ASIA-OCEANIAKOREA - 20th Anniversary of the mission
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Oblate presence in Korea, the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, presided at a Mass and preached the following homily:
I wish to thank Fr. James Jeyachandran (Mission Superior) and the OMI community for inviting me to be with you today, as we thank God for the blessings of 20 years of apostolic work in Korea. I have personal sentiments of brotherhood with the OMI community.
As you know ,I have had close contacts of work and friendship with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Sri Lanka – where I was for 4 years Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature and from 1995-1999, Nuncio. It was there that I have come to know of your works of evangelization, and thanks to the missionary zeal of the OMI, the Church in Sri Lanka has progressed and continues to grown even today.
I have come to know Thomas Cardinal Cooray, then Archbishop of Colombo, and I admired his humility, pastoral zeal and devotion and loyalty to the Holy See. I also knew the late Archbishop Marcello Zago – and his love for the missions. Also the then Bishop of Jaffna, Emilianus PILLAI, - know for his wisdom and holiness – and many other Oblate priests in the course of the years. I know you have the same spirit of all those famous missionaries in Sri Lanka – and I know that in Korea, you are showing the same zeal and love for the Church Congratulations on your 20th anniversary here in Korea. May God continue to bless you work with the many spiritual consolations that only a missionary can have for the good of the Kingdom.
Today is also the feast of your founder, Saint Eugene de Mazenod. Maybe your works can identify you with him and his life. We know he was of a migrant family himself, having to flee France because of the political and economic crisis at his time. He and his family witnessed loss of their material possessions and lived a hard life – and had to work hard in Italy to gain a decent living. Returning to France, after he worked with zeal and total dedication for the poor and the abandoned, and as Bishop and Superior General, he sought for himself and his members the perfection that can come only from identifying himself with Christ in the person of the poor. Eugene insisted on deep spiritual formation and a close community life. He was a man who loved Christ with passion and was always ready to take on any apostolate if he saw it answering the needs of the Church. The “glory of God, the good of the Church and the sanctification of souls” were impelling forces for him.
Today’s gospel from St. Luke is practically the Magna Carta of the ideals of Eugene de Mazenod and summarizes the apostolate of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate: “The Lord has anointed us to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free and to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.”
Like our Lord, we try to realize the words of Isaiah in our missionary endeavors. Our mission is evangelization of the poor in a globalized world. I therefore unite myself spiritually with you in Korea - as you work to feed the homeless, give shelter to abandoned children, give material and spiritual consolation to the migrant workers, attend to the sick, and at the same time strengthen yourself with the spirituality that unites us to Christ – for whatever we do to one of these – we do them to Christ. The face of Christ is made manifest in these works.
Dear Fathers, the Church appreciates your willingness and concern to answer the Lord’s call wherever you are sent and to put yourselves at the service of the local Churches, despite your limited means and small number here in Korea. I am sure that your missionary zeal will bear many fruits for the glory of God.
God bless you always. I give to all the blessings of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
The delegation council agreed to fund the full cost for a fifth China Little Flower group-home.
This will serves as a family environment for five to six physically-challenged abandoned children, offering basic education for the children, salaries for the “foster parents”, etc.
Currently China Little Flower has an intensive care unit for 25 abandoned infants and has four group homes (foster homes) for 24 handicapped orphans. With the addition of the fifth home, the number of older children being served will reach approximately thirty. Foster parents are currently being interviewed and the new home will open in August of 2010.