Priests’ Workshop for Developing Small Christian Communities in Korea

By CBCK News

The Catholic Pastoral Institute of Korea (CPIK) whose Director is Bishop Peter Kang U-il, the Bishop of Cheju) held a “Priests’ Workshop for Developing SCCs in Korea” at the auditorium of the Catholic Conference of Korea in Seoul, South Korea from June 17 to 19, 2013.

The CPIK prepared this workshop as one effort to present a concrete model for SCCs (Small Christian Communities) in the Church in Korea pointing out the facts that the movement of SCCs has not been received well accepted in various pastoral fields and that the revitalization of SCCs is desperately needed on the diocesan level.

This workshop was an occasion to objectively look at the problems and limits of the pastoral care of SCCs in the Catholic Church in Korea with a discussion on its concrete possibilities and visions. Especially for this workshop, CPIK invited the diocesan priests who have studied and practiced the pastoral care of SCCs in their dioceses. 23 priests from nine dioceses participated in this workshop, exchanged their opinions and discussed the pastoral care of SCCs more profoundly. Themes were ‘Pastoral Vision, Challenges and SCCs,”, “What is SCCs-centered Pastoral Care?’ and ‘Is it Possible to Realize the Pastoral Care of SCCs in the Church in Korea?’

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Rev. Francis Kang Sin-mo, the Director of Mission Ministry Department in Diocese of Uijeongbu, in his keynote presentation regarding pastoral vision and challenges said: “In order to fully promote the movement of the SCCs in the Church in Korea, there should be first a deep reflection on the necessity for pastoral vision with the sharing of opinions.” He added: “First of all it is necessary for the diocesan priests to meet with the diocesan bishop for reflecting on the pastoral vision.”

Rev. Bartholomew Jun Won, Pastor of Jekidong Parish, Seoul said in his presentation: “The question of ‘Is it possible to realize the pastoral care of SCCs in the Church in Korea?’ sounds like an appeal for changing the paradigm of the Church in Korea, turning away from the long clericalism and secularism.” He stressed that “we should consider the SCCs not as a solution that brings us some pastoral effectiveness, but as a pastoral vision for the local Church which realizes the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.” He added: “When the Catholic Church has a clear awareness of the pastoral vision for the way to go, the pastors can have the same direction and go forward to it together, although their respective capacities and approaches are different from each other.”

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