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Diocese of Cashel, Ferns and Ossory

A message from the Dean of Ferns Revd. Paul Mooney on his travels to Korea to accept his Peace Prize & Award in Korea!

Early on the morning of Sunday 18th February, we left my wife’s house in the South Korean countryside and drove up to the Anglican Cathedral in the centre of Seoul. I had been asked to take the 9.30 am English language Holy Communion service in the Crypt Chapel of the Cathedral where I had been Vicar from 2007 to 2011.

It was great to see some members of the congregation who were still around since we had been there. Also, we had some visitors at the service who are attending the International Anglican Consultation on the Liturgy which is happening in Seoul this week. Included in this group of visitors were the Reverend Alan Rufli from Dublin and the Reverend David Taylor from Glasgow who sent warmest regards to the Reverend David Bayne, now Priest-in-Charge of Carnew and Tinahely. I also had to address the congregation at the 10 am and the 12 am services in the main sanctuary of the Cathedral.

The ceremony for the award of the second Peace Cultivator’s Prize from the Towards Peace in Korea Foundation took place at 5 pm in the Cathedral Complex. The award took place within the context of the foundation’s Annual General Meeting. The TOPIK foundation arose from the Towards Peace in Korea Conference in 2007 which was chaired by Archbishop Robin Eames as the representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury and drew delegates from around the Anglican world. Part of the work of the TOPIK foundation was assisting with medical and educational projects in North Korea and as when it became impossible for South Koreans to travel into North Korea from 2009, I became the local TOPIK representative who was able to travel into New Korea on behalf of the foundation. It was a great privilege to be able to do this work for ten years from 2009 to 2019.

The retired Bishop of Seoul, the Rt Revd Kyong-jo Park, who was Bishop of Seoul at the time of the establishment of the TOPIK foundation and the current Bishop of Seoul, Bishop Peter Lee, who is currently Patron of the foundation were both in attendance at the award ceremony which was presided over by the Foundation ‘s Chairperson, Mrs Myung-suk Park. It was not only an honour to receive the prize but also great to reconnect with so many old friends.