Thanks for shining model of Salesian Brother
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!”