From the Pastor
24th Sunday in
Ordinary Time – A
Sept. 17, 2017
Unlike almost everywhere else, the establishment of Catholicism in the present-day USA was easy. Only a handful of missionaries, all clergy, were martyred; while lay Catholics faced discrimination, rejection and even violence until recent times, there were no mass persecutions or executions of Catholics here. But this was FAR from the case in Korea!
It seems Christianity was brought to Korea by invading Japanese soldiers in 1592. Korea had little contact with the ‘outside’ world [like North Korea today], but around 1777, Christian literature was smuggled in and ‘home’ churches began to grow. When the first Priest managed to sneak into Korea around 1790, he found 4,000 Catholics who had never met a Priest! Seven years later there were 10,000 Catholics; but after six main waves of violent persecutions led by the government during the 1880’s, 10,000 martyrs had shed their blood for the faith. Why were the then Father
Andrew Kim Tae-gon and Layman Paul Chong Ha-sang chosen to represent them all? Read on …
Collect – Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon & Companions
O God, who have been pleased to increase
your adopted children in all the world,
and who made the blood of the Martyrs
Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon and his companions
a most fruitful seed of Christians,
grant that we may be defended by their help
and profit always from their example.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.
MARTYRS: THE SEEDS OF CHRISTIANS.
Born August 21, 1821, Andrew
was only 18 when his father, Ignatius Kim, [beatified in 1925] was executed for being Catholic; Andrew
was 1,500 miles away in a seminary, but courageously returned in secret to Korea after Ordination in 1854: the first native born Korean Priest. A year later, he was arrested for mapping routes for missionary Priests to sneak into Korea. On September 16, 1846, at just 25, he was brutally tortured and beheaded. The Bishop who ordained him, who was the first Bishop of Korea and a French missionary, requested the honor of being buried next to Andrew Kim Tae-gon.
Layman Paul Chong Ha-sang’s father was also martyred in the 1801 persecution that killed all Korean Christian clergy. Born in 1794, he inspired his fellow Christians to persevere, even with no priestly shepherds or Sacraments. As a servant in Korea’s diplomatic corps, he asked the Bishop of Beijing to send Priests to Korea; after he pleaded Korea’s cause in Rome, Pope Gregory X recognized the Korean Diocese’s legitimacy; he defended Christianity to his own government in defense of Christianity, and was tortured and executed on September 22, 1839. Saints
Andrew and Paul, honored on
September 20, are certainly great examples to follow!
Prayer over the Offerings – St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon
Look with favor, almighty God,
on the offerings of your people and,
through the intercession of the blessed Martyrs,
grant that we ourselves may become
a sacrifice acceptable to you
for the salvation of all the world.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
THINGS KNOWN ONLY TO GOD.
When Pope Saint John Paul visited Korea in 1984, he canonized 100 Koreans
and 3 French missionaries; some were Bishops or Priests, but most were Lay people: 47 women, 45 men. As he said at the Rite: “The Korean Church is unique because it was founded entirely by lay people … even today their undying spirit sustains the Christians of the Church of Silence in the north of this tragically divided land.” May we never take our freedom to worship for granted!
Prayer after Communion – St. Andrew Kim Tae-gon
Nourished with the food of the valiant
as we celebrate the blessed Martyrs,
we humbly ask you, O Lord,
that, clinging faithfully to Christ, we may labor in the Church for the salvation of all.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
DO WE CHERISH THE EUCHARIST?
The Church in Korea LONGED for the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist; are we as appreciative of and overjoyed to celebrate them so freely and regularly? Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Paul Chong Ha-sang and Companions, pray for us.
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS