The Suwon Diocese of the Catholic Church in South Korea will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its foundation on Friday.
The upcoming ceremony and commemoration mass will commence at 10 a.m. at Suwon World Cup Stadium, about 45 kilometers from Seoul.
Some 45,000 members of the diocese are expected to participate in the ceremony to be held under the theme “To the Land of Hope, to the Gospel.”
|Cardinal Fernando Filoni (left) and Bishop Mathias Ri Iong-hoon|
The ceremony will host top-ranking church individuals including current Apostolic Nuncio to Korea Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla and the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples Cardinal Fernando Filoni, along with bishops of the South Korean arm of the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Filoni, who is on a weeklong visit to South Korea that kicked off Monday, will deliver a congratulatory speech at the mass.
On Friday, he will visit the Shrine of Chonjinam in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, which is considered the birthplace of the Catholic Church in the country. There, he will pay respect at the tomb of the “Five Forefathers of Belief,” the earliest followers of Catholicism in Korea. The Suwon Diocese, headed by Bishop Mathias Ri Long-hoon, has been working to persuade the church to declare them as saints.
Local politicians such as Culture Minister Yoo Jin-ryong and Gyeonggi Governor Kim Moon-soo are set to attend the ceremony, as will delegates from other religious organizations including Ven. Jungho of Yongjoosa Temple, and Rev. Hong Jae-chul of the Christian Council of Korea.
Congratulatory messages from President Park Geun-hye and Pope Francis will be read by Minister Yoo and Archbishop Padilla, respectively.
By Yoon Min-sik (email@example.com)