Rorate Caeli

News from Catholic Korea

A Korean Catholic friend of Rorate, Peter Kim, has put up a blog (Totus Tuus) that reports on the Korean Catholic scene from a tradition-friendly perspective. Stories of the Korean Catholic martyrs share space with pictures of Catholic Korea prior to Vatican II, and the faint echoes in South Korea of the new liturgical movement in the Western world are chronicled side by side the liturgical and theological scandals that seem increasingly common in that country. There are only a few entries at present, and it is still easy to read the blog from the first entry down to the most current. Tolle, lege.
For the posts on various scandals, I leave most of these for our readers to find out on their own, although one post that deserves more attention (particularly that of Cardinal Canizares Llovera) is this:
Apparently, even as the English-speaking hierarchies are moving towards more faithful translations of the liturgy, the Koreans are moving in the opposite direction. Where the Church in the West was 30 years ago, the Catholic Church in Asia is -- Kyrie eleison.
Of historical interest:
For the edification of our readers, I would like to highlight the following posts:
(There is currently no regular TLM in South Korea -- pray that there will be one, soon!)

Anybody interested in Gregorian Chant is welcomed at the chant course in Seogang University in Seoul Korea. The class at 9: 10 am on September 19 is free of charge. Feel free to come and appreciate the beauty of Sacred Music. Other than learning how to sing chant, you may have chances to make friends with Koreans who have good understanding on Catholic Tradition.

Time: 9:10 am - 10:50 am on every Saturday
Date: September 19 - November 28 (No class on October 3 and 10)
Place: Room 808 at the Alumni Center, Seogang University (서강대학교 동문회관 강의실 808호)
Tuition: 140,000 won

Instructor: Lioba Jung-Sun Lee (011-9789-4635). You may call her if you have any question on the chant courses.

There is another chant class at the Catholic Church of Kang-nam Express Bus terminal in Seoul (강남 고속버스 터미날 성당) at 1 pm every Monday. Lioba Lee provides this course especially for the people from other places in Korea.

Chant instructor Lioba Jung-Sun Lee graduated vocal school of music at Yonsei University and earned master's degree of Gregorian Chant at the Graduate School of Music in Catholic University in Korea.

She further elaborated her career by finishing the chant courses at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome and the International School of Music in Alexandria, Italy.

After coming back to Korea, She instructed schola at the Blessed Sacrament Sisters of Charity, Jeonju Diocese. Also, she conducted choirs at the Catholic Churches of Seojung-dong and Shiheung-dong in Seoul Archdiocese.Now, she is directing a chant schola, "Coena Domini" at the Catholic Church of Seocho-dong in Soeul (at 9 pm every Sunday, there is a Gregorian Chant Mass). She is also instructing a chant course at Seogang University in Seoul.


  1. Peter5:25 PM

    Is it really no TLM in Korea? What happened to the SSPX?

  2. I didn't say that there is no TLM in South Korea. What I said is that there is no REGULAR TLM.

    The SSPX's Japanese priest, Fr. Thomas Onoda, who is based in Manila, does go to South Korea but the schedule apparently varies.

  3. Anonymous7:47 PM

    Its too bad because Korea of all the Asian countries has been open to the Gospel. The protestants are proably stealing many Catholics due to the Korean Novus Ordo nonsense.

  4. Anonymous9:17 PM

    Fr. Onoda travels to South Korea on a monthly basis. I frequently (or perhaps "regularly") travel to the Far East and, although there are some exceptions, I have always found Fr. Onoda's schedules to be pretty regular. He plans his trips several months, sometimes up to 1 year, in advance. I suppose that this qualifies as regular.

  5. Anonymous4:46 AM

    Scandals there, too, huh? I don't want to know. Enough of that already. Regarding the errors, that is strange but sad.

    It seems odd that happens in the Asian countries where they seem to value tradition and continuity in their cultures, yet when it comes to the Faith, all that goes out the window? It's utterly mind-boggling but at the same time quite understandable. The Devil is active everywhere.

  6. I was surprised my blog was introduced at Rorate Caeli.

    I would like to point out that liturgical abuses do happen occasionally and they are quite shocking, but I hope one do not over-generalize them. They have been occurring quite locally only among certain groups of people. And most of the liturgies in Korea are still devoutly celebrated.

    There are a lot of positives too. The custom of wearing veils is still well observed in the Catholic Church in Korea. I hope other Churches could learn from it. It is just so beautiful to see so many women wearing white veils in the Church! This beautiful custom elevates women’s dignity. It does not degrade women as combatant feminists often criticize.

    Also, it is uncommon to see people wearing provocative clothes at Mass. In the US, I have been often embarrassed by people’s clothes in the Church (I will not tell in detail).

    And there are many decent Church musicians who are traditionally-minded. They love Gregorian chant. So I would say in spite of many problems, I have more hope in the Catholic Church in Korea rather than I fall in despair.

  7. I recently read an interesting story about the Gregorian Chant Course in Sogang University.

    It is said that three Protestants are currently attending the class to learn Gregorian Chant. What an amazing news!


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