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Migration issue marks Prior General's last canonical visit to Korea

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

At the beginning of June, the Prior General of the Order and the Assistant General visited the Delegation of Korea. Fr. Alejandro, together with the Assistant General, Fr. Anthony Banks, were able to get to know the work that the Augustinians are doing with Filipino immigrants assisted by the parish Caritas charity, a recurring theme that would occupy a good part of the work and conversations during this canonical visitation

During his stay in the monastery and retreat house of Yeonchon, Father General was able to speak at length with the seven friars there, and discover for himself how Augustinian life is in the Asian country.

On Wednesday 7th June, the Prior General visited the Archbishop of Seoul, Msgr Peter Chung Soon-taick OCD (Discalced Carmelite). On Thursday, he met with the Bishop of Uijeongbu, Peter Lee Ki-heon, noting that Bishop Lee is “a pleasant and inquisitive man, eager for the union of the two Koreas because he was born in the North and still has relatives there."

On Friday, Fr Alejandro called on the Bishop of Incheon John Baptist Jung Shin-chul, where - as with his two brother bishops - the primary topic was immigration and the way in which the Augustinians in Korea can collaborate in this matter. "In fact, it was the same topic that we presented to the three bishops since it is difficult for us to have parishes, given that not all the brothers of the Delegation are priests and that normally the dioceses have an abundance of clergy and do not need the religious for this pastoral service", Fr Alejandro pointed out.

After a meeting with the delegate and secretary - Fathers John and Andrea - and the rest of the Delegation council, the Prior General attended the presentation of the project for the Ganghwa house which, as Fr Alejandro pointed out, "is already very dilapidated."

Next year, 2024, will mark the 40th anniversary of the Korean Delegation.



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