On February 1 and 2, Seoul, South Korea, recently ordained a total of 16 priests and 25 deacons.
Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taek led the ordination ceremony at the Myeongdong Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Seoul.
The website of the Archdiocese of Seoul informs us that “deacons and priests who are selected as clergy through the sacrament of holy orders have the duties of proclaiming the Gospel, administering the sacraments, and serving the Church as collaborators of the bishop.”
Before their ordination, the 21 deacons had completed their formation at the archdiocesan seminary, with one of them having trained at the Redemptorist Mater Seminary, another belonging to the Missionaries of the Word, and two being Dominicans.
The theme of the revered ordination ceremony of the priests and deacons was “Let innocence and uprightness preserve me; I wait for you, O Lord.”
One of the ordained deacons, Rev. Hwang Jun-ho, said that “this verse from David’s psalm contains the prayer of a person who responds to God’s call and advances toward Him.”
He added that “as a priest who is an instrument of God, there may be times in life when you wander and falter due to external and internal temptations and trials.”
Even with human frailty, Rev. Jun-ho affirmed in his statement that he chose this verse with the hope that they will be able to overcome these difficulties with “innocence and uprightness and stand before God on the last day as a righteous priest who resembles Jesus.”
South Korea has a population of 52.6 million individuals. Only 11% of this population represents Catholics, and the majority of the citizens identify themselves as non-religious.
According to a Catholic news agency, the Vatican News Fides, this country has more than 5,700 priests and 1,784 parishes.
In the Archdiocese of Seoul, the number of priests goes from 969 to 985 after ordination. By ordaining the 25 deacons as priests, the number of priests in the Archdiocese of Seoul would increase to 1,010, with none of them being reported as permanent deacons.
The Archdiocese of Seoul will soon host the World Youth Day in 2027. Pope Francis previously visited Youth Korea during an apostolic journey for the sixth Asian Youth Day from August 13 to 18, 2014.
The last World Youth Day held in Asia was in the Philippines in 1995; after three decades, it goes back again to Asia.- Leahna Villajos
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.