11/13/2014, 00.00
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Korea, a church in memory of the Sewol victims

by Pietro Kim Jaedeok
Among the 304 victims of the shipwreck there was also a young man who was about to enter the seminary. To realize his dream, his parents decided to build a place of worship. The help of many volunteers and the love of the people leads to the construction of "Seongho" church – named for the young man – in record time.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - "Mom, I definitely want to become a priest". Emmanuel Seongho Park, 17, had no doubt: he wanted to enter the seminary and become a pastor of souls in South Korea. His dream was shattered by a terrible tragedy: the sinking of the Sewol ferry in which 304 people lost their lives. About 200 days after his death, a small church that bears his name has been born: for his parents, it is the culmination of the dream of their dead son.

The building was made possible with the help of Jang Young-sung, president of the Association that brings together the families of the victims of the sinking. Not to forget, Jang and his team decided to build 304 "small houses" - each with the name of one of the dead - then donate them to the needy. But the first building was designed to be the house of God, a church in the Seoul area.

The beginning of the project was not easy: the cost of materials, labor, land were all problems that seemed unsolvable. For this reason, Jang decided to raise awareness about the project on Facebook, unleashing a river of solidarity: carpenters, volunteers, electricians from all over Korea offered money or free labor to build the church. The "Seongho" is very small, about 14 square meters, but very beautiful inside there is a cross, a statue of Our Lady and a little stained glass.

The blessing of the church was celebrated by Fr. Im Jinkyo, parish priest of the area, along with about 30 priests and religious. During the homily, Fr. Im said, "This church is a place of worship but also a place to remember the dream of Seongho. Through this church people will not forget what happened on the Sewol and, following the teaching of the Pope, show solidarity with the families who have lost a loved one".


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