New Korean parish set to welcome Cardinal O'Malley

AUBURNDALE -- The Korean Catholic community of the Archdiocese of Boston is set to welcome Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley to their new spiritual home this weekend.

The cardinal will visit the recently established St. Antoine Daveluy Parish to celebrate the new home of the community with a Mass on Dec. 22 at Corpus Christi Church in Auburndale.

The location became the home of the Korean Catholic community last year, and the Mass celebrated by the cardinal marks his first pastoral visit to the community as a parish.

"There is a celebration now that they are in this new church, and this is the first opportunity that the cardinal has been able to visit them," Father Michael C. Harrington, Director of the Office of Outreach and Cultural Diversity said.

He said the creation of the parish meets a real need in the Korean Catholic community of the archdiocese.

"The Korean community is a vibrant community that draws Koreans from all around the Greater Boston area. So, because of their vitality, they need a place to worship. Usually when they gather, because they come from so far a distance, they will have some food and some catechesis," he said.

The new parish gives Korean Catholics from throughout the archdiocese one location to attend Mass, organize events, hold functions, and call home.

"It was established for the Korean community, because the Korean community really does have a particular need and serves, far-and-wide, different parts of the archdiocese. The Korean community is serving Koreans all the way up to the (state) line in New Hampshire, and even into New Hampshire," Father Harrington said.

Prior to the creation of the new parish, the Korean community celebrated Mass and made their home at various parishes over the course of 37 years in the archdiocese, and relocated seven times.

"They were moved from one place to another every few years, and now we think we have found a place that can be their home for the foreseeable future," Father Harrington said.

Father Harrington said that since the Korean Catholic community comes together to worship in some cases from as far away as more than an hour-long drive, people fill the church for Mass and sometimes even spend much of the day in the parish.

He said in addition to a Mass for the entire Korean Catholic community of the archdiocese, the apostolate has generally had a Mass for young adults on Sunday evenings.

"They can fill a church, and they can fill a hall afterwards with activities for many hours," Father Harrington said.

The building retains the name Corpus Christi, while the Korean parish there assumes the name of a saint popular in Korea.

"St. Antoine Daveluy was a 19th-century missionary who was sent to Korea, and he became a bishop," Father Harrington said. Beheaded for his resistance in 1866, he died refusing to renounce his faith on Good Friday.

"This was a time of persecution in Korea and he laid down his life for the faith," Father Harrington said.