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[Contribution] Farewell message from Vatican envoyBy Korea Herald
Published : June 20, 2023 - 14:33
Life in Korea offered me an appropriate opportunity to express to people I met here, sentiments of deep gratitude for the diligent cooperation that was offered to me during my office as representative of the supreme pontiff in Korea and Mongolia over these last five years.
Support from the bishops in Korea and their constant proximity has been of great support for me to best carry out the task that the holy father, Pope Francis, entrusted to me.
I will leave Korea with sadness because I have to say goodbye to the wonderful people and the friendships that I have had the joy of appreciating over these past years. When I arrived in Korea, on May 27, 2018, I did not know anyone, but it did not take me that long to make rewarding acquaintances with many Koreans, who kindly welcomed me with esteem and affection.
For my part, I tried, so to speak, to “Koreanize” myself as much as possible, to get in tune with a culture and traditions so different from mine. This allowed me to admire the vast and rich heritage that Korea has to offer which, in turn, was instrumental in cultivating the deep esteem which I will carry with me with great affection towards the Korean people. Indeed, I myself am forever enriched with the cultural and social values gained during my time here in Korea.
I would like to particularly express my heartfelt thanks for the Korean people's invaluable collaboration.
The contribution of the local bishops in Korea is very precious and is essential for the holy father to formulate a broad and detailed vision of the state of the diocese to enable him to properly evaluate, with due care, the candidates that are proposed to him.
As a fruit of this important assistance, I have the pleasure of offering a list of the names of the new bishops who have been appointed by the pope for the several dioceses in Korea and for the apostolic prefecture in Mongolia during these last five years: the bishop of Chuncheon, of the military ordinariate, two bishops for Daejeon diocese, Gwangju, Seoul, Cheongju, the canonical installation of the bishop of Busan and the appointment of the auxiliary bishop, Jeju, with the canonical installation of the bishop, the apostolic prefecture of Ulaanbaatar, with the appointment of the bishop apostolic prefect.
On a personal note, I am pleased to share the satisfaction of having seen the church in Korea enroll several new members with the administration of the sacrament of baptism among whom are a number of children and a few adults. I was gratified and humbled to learn from the latter that my modest and unassuming testimony helped them in maturing their decision to join the Catholic Church community.
In this brief message, I highlight the admirable generosity that the Catholic Church in Korea demonstrates by its conspicuous offerings to St. Peter’s Pence, as well as for the needs of the Holy Land, and the contributions established by canon 1271 of the Code of Canon Law.
I wish to reiterate Pope Francis’ heartfelt appreciation for this exemplary and concrete manifestation of missionary solidarity! The generous donations sent from Korea to the successor of Peter helped immeasurably with the distribution of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.
Let me assure you that wherever the holy father will ask me to serve the church, this extraordinarily significant experience in Korea and Mongolia will accompany me and assist me in my appointed mission.
I will never forget the wonderful people I have had the privilege to become acquainted with in Korea, who have helped me deepen my faith and progress on the path of holiness.
I also wish to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation to members of the diplomatic corps for their cooperation and for the excellent relations, both personal and official, which have so happily existed between the Holy See and respective countries.
In wishing you an ever-fruitful work, I entrust you the blessed Virgin Mary, queen of peace, and patroness of Korea, and I leave you with sentiments of warm cordiality.
Thank you with all my heart!
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Alfred Xuereb was Vatican ambassador to Korea. He completed his diplomatic tour of duty in Korea and Mongolia on June 19, 2023. – Ed.
Articles by Korea Herald
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