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THE FILIPINO CHAPLAINCY IN SEOUL CELEBRATES ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

The Seoul Filipino Catholic Community (SFCC) has celebrated its 25th anniversary last October 8, 2017. The jubilee celebration started with a celebration of the Thanksgiving Mass at the Hyewhadong Catholic Church at 1:30 in the afternoon. It was graced by the Most Rev. Timothy Yu Gyoung Chon, D.D., an auxiliary bishop of the Seoul Archdiocese, and chairman of the Archdiocesan Commission on Migrants. Concelebrating were three Korean priests, who are involved in the Pastoral Ministry on Migrants, and four MSP priests, including the SFCC chaplain, Rev. Fr. Alfredo Africa, MSP, and the MSP Father Moderator, Rev Fr. Eladio Oliver, MSP.  An estimated 1,000 Filipino migrant workers in South Korea attended the said Holy Eucharistic celebration.

Moreover, the SFCC has organized a free concert on the same day at the Marronnier Park (Daehangno) in Seoul. The Filipino celebrities who entertained the crowd were the comedian, Super Tekla, and the beautiful actress, Kris Bernal. Some Filipino singers and bands in South Korea also came and rendered a couple of songs. What added delight to the celebration was the Filipino Cultural Dance Competition which was participated by different Filipino dance groups and communities in South Korea. Present in the Marronnier Park event was the Philippine Ambassador to South Korea, Hon. Raul Hernandez, as well as other dignitaries from the Philippine Embassy. There were also representatives from the Seoul Metropolitan Government. A few Korean companies have sponsored the event, and their representatives were also present. It was interesting that some Koreans also watched and enjoyed the concert.

The establishment of the SFCC goes back in 1992, when two MSP priests, Fr Restituto Galang and Fr Glenn Jaron, came to work in Archdiocese of Seoul. But two years prior to their arrival, three MSP seminarians, (now) Fr Leonilo Pacuribot, Fr Rolando Detera, and Fr Gorgonio Llubit Jr, along with Sr Mary Ann Terinal RGS, had organized a small Filipino Catholic community and had come together for the holy Mass at the RGS convent in Chayangdong. The community then was called the Chayangdong Filipino Catholic community. Then the community had grown bigger. Consequently, the holy Mass celebrations had been transferred to a bigger Hyewhadong Catholic Church. From then on, the community’s name was changed to Hyewhadong Filipino Catholic Community (HFCC) and Fr Galang was the first chaplain. Just this year, the current chaplain, Fr Africa, has proposed to change again the community’s name from Hyewhadong Filipino Catholic Community (HFCC) to Seoul Filipino Catholic Community (SFCC), because of the fact that members of this community do not only come from Hyewhadong, but also from other areas of Seoul and the neighboring provinces. The proposal was welcomed and approved by the officers and members of the community during the general assembly in April 2017. 


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