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Thanks for shining model of Salesian Brother


By Our Own Correspondent


Kwangju, Korea, 17 June 2016 -- Ten years ago (June 17, 2006) passed away in Seoul, Korea on 17th June 2006 an exceptional Salesian, Br. Thaddeus Oh Hyon Gyo. He was 67 years old, among the first 3 deceased Korean Salesians (all three were Brothers).


Yesterday in the Kwangju Catholic cemetery the confreres of two Kwangju Salesian communities payed respect and offered prayers for Br. Thaddeus and many other Salesians who are buried there.


Br. Thaddeus spent 37 years as professed Salesian, 15 years as Provincial Economer and 4 years as missionary. His life-witness is an open Salesianity textbook for the younger generations also today. Some remarkable traits of his life:

  • Br. Thaddeus was famous for his 15 years of service as Provincial Economer. He was nicknamed “Brother Provincial” because he became the right-hand man of Fr Luc Van Looy (1981-1984) and later of Fr Marc Cuvelier (1984-1996) when the latter became the guide of the Korean Delegation – later a Vice Province. His humble contribution was to bridge the mentality gap between the missionary Superior and the local confreres, being the only full time Council member with the Superior.

  • As a young Salesian he grew up in the post Vatican II environment, when many young local Salesians and missionaries left the Congregation. He was renowned for his attachment to the person of Don Bosco, always reminding the late Delegate for Korea, Fr. Mazio Ruzzedu (1968-1973), who finish every day with a good night talk about some event of Don Bosco life.

  • He was a man good for all seasons: supervising the new Salesian houses construction, accompanying the SDB Aspirants, teaching the FMA Aspirants, bridge between the SDB and FMA, excellent formator of the lay mission partners in our school, community builder, tireless missionary after his ‘retirement’ from provincial level ministry also involved in the Salesianity publishing.

We may treasure his last article in the provincial newsletter (n.72 – May 2004)

    “When we live the same vocation, before everything we should make our life interesting. The enthusiasm in our life should never leave us! It means each of one of us is responsible for creating the best atmosphere in the communities! Of course, it is the responsibility of the Superiors in the first place, but it depends on each one of us. Let’s try to become a help to each other, to give growth to a fraternal environment! Let’s have more interest in the life of our younger confreres, young priests, to help them really live with enthusiasm…. We are living among our Salesian confreres for longer than we have lived among our own blood-family. I would just like to say how important it is for us to live, to build up our family spirit to the full amongst us!”

Related story: AustraLasia#1588 - June18, 2006





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  • 2006 Memory of Brother Oh

    KOR-Br.Tadeo Oh.doc

    KOR - Brother OH (Hyon Kyo) Thaddeus - passed away

    [a model of the Salesian Brother in Korea]

     

    -       passed away in Seoul, Korea on 17th June 2006, 4pm local time after 3 years with stomach cancer, in the Salesian Provincial House, Shin Weol Dong, Seoul – 67 years of age, 39 years of religious profession (=part of the 5th batch on Korean novices, third deceased Korean Salesian – all three are Brothers), 15 years as Provincial Economer, 4 years of missionary life, 3 years of exemplary patience in his illness

    -       Funeral in Korea, Seoul – Parish of St. Francis de Sales, Ku Ro 3 Dong, on Monday, June 19th07:00 am (local time)

    -       during the Korean Golden Jubilee (DB in Korea, 50) in September 2004 received from Rector Major the silver medal of Blessed Br. Zatti

     

    -       Born 1939, in Yosu (100 km from Kwangju, the first Salesian community in South Korea)

    -       1968-1980: KwangjuSalesianHigh School (Economer of the School)

    -       1980: Seoul - DonBoscoYouthCenter, Economer

    -       1979-1981: Councillor (KOR) – first of the Delegation, then ViceProvince

    -       1981-1996: Economer (KOR) – first of the KOR Delegation until 1984, then of the Vice province (1984-1996)

    -       1998-2003: InternationalTechnicalSchool (missionary)

    -       2003-2004: Kwangju, postnovitiate – Economer

    -       2004-2006: Seoul, Shin Weol Dong, Provincial house – for treatment,  underwent chemoteraphy 9 times, suffered a lot  (stomach cancer)

     

    Some specific traits of Bro. Tadeo Oh

    -       famous for his 15 years of service as Provincial Economer.  He was nicknamed “Brother Provincial” because he became the right-hand man of Fr Luc Van Looy (1981-1984) and later of Fr Marc Cuvelier (1984-1996) when the latter became the guide of the Korean Delegation – later a ViceProvince. His humble contribution was to bridge the mentality gap between the missionary Superior and the local confreres, being the only full time Council member with the Superior.

    -       As a young Salesian he grew up in the post Vatican II environment, when many young local Salesians and missionaries left the Congregation. He was renowned for his attachment to the person of Don Bosco. Always remindng the late Delegate for Korea, Fr. Mazio Ruzzedu (1968-1973), to finish every day with a good night talk about some event of Don Boscos’ life.

    -       During his term as Provincial Economer he supervised the building of many important constructions (Shin Weoul Dong Youth Center-Provincial House, transfer of Kwangju Salesian School 1986-89; building of the DaejonNovitiate-YouthCenter 1989-1992 etc), purchase of land always with a long term vision for the future of the Salesian work

    -       At the same time he was deeply committed to the accompaniment of the young candidates and Salesians in formation, often visiting the formation houses in Dae Rim Dong, Kwangju and Daejon. Also his life witness is a key for the flourishing of many good Brother vocations in the KoreanProvince.

    -       After graduating from the 2 year course at the Institute for Catechists he contributed also with his constant teaching (Ecclesiology) to the FMA Sisters candidates. This frequent presence amongst the FMA helped to foster the spirit of communion between the two Congregations, working together in 7 communities around South Korea.

    -       was well known and esteemed as a crystal clear witness of joyful, vibrant religious life – always first in the chapel in the morning preparing for the Eucharist in the Provincial house, for his prudence in speaking and planning, humility that conquered many hearts, spirit of faith and  witness of poverty as a school, local and provincial Economer, dealing with many non-Christian lay people with simplicity and an evangelical approach.   

    -       Was a community builder, if there was something he didn’t like, he swallowed it and kept it to himself; if there was even a slight thing that deserves praise or thanks, he was the first to immediately talk about it and express his encouragement.

    -       Another trait was the good animating relationship with lay people: starting from his time as Economer in the Kwangju High School with more than 100 teachers and staff, apart from the working relation he also had the care of their family much at heart and often went hiking up mountains as a time for ‘bonding’ of the EPC. Even after their retirement he tried to make them feel a part of the Salesian Family.

    -       was over 60 when he contributed hugely to the launching of the new InternationalTechnicalSchool. As a simple community member he became a priceless missionary, thanks to his excellent constant dialogue with the local staff, teachers and officials and also building a bridge between the two SDB and FMA communities, working together for the sake of 500 boarding students of that school.  Being of the same age as the local Principal he carried out a wonderful and even diplomatic work for the smooth running of the local EPC.

    -       In the not so easy last 3 years of his illness, he tried to contribute to Provincial life. Just a few months ago the Korean version of the “Salesian Family Mass – Lectionary” was published, carefully revised by Br. Tadeo.

    He wrote  this greeting to the members of 2004 Provincial Chapter (going for yet further chemoteraphy at the hospital)(Provincial Newsletter n.72 – May,2004):

    “I have a big interest in the mutual ‘formation’ among us. We all carry a huge responsibility to help each other live the same Salesian vocation. Are we going to work out a provincial formation for the next 6 years? Does this mean for us to do everything possible to live more with the mind of the Founder? In order to make it possible – we need to pause, to reflect together.

       When we live the same vocation, before everything we should make our life interesting. The enthusiasm in our life should never leave us! It means each of one of us is responsible for creating the best atmosphere in the communities! Of course, it is the responsibility of the Superiors in the first place, but it depends on all of us. Let’s try to become a help to each other, to give growth to a fraternal environment! Let’s have more interest in the life of our younger confreres, young priests, to help them really live with enthusiasm….  We are living among our Salesian confreres for longer than we have lived amongst our own blood-family. I would just like to say how important it is for us to live, to build up our family spirit to the full amongst us!”


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