Seoul, Korea, 14 December 2019 -- Two years after the first initial invitation to Jeju island, after a slow landing in the only large Korean island, the Rector Major recently approved the canonical erection of the first Salesian community in this diocese.
Isidore-Sumbisori is a house for youth in need. It was established and came under the management of the Salesian Community in October, 2018. The house first began when Father Michael, the chairman of the Board at Isidore Development Association (IDA)-invited Salesians into Jeju Island, where he had come to dream of a new community for the youth to share their lives together. As a result, the house became the first SDB community in Jeju diocese (Bishop Peter Kang Woo-il).
Currently, two Salesians and five boys live together in Isidore-Sumnisori. Our canonical community recognizes St. Louis (Aloysius) Versiglia as its patron Saint. "Sumbisori” is the Korean word for the bursting sound of breathing after a long, deep dive of haenyeo(local female divers). Just as the divers are promised fresh air after the time endured in the deep, we hope our boys boldly go through this time of endurance and one day emerge from the depths of the water to breathe a hopeful breath with St. John Bosco.
Thanks to the good human relationships, wise and humble pastoral approach Fr. Gabriel Oh was able to gain the trust and appreciation from the local clergy (40 priests for 24 parishes, 62.000 Catholics within a population of 650.000) as well to build on the Salesian Family groups already present in Jeju diocese.
At present there are two Caritas Sisters of Jesus (two communities), FMA (two communities involved in school ministry and youth center near the first SDB community) and two Centres of Salesian Cooperators). There is a lack of diocesan clergy in the island and also the youth at risk facilities are not yet well developed. We pray, that the charism of Don Bosco will be shared for the benefit of the young people in need.