“Peace be with you”
Pope Francis to hold Mass of Reconciliation and Peace
18 August, Myung Dong Cathedral Church
To have 1000 invitees at Church
To have Mass with 700 practicians of Church at the church yard
Monday, 18 August, in the morning at Myung Dong Cathedral Church, Cathedra of Seoul Diocese, Pope Francis will hold ‘Mass of Reconciliation and Peace’. Approximately 1000 persons who are in need of peace and reconciliation, and those who endeavors towards it are invited to attend Mass. As well, the 700 practicians and employees from 16 national diocese churches, such as office managers and workers and more are invited. A large screen will be installed in front of Catholic Hall where lay persons can also attend the Mass.
□ Main attendees of the Mass
The main attendees of Mass who are invited by Committee of Papal Visit to Korea (Bishop Kang Woo Ill, President of Committee of Papal visit to Korea) are approx. 50 middle and high school students, 12 representatives of church families, 8 representatives of multicultural families, from Philippines and China. Committee of Papal Visit to Korea invited middle and high school students, for they are the future of church and society, and other attendees in order to emphasize the importance of family, where true peace and reconciliation begins.
Also, those who are in need of consolation are invited to Mass. The attendees include seven victims of enforced sex slavery for Japanese army (four recently added, can change), five North Korean defector, five DPRK abductee families, five persons from Committee of 150th year Commemoration of Goryeo Emigrants, 20 people with disabilities and their guardians and more. In addition are the residents of Mil-yang, residents of GangJeong town, victims of Yongsan Tragedy, families of fired workers of Ssang Yong Motors; three persons from each and 12 neighbors are invited. The victims of enforced sex slavery for Japanese army will be on wheel chairs for they are unable to move about freely.
Committee for Papal Visit to Korea will leave the front row of church vacant for the victims of sex slavery for Japanese army, for their better offering of Mass. Mrs. Lee Yong Soo, the victim of sex slavery for Japanese army, who will attend the Mass, stated, “I couldn’t sleep for past few days for I was filled with anticipation and I am only waiting for the Mass to start. I don’t know what I’m going to say to the Pope when I meet him. I just wish that I will get a chance to embrace him.”
CHOI, a North Korean defector, who refused to give name, stated, “I wish that through the visit of the Pope I will get to meet my family in North Korea soon. I hope that the Pope prays much for the unification of South and North Korea.” OH, a North Korean defector, stated, “Since the Pope is very popular in our society, people are filled with much anticipation and are putting a lot of meaning to every word the Pope speaks. If I get to meet the Pope, who comes to visit Korea as a priest, I wish to ask him to always remember the violated human rights of North Korean.”
30 priests and nuns and lay people, who are from North Korea are invited as well. “North Korean priests are mostly those who were seminary students during the war. They are from Pyong-Yang, Won-san, Ham-heung diocese. Priests, nuns and lay people are living here as displaced people,” stated Fr. Hur Yong-yup, the spokesperson of Committee of Papal Visit to Korea. Fr. Jang Gung-sun (Manager of Icon Research Institute of Seoul Diocese), from Pyung-yang diocese, who will be guiding displaced people stated, “Among them are nuns who are already more than 90 years old.”
Invitations from Committee of Papal Visit to Korea were also handed to those who are working for peace. They are 200 priests, who represent their own regional diocese; five persons from ‘Maryknoll Missioners’, who have founded the basis for Pyong-yang diocese; five persons from Caritas Korea, which is a window to foreign supports and is a contributor of Maryknoll Missioners in relation to North Korea; in total of 10 persons, police officers who work at the front line in keeping streets clean and the guards who looks after prisoners. Among the attendees of Mass is Director Kang Tae-gun, who was awarded with the ‘Medal Pro Ecclesia et Ponifice (For the Church and the Pope)’ by the Pope, for his 34 years of free medical treatments to the leper.
10 representatives from each legislative, judiciary and administrative bodies, who works for national peace, are also invited to pray together for “Reconciliation and Peace”.
12 leaders of other neighboring religions are invited as well. The Pope is scheduled to specially meet with the leaders before the start of the Mass on the first floor of Cultural Center of Myung Dong Cathedral.
□ Liturgy of the Mass
The Mass will be held with general procedure in the order of Opening prayer, homily and Liturgy of Eucharist. Ann Sung Ki John the Baptist, an actor, will read the First Reading. The Prayer of the faithful will be read out by lay people; they will pray for the world peace (Lee Ji Soo Rosa, high school student), for church(Cho Ki Yun Martino, Executive Vice President of Committee of laypeople), for disputed areas(Park Yung Sin Claudia, team manager of Caritas Korea), for those suffering from the separation of North and South Korea( Mother Oh Hye Jung Sbanya, Committee for the reconciliation of the Korean people, Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help), for those who are neglected and suffering from poverty ( Mun Joon Yung Gabriel, high school student).
□ A Symbolised Icon of Peace and Reconciliation
On this day, H.E.Card.Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul (and Apost. Adm. of Pyongyang) installs “A Symbolised Icon of Peace and Reconciliation” inside the church and dedicates it to the Pope as Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang. At a corner of the church, there will be “Our Lady of Fatima”, symbol of Cathedral of Pyongyang Diocese, and “The Crown of Thorns” which was made with a part of barbed-wire fence in the Military Demarcation Line under the statue of the Virgin Mary’s feet.
“Our Lady of Fatima” was installed to remember to pray for peace and harmony by Bishop Hong Yong-ho (the sixth Bishop of Pyongyang) with being dedicated to St. Mary the Holy Mother of Peace.
Our Lady of Fatima is known to appear at Fatima, Portugal and promote people to pray for conversion of Russia on May 1917. The Catholic Church recognizes that promise was kept 70 years after. The division of North and South Korea has been 70 years in the next year so H.E.Card.Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Archbishop of Seoul, specially decided to dedicate the Mass with dedicating “Our Lady of Fatima”. He always emphasized, “We want the North Korea to repent, not destruction.”
“The Crown of thorns” which will be installed under the statue of the St. Mary is the symbol of Jesus’ hardship. It was installed to remember our sadness and to pray together for our reconciliation and harmony. There is a phrase “Prayer for Our Reconciliation and Harmony” carved in Latin. In the middle of holder, there are “The Crown of Thorns” which is the symbol of Jesus’ hardship and made with a part of the Military Demarcation Line and a phrase “Ut unum sint(Please make us one),” on the middle of the prayer.
[Reference] Pyongyang Diocese
Pyongyang Diocese got started as prefecture apostolic which had jurisdiction over Pyongan Nam-Buk do since it was affiliated with Seoul Vicariate Apostolic on March 1927. On 1941, the Pacific War was broken out and priests and nuns of Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers were banished. Then, Korean priest’s organization and priests of Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help had jurisdiction over Pyongyang Diocese.
On 1944, Pyongyang had 21 churches and 117 secondary stations. A number of believers were about 26,400. On 1948, communist regime was established in North Korea and Pyongyang Diocese began to have hardship since its facilities were forfeited.
On 1949, all the priests and ascetics including Bishop Hong Yong-ho were arrested or missing. After Korean War, there were not any priests. Now, 19 priests and 7 nuns from Pyongyang Diocese are alive and 18 students are studying as students of Pyongyang Diocese. There are about twenty people from Seoul and ten people from Busan in the Catholic community of Pyongyang Diocese. The Mass is held for reconciliation and harmony of North Korea and South Korea once a month.