) there are 7 Marianist Lay Communities in Seoul ("Bordeaux", "Saragossa", "Adele", "Madeleine", "Lamourous", "Stabat Mater" and "Our Lady of Light") with a total membership of approximately 58.

In Inchon, the Marianist Sisters work with a wide variety of groups with a total membership of about 85. Also in Inchon, our Brothers at the Chaminade Retreat House are working with 3 groups ("Mussidan", "Minet" and "Fathers Group").

Marianist Lay Communities

In the past we used to refer to these groups as the "Family of Mary." The term "Marianist Lay Communities" is now used in accord with the first international meeting of lay Marianists in Santiago, Chile, last February. We now use the acronym MLC for these groups.

In-order to-maintain their identity as Marianists and yet distinguish them from the religious in the Family of Mary, a new badge has been, designed for them which incorporates the Marianist Cross in a distinctive style. They and they receive this badge when they begin their aspirancy.

They also receive the MLC Rule of Life at this time as well in order to learn more about the community they are entering. The Rule of Life, which is based on one followed by the MLC in France, has been adapted for Korea and was recently approved by the MLC Board. At the time of their Consecration the Marianist Laity receive a Marianist Cross to wear around their neck.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Maui Korean MLC

Sang Joon Thomas Park (박상준 또마스) made his first vows on January 1 1989.

"In 1993, Bros. Thomas Park and Timothy Kim went to Hawaii to join the Marianist Center Community in Honolulu. For a time, they took English lessons at the University of Hawaii. Soon they began to minister to the Korean Catholic community on Maui."

"Thomas Park helped to organize a Korean Family of Mary group. Beginning with only a handfull of people, there are now (1993) twenty-five members including several married couples. The group has developed an active formation and recruitment program, and have established ties with Family of Mary groups in Seoul. The Seoul Family of Mary Center has been supportive of the Maui group with both financial help and Marianist literature in Korean"

"The lay director of the Maui Family of Mary is Ms. Teresa Lee. She is the cousin of Brother Thomas and has been in the U.S. for almost twenty years and brings a great deal of energy and talent to her work in organizing this group of lay Marianists."

Provincial Timothy Eden - PAC November 15, 1993.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Building the Family of Mary

The Korean Marianist National Board celebrated the consecration of 12 new candidates on February 5 2006 in Seoul. In preparation for this ceremony, Bro. John Ko (Region of Korea) has spent the last several months mentoring the candidates on the characteristics of lay Marianists. (FamilyOnline Volume 5, Number 7 April 4, 2006)

Provincial Tim Eden's Visit

"During the last three years the growth of the Society of Mary in Korea has gone hand in hand with the development of the lay Family of Mary groups. My own experience with these groups began at Christmas in 1989 when I made my first visit to Korea. At that time, about a year after the first group began, there were three groups of women meeting regularly at the Seoul Formation Community."

"Under the direction of the newly professed brothers, and with the support of Bro. Dennis Schmitz and Fr. Francis Chang, a program of formation for Sodalists was developed... Today (1991) there are thirteen lay Family of Mary groups with a total membership of over one hundred and thirty people. ...there is a lay group associated with the community living at the Chaminade Retreat House in Inchon and with the Daughters of Mary, as well as the groups that have grown up around the new community in Seoul."

"The the overall direction of the several groups is coordinated through a board made up of representatives from the lay groups, the Marianists and the Daughters of Mary. The President of the board is an elected lay member, and the board itself is structured with the three offices."

In the foreground on the right is the updated 2006 Seoul Formation Building. In the back is a view of the 1991 Family of Mary building mentioned by Fr. Eden.

Perhaps the most impressive step the Korean District has taken in its commitment to the growth of the lay Family of Mary is in the building project completed just last Fall. A large, three-story building with offices, a number of meeting rooms, dining facilities, large chapel and a community residence for as many as nine Marianists was built on an unused portion of our property in Seoul. The main purpose of the building was to provide a center and headquarters for the growth of the Family of Mary, and there is seldom a day when one or several of the groups is not using the office and meeting facilities...

Provincial Tim Eden visit to Korea report. (PAC March 1 1992)

Sale of Property

By 2007 the local open market had expanded to fill the streets around the property. The property was too small and was sold to the government. I assume the Korean Community used space in Incheon until an interim property was purchased.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father Leonard Thome



"Bro. Bill Campbell and I had arrived in Mokpo, South Korea, on the evening of January 14. In that city (Mokpo) where Father Len had lived and ministered for 18 years, we received the news of his death on the morning of January 15. For the week that I stayed there we were surrounded by reminders of who he was and what he had done: by the people, places and things that were familiar to him and that had played an important role in his life."

"Close by the entrance of our school property in Mokpo is the tiny brick building he and the other first Marianists in Korea lived in for years. Of garage dimensions, that building, unimaginable as a residence, is now used for storage by the school's tennis team. There too, of course, are the high school and the present Marianist residence and other campus facilities - all buildings Father Len had seen and lived with from the ground up."

"More important though, were the living reminders of his life. Three of the Brothers in the community - Brothers Beda Ahn, Pedro Shin and John Ko - had known him and lived with him. There are lay teachers from the school who had worked with him, Columban and Seton Sisters for whose communities he had been the confessor for many years and, of course, many former students. From those who heard of his death there was always an expression of sadness at his loss and a memory: a kind man they said, a good priest. A man who had it hard here because the language was never easy for him, even after 18 years. But still he served, they said, and - a good priest! A good Marianist! ..."

(Provincial Timothy Eden, PAC February 15 1991)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

First Canonical Family of Mary Group

Bro. Dennis Schmitz arrived in Korea on August 24 1983 to begin his missionary experience in Korea. By that time the youth sodalities other lay groups which used to operate out of the Seoul Community had pretty much disappeared. Fr. Augustine Song and Dominic Lee had begun to build up groups of adults but these groups did not survive. With the guidance of Dennis, Timothy Kim began the system of Family of Mary groups which continued to multiply. Dennis completed his assignment in Korea and returned to the Province on June 11, 1995.


See a clearer post on Canon Law and Marianist Lay Communities

News from Dennis

"October 1989 was a busy month for the Brothers in Korea. Francis Chang and Dennis Schmitz went to India for a meeting of Marianist formators from East Africa, Austria, India, and of course, Korea. The meeting was very inspirational and hope-filled. Although we all work in different cultures, the unity and commonality were very impressive and hopes are high for continued contacts...."

"Many of the Brothers got together to celebrate our Foundation day, October 2. The temporary professed Brothers gathered at Chaminade Retreat House to work together on plans for their continuing formation. They also attended a special 60th birthday party for Sr. Assumpta Takao, one of the Japanese Marianist Sisters who founded the Sisters in Korea...."

"On the Marianist World Day of Prayer, October 15 1989, the Seoul Community hosted a joint retreat including the first group of Family of Mary "novices", and a new group of Lay "pre-novices". At the end of the day, at a Mass offered by Fr. Augustine, the "pre-novices" made their noviciate promisses."

"The Family of Mary "novitiate" is a year long program for those people wishing to join the Family of Mary. During this year they come regularly to the Seoul Community for formation in the spirituality of Fr. Chaminade. Conferences are given by several Marianists so that the groups don't become identified with any single individual. At the end of their novitiate year, the "novices" make their consecration to Mary and from then on meetings will take place mostly in private homes." (PAC November 15 1989 - Dennis Schmitz)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

District and Regional Superiors

Read photos left to right. Bro. Vianney Ahn and Fr. Augustine Song.

The first District Superior of Korea was Fr. James Mifsud (1976). Jim Had planned to leave Korea in 1980 so the Koreans could take over the District. Before Jim left Korea (December 9 1980) Bro. Vianney Ahn (안병초) took office as the second Korean District Superior.(December 7 1980). His First Vows were taken on January 22, 1973; He took final vows on January 2, 1977.

When Augustine Song (송병섭) came to the Society he was already ordained Deacon. He took first vows in 1978 and final vows December 8 1979 (PAC). He was ordained to the priesthood on January 22 1980. (Feb 15 PAC) He was the third District Superior. (Dec 15, 1986-December 1989 - PAC Jan 15, 1990).

Francis Chang (장회성) Made first vows on Dec 8 1978. Fr. Francis Chang was ordained to the priesthood in Queen of Apostles Church San Jose by Most Rev. Daniel Walsh, Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco on July 7, 1985 (PAC). Fr. Provincial John Bolin arrived in Seoul Dec. 21, 1989 for three and a half weeks in part to attend the 6-day Korea District Council. It is quite clear that Francis was made District Superior on January 22nd 1990 (Chaminade Day).

John Ko (고진배) took first vows on Dec. 8 1978. He became Fifth District Superior (Feb. 2, 2993-June 1994 and First Dependent Regional Superior (June 1449 - May 25 2000). The Korean District became a Dependent Region on May 15 1995. (Dependent to the Pacific Province USA)

Bro. Matthew Woo (우상선) made his first vows on Aug. 12 1979. He took office as Second Korean Dependent Regional Superior on May 25 2000. (PAC May 15 2000)

Timothy Kim (김때오) Made his profession of first vows at the Chaminade Retreat House in Inchon on Jan. 22 1988. Fr. Timothy Kim took on the task of Independent Regional Superior on May 15 2005 (FamilyOnLine May 24 2005) On May 15 2005 The District of Korea became the independent Region of Korea. Pascal Lee became Regional Superior. The result was the Region was no longer dependent on the Province of the United States but was a free Region accountable to the General Administration in Rome.

Pascal Lee (이홍영 파스칼) made his first profession of vows on January 22 1989, Chaminade Day (PAC Feb. 15 1989), and final vows on February 2 1993. (PAC Dec. 1 1993). He was ordained to the priesthood in 1997. He was Regional Superior for 2 terms.

Francis Chang (장회성) was appointed Independent Regional Superior in December 2011. (Via Latina December 2011)

Chaminade Retreat House

Chaminade Retreat House on dedication day

Korean Retreat House Dedication

Provincial John Bolin and Fr. Jack Russi (Office of Zeal) made a special trip to Korea to be present at the dedication of the new Chaminade Retreat House in Inchon. Archbishop Francisco Monteresi, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Korea, presided at the blessing. Present also were Bro. Alfred Aigner, Provincial of Austria, our Marianist Sisters, representatives of many religious congregations and many lay groups of the Family of Mary. (PAC October 15 1984)

Building Details

The Chaminade Retreat House has Five stories plus a basement. There are 72 rooms: Eight rooms hold 10 students each. Sixty rooms accomodate two people. There are four staff rooms. The Pacific Province donated over $1,000,000 for construction and other costs. Other donors were the Provinces of Cincinatti, New York, Japan, Austria and more. (PAC September 15 1984)

To the left is a photo of a retreat for women held at the Chaminade Retreat Center in 1984. Fr. Augustine Song is seated at the center of the first row.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pope's Visit to Korea

The Marianist Korean District gathered in Seoul on the weekend of May 5-6 1984 to take part in the Pope's visit. A special meeting with the Pope John Paul II was held on May fifth in the gymnasium at Sogang University. By 3:30 pm the religious and clergy began waiting for the Pontiff's 7:30 pm arrival. Distict superior Bro. Vianney Ahn and two other religious presented gifts for the Pope during the meeting.

On May 6 the Marianists left the house at 5:30 am for the Yoido Plaza. The Marianists, along with other religious and clergy had reserved seats. Everyone in the crowd of over 1,000,000 people had a Korean and a Vatican flag - When the Pope arrived there were 2,000,000 flags waving.

During the four and a half hour Mass, the Pope proclaimed in Latin the 103 Korean Martyrs as saints. (PAC June 1 1984)

Korea Times Photo

Friday, June 1, 2012

1978 Provincial Visit

Provincial Fr. Joseph Stefanelli made an official visit to the Korean District, March 8-15, 1978. The report on this visit was published in PAC of May 1, 1978 Vol. V, No. 17. Below are facts from the report I found interesting.

Composition Of Communities

Seoul Formation Community: Nine residents including District Superior Fr. James Mifsud, Bros. Eugene Frank, Augustine Song. Novices; Beda Ahn, Francis Chang, John Ko and Candidate Matthew Ooh.

A large amount of Marianist documents have been translated from English to Korean. Each year More translated items are produced.

All of the members of this community are engaged in some form of apostolate outside the community. Hyo Song Hagwan is particularly impressive.

Mokpo School Community: Six residents: Bros. Vianney Ahn (Director), Joseph Gossenreiter (School Principal) Dominic Lee, Paul Nomi, Peter Shin and Fr. Leonard Thome.

Some Future Plans

At the time of this Provincial report the plan for District Leadership was to be turned over to the Koreans in 1980. This plan was carried out when Bro. Vianney became the District Superior on December 7 1980.