25th Anniversary in Korea
AND ORDINATION OF THREE OF OUR BROTHERS IN SEOUL (S.KOREA) – 8 November 2015
First, the commemoration of the 25th foundation anniversary of our Mission in Korea. It started with the showing of a video with original pictures of the beginnings of the Dominican presence in Korea, followed by other pictures featuring the growing process of the Mission. Then, the Prior Provincial, Fr Javier Gonzalez, was invited to address the assembly made up of more than four hundred people, most of them members of the Dominican Family. He pronounced some touching words in English which were simultaneously translated into Korean. “It is with great joy that I greet the Mission of Our Lady of the Rosary Province in South Korea on its 25th foundation anniversary. My warmest congratulations to all the members of the Province who worked here in the past and to those currently assigned in Korea, because with your preaching, faith and endurance have maintained alive this flourishing Mission that has a very promising future. I congratulate also the entire Dominican family in Korea: cloister nuns, Sisters, and Lay Dominicans because without you our friars would not have been today what they are nor can we speak of building up a future here without you. My gratitude and sincere thanks to all relatives, friends and benefactors here present who have made this miracle possible and continue to do it with your generous help, which only God can fairly reward. I thank to all of you who have come to Seoul to join our Korean brothers on this occasion and to the three ordinandi, in representation of your respective countries from Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Philippines, Vietnam and Timor Leste… And of course I congratulate the three brothers (Peter, Antonio and Andreas) who in a few moments will be ordained: What a better way to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of this Mission and the opening of the 800 Jubilee of the Dominican Order? Today indeed is a great day for our Mission in Korea, and also for the Province, for the Order and for the Church. May God bless you all!” The golden touch was placed by Fr Santiago Sáiz, guest of honor for the occasion as he –together with Fr Mariano, also present– was one of the pioneer founders of the Mission in Korea 25 years ago. His moving words, in Korean, were heard by the people with enthusiasm, wonder and an absolute silence that was only broken, as it could not be otherwise, at the end with a solemn Te Deum in thanksgiving to God the fount of all holiness and blessings.
The second part was the ordination ceremony of our Brothers Peter, Antonio and Andreas: the first two, as priests; the last one, as deacon. Everything was obviously in Korean, a language that those of us coming from outside understood quite well with the ears of faith. The preparation had been perfectly arranged by our Korean Dominicans, helped also by the seven postulants who are currently preparing themselves to go to the novitiate in a near future. With a slow rhythm and accompanied by a professional choir, the celebration went on as programmed beforehand: Introduction of the candidates, listening to the Word, lying of hands, litany of the Saints, chrismal unction, new vestments, welcome embraces, concelebration… the usual things in an ordination, but always new because one cannot get used to certain things, such as the abysm of generosity freely given to His ministers on their ordination day, surprising things to which one never gets used.
Our warmest congratulations to our newly ordained brothers and to the Mission of the Province in Korea.