One of the confreres is involved in a very special ministry for boys and girls students who are preparing for the National Entrance examination. There is a group of approximately five hundred students living in a Mega study hostel preparing for the entrance examination to Universities.
They are not allowed to go out of that hostel until they give the examination in November of every year. All the food, boarding, lectures and materials for the examination are provided there with a 24 hour guidance and surveillance. For the Catholic students there is no access for a Sunday Mass. One of the SVD confreres goes there on every week-end for the Sunday obligation mass for the students. The Holy Mass is well participated in by the students with devotion and emotion. They have a lot of stress and anxiety of the forthcoming examination. If they don’t get high grades in the examination they cannot enter a well-recognized University in Korea. It is also very hard for them to be away from their parents and the delicious meal prepared by their mothers.
The Catholic students are accompanied by their fellow students of other faith traditions/non-believers for the Mass. After the Mass the priest lays hands on the Catholic students and the other students to get the grace and these other believers are overwhelmed by the laying of hands. Some of the other believers/non-believers are very eager to get the grace of communion. They learn the basic catechism and get baptized. One of the newly baptized male students is leading the hymns during the Mass with a piano. Another newly baptized female student is helping out in arranging the altar for Mass in the auditorium. These days quite many of the students who are not Catholics are very curious about the Mass and they peep through the window of the auditorium during the mass. A protestant Pastor is going there on every Sundays for the Protestant students for the Sunday service. He is very interested in the SVD foreign confrere and the Catholic group. There is a plan to have an ecumenical gathering of the students soon.
Kim Jong Il Benedict SVD, Mission Secretary