Pulong ng Editor

Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis
 13-18 August 2014, Republic of Korea


In his address to the bishops of Korea on 14 August during is apostolic journey to that country Pope Francis reflected with them ‘as a brother bishop on two central aspects of the task of guarding God’s people in this county: to be guardians of memory and to be guardians of hope’.

Pope Francis went on to ask, ‘How can we be guardians of hope if we neglect the memory, the wisdom and the experience of the elderly, and the aspirations of our young?’


The song Koinonia, a Greek word meaning 'Communion', was written for the Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to the Republic of Korea by K-Pop singer Noh Young-Shim and produced by Won Dong-Yeon for the Archdiocese of Seoul. The singer here is Sumi Jo, an internationally renowned soprano from Korea who sang before the Beatification Mass and also at Communion time during the Mass.

In his homily in Korea on the Solemnity of the Assumption the Bishop of Rome emphasized again the link between the past and the present: ‘As Korean Catholics, heirs to a noble tradition, you are called to cherish this legacy and transmit it to future generations. This will demand of everyone a renewed conversion to the word of God and a passionate concern for the poor, the needy and the vulnerable in our midst’.

6th Asian Youth Day
 13-17 August 2014, Republic of Korea

At the closing Mass of the Sixth Asian Youth Day Pope Francis spoke words that gladdened the heart of your no longer young editor with memories of being told countless times when young that he was ‘the future of the Church/Nation/Whatever’: ‘As young Christians, whether you are workers or students, whether you have already begun a career or have answered the call to marriage, religious life or the priesthood, you are not only a part of the future of the Church; you are also a necessary and beloved part of the Church’s present! You are the Church’s present!’

Newly ordained Korean Columban Fr Carlo Euikyun Jung with Mr Gyan Want, a catechist and Fr Carlo’s Hindi teacher in Fiji, and Fr Francis Hoare, Columban Vice-Director, Fiji. Mr Want is wearing the garb of catechists in Fiji.

The above photo, taken after the ordination on 1 May of Fr Carlo Eiukyun Jung in Korea, expresses much of what Pope Francis was to say months later. Mr Gyan Want has, as a catechist, been transmitting the faith ‘to future generations’ for many years along with the cultural heritage of the Indian-Fijians who make up more than 40 percent of the population of Fiji. Fr Francis Hoare knew Columban co-founder Fr John Blowick, as did all Irish Columbans who studied for the priesthood up to his death in 1972. When your editor entered the Columban seminary in Ireland in September 1961 Father John was still teaching theology, though he retired from teaching two or three years later.

Those of us who knew Fr Blowick, as part of transmitting the faith ‘to future generations’, have been called to pass on what inspired him and our other Co-Founder Bishop Edward Galvin, nearly 100 years ago. Both were very young priests at the time, the then ‘part of the future of the Church’ but who were ‘also a necessary and beloved part of the Church’s present’ at that time.

Many of us older Columbans have experienced a sense of loss at the reality of so few coming after us. But now we see the new present and future emerging in young men like Father Carlo and others like him from Australia, Chile, China, Fiji, Korea, Myanmar/Burma, Peru and Tonga following in the footsteps of Fr Blowick and Bishop Galvin as disciples of Jesus. We see it in the many young Columban Lay Missionaries from many countries who are doing the same.

And we have seen in all the countries to which we were sent something that perhaps our founders could not have imagined but which Pope Francis pointed out to the bishops of Korea: ‘From being a land of mission, yours has now become a land of missionaries’.