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Asia Pacific Augistinian Conference

Order of St Augustine – Korea

Contact

E-mail: osakorea<at>hotmail.com

or write to
St Augustine's Priory,
Chameojeon-ro 72,
Beon-gil 11,
9-56 Chon Dong, Chung Gu,
Incheon 400-190
Republic of Korea

Click here for Website

Photo Gallery

OSA: Delegation of Korea

 

Who

Although the Augustinians, one of the pioneering missionary orders involved in the evangelisation in East Asia, have maintained an active presence in the region over a period of four hundred years, it was only in the mid-1980s that the Order came to take its place in the already well-established and active Korean Church.

When

The Augustinian Delegation of Korea was founded in 1985 as a result of a direct initiative of the Augustinian General Chapter, the main governing body of the Order, in 1983. Within two years of a commitment being made by The Provinces of Australia and England/Scotland to jointly sponsor the venture, the first community of four Augustinians was established in Korea at the invitation of the Diocese of Incheon. Personnel from the Philippines Province of Cebu collaborated in the Delegation from 1993 until April 2011. Currently there is one Australian Augustinian still serving in Korea.

The Delegation accepted its first Korean candidates in 1990 and still regards the task of training these first Korean-born Augustinians as a primary ministry. As of January 2014 eleven Korean Augustinians have now made their solemn profession in the Delegation, four of whom are non-clerical brothers, six are priests and one is still preparing for priesthood. As well, there are seven young men in initial formation, six of whom have completed novitiate and made their first profession of religious vows. We face the challenge of continuing to find vocations, perhaps by seeking apostolates in some nearby universities.

 

What

The delegation’s first major construction project provided its central house, located in Incheon City, in 1994. In 1998 the Delegation of Korea was proud to open and dedicate its second major building, on Kanghwa Island, near the city of Incheon, for the use of Augustinian students attending the nearby Incheon Diocesan Seminary.

The members of the Delegation have fostered an interest in the Order’s work and spirit among the lay people of the Korean church, through the formation of small groups of Lay Augustinians. These groups, six in all, support the Order with their prayers and assist with their time and energies in many ways.

May 2000 saw the realisation of a number of years of planning for a modest apostolate in the area of social welfare with the opening of a home in Incheon for a community of boys (from primary grades to the end of high school) deprived of the proper care and support of family.  In 2006 the Delegation developed an adjacent property to its central house in Incheon and opened St Rita's Hall in December of that year thus providing a suitable venue for Order celebrations and also serves as a lecture hall. 

In March 2005 three Augustinians moved into a small house, Mother of Good Counsel Priory, on the side of a steep mountain near the town of Yeonchon at the northern end of the new Diocese of Uijeongbu, north of Seoul.

This Priory was a place of prayer and retreats for individuals, small groups, and families, especially during the warmer summer months when some may wish to come and stay to pray and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery. After Incheon and Kanghwa, this new venue was the third community apostolate of the Augustinians in Korea.

The most recent development has been the sale of the small venture in Yeonchon and its replacement by a far larger project in the same district on a donated property - a mere 5 kilometers from the DMZ (demilitarised zone). It is a complex containing an Augustinian priory, novitiate, church / columbarium and a retreat house which when completed will be able to cater for up to forty “live in” retreatants. The columbarium is a Korean tradition for reverently preserving the cremated ashes of the deceased.

Chapel of the Mother of Good Counsel

The church has seating for 130 persons, and the first Mass was celebrated in the church in April 2012. On Saturday, 8th September 2012 Cardinal Prosper Grech O.S.A. from Rome presided at the blessing of the church and the adjacent Augustinian Priory of the Mother of Good Counsel. Except for Stage Two of the Retreat House, the complex is now built and operating.

The Delegation celebrated its twenty-fifth years in Korea in October of 2010 when 41 Augustinian guests joined them after the Mid General Chapter in the Philippines. However, the work of the Delegation is still only in its early stages and the Order looks forward to the day when a good number of Korean Augustinians will not only be active in the local Church but also make a contribution to the wider mission of the Order in Asia and beyond. Please pray for the Augustinians in Korea.

 

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