• Outline of Visit
  • The 6th Asian Youth Day
  • Overview of Beatification
  • Lives of the 124 Korean Martyrs
  • Mass for Peace and Reconciliation
  • Places will be visited by the Holy Father
HOME > Pilgrimage > Places will be visited by the Holy Father > Kkottongne
Walk in the light of the Lord.(Isaiah 2,5)

Kkottongne (Flower Village)

About Diocese of Cheongju
Cheongju diocese is situated at the center of South Korea. Catholicism was first introduced to Korea in 1784 and was spread to North Chungcheong Province, where the diocese of Cheongju is located, in the following year. There are three martyrs from this region out of 103 Korean martyrs canonized back in 1984: St. Joseph Chang Chugi, St. John Nam Jongsam, St. Luke Hwang Sok-tu. Among 124 martyrs for beatification this year, 13 are from Cheongju.
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers had been entrusted to serve the diocese in 1953, which was designated as an apostolic vicariate on June 23, 1958. In 1962, the Cheongju apostolic vicariate became an official diocese with the hierarchical constitution of the church established in Korea. Bishop Gabriel Chang Bong-hun is now in charge of Cheongju as the third Bishop of the diocese.
As of 2014, the Cheongju diocese has 76 parishes and around 158,000 Catholics with 179 priests and 60 seminarians. It has become a diocese operating two high schools, one middle school and three special-education schools along with one general hospital and over 50 social welfare facilities. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of its establishment, it opened the first synod (2005 to 2008) and is marching toward the centennial.

Kkottongne (Flower Village)
Kkottongne was launched in 1976 by Fr. Oh Woong Jin who was inspired to build this “House of Love” after seeing one beggar, Mr. Choi Gwi Dong (passed away in 1990), feeding other 18 sick beggars by begging for food despite his physical disability. Mr. Choi led Fr. Oh to realize that “It is the blessing of the Lord if you have only the strength to beg for food.”
The village, which began under the dream of “the world where no one is left out,” is the biggest general welfare facility run by the Korean Catholic Church as well as a representative welfare center in Korea. Taking care of its residents from cradle to grave, Kkottongne serves those who have little strength to get by such as the homeless, the disabled and alcoholics. Initiated from the Umseong center, the village was expanded into Gapyeong and Ganghwado, accommodating some 5,000 underprivileged and ill people. It went further to open Kkottongne in overseas countries such as Bangladesh, the Philippines, Uganda, Haiti, India, Canada and the US to help those in need.
Its training Institute of Love (established in 1986) is a place where 200,000 to 300,000 visitors including students, workers and men and women in uniform are taught the dignity of life, family and society, and true happiness of the nation and humanity.
Kkottongne is operated through donations of members and government subsidy. At the initial stage, the village was solely run by sponsor members’ donation money. Today about 110,000 out of 1 million members are sending money on a monthly basis with the remaining operation budget subsidized by the government. It is also operated through the dedication and devoted efforts of Kkottongne Sisters of Jesus (211 members), Kkottongne Brothers of Jesus (65 members) and other 1,000 volunteers.

Meeting with Children with Disability
According to the Ministry of Welfare and Health report published in 2012, the number of disabled people in Korea stands at around 2.51 million, out of which the number of children aged 11 or below reaches 42,000. In Kkottongne, there is an adoption center named “Angel House.” Angel House was established to care for abandoned infants and babies born by single mothers and help them to be adopted by Korean families. The village is also operating a school called “Kkottongne School” which is equipped with a center for disabled children. Children, who are unwanted by any family due to their disability at birth, are educated and looked after at the school where 121 disabled kids are studying at present.
The House of Hope is a welfare facility for the disabled who are abandoned from families and the society because of their disability and have no one to rely on and no strength to beg for food. A variety of services and programs are provided to improve their ability to do basic activities for daily life and help mental & social rehabilitation. Severely disabled persons are living as one family at this facility.

Significance of the Pope’s Visit to Disabled Children
The life of Jesus was filled with love and dedication to the poorest of the poor and the underprivileged, especially people suffering from physical pain and handicap such as stroke and leprosy. Thus, people who follow the life of Jesus are true Christians. Priests, sisters and numerous volunteers at the village are living the life of love, devotion and sharing by sacrificing themselves for the disabled who suffer from discrimination and pain.
The Pope’s visit to children with disability will contribute to addressing the bias of the Korean society toward the disabled persons. It is safe to say that children with disability were abandoned twice: one by their own parents and the other by the society due to the social sentiment where people are reluctant to adopt disabled children. Pope’s meeting with disabled kids can serve as an opportunity to show Catholic Church’s love towards the disabled and help change people’s mindset about children with disability.

Meeting with the Religious
A religious refers to a member of a religious order who makes public vows to three evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience and lives in community in accordance with the constitutions of the order. As of the end of 2012, the total number of the Korean Catholic religious is 11,796. Please see the below for details.
Male Female Total
No. of
No. of
No. of
No. of
No. of
No. of
Organizations established by the Vatican 30 1,030 70 6,134 100 7,164
Organizations established by dioceses 7 346 32 3,931 39 4,277
Secular institute     5 55 5 55
Society of apostolic life 9 193 4 47 13 240
Total 46 1,569 111 10,227 157 11,796

There exist four religious orders built by Cheongju diocese including Kkottongne Brothers of Jesus and Kkottongne Sisters of Jesus, both of which were founded to serve poor, sick and underprivileged people. The other two are Brothers/Sisters St. Luke Hwang Sok-tu Mission Society which seek to protect human life and evangelize people in Asia. It will be a tremendous honor and happiness for the religious if they are given a chance to meet the Pope during his visit to Korea.

Meeting with Lay Apostolate
Catholic began in Korea with lay people’s quest for truth (the Korean Catholic Church was first established with the baptism of Peter Yi Seung Hoon in 1784). The laity devoted themselves to attracting more priests to Korea, devoting their lives to proving the truth of the Church and survived 100 years of severe persecution.
Today Catholic Lay Apostolate Council of (founded on July 23, 1968) is actively pursuing its mission of leading non-believers to the faith and embodying the teachings of the Church in 16 dioceses with 27 authorized branches operated in Korea nationwide.
The Pope’s meeting with the lay faithful will be as an ample opportunity to encourage the laity, who are at the heart of the Catholic Church, to actively preach the gospel in the region and spread Catholicism to North Korea.