On February 13, Reverend Monsignor David B. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese, and Reverend John J. Forbes, Dean of the Raleigh Deanery, joined Reverend Andrew Choong Seob Kim, Pastor, and members of St. Ha-Sang Paul Jung Parish to break ground for a new church to be located in Apex.
St. Ha-Sang Paul Jung Church has grown from its humble beginnings in 1992 at NC State University, when the Korean student community, led by the late Father Joe McNamara, formed the Triangle Korean Catholic Community (TKCC). As the community grew, Fr. John Wall welcomed them to worship at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Cary, where they currently worship on Saturday evenings. There are additional weekly masses celebrated at the parish rectory in New Hill, NC.
“It is a great testimony of faith that you all have as a community that has sacrificed and prayed and worked so hard to come to this day,” said Monsignor Brockman. “This is indeed, as Psalm 118 said to us today, ‘the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.’ This is a great testimony to the great catholicity of the Church and to the way our Lord speaks to people all over the world.”
“Now we are going to have our own place of worship,” exclaimed Susan Kwon, parishioner. “I am so excited to have our own space, to be able to plan activities for the children and their families more often.”
The TKCC became a parish on May 5, 2009, and requested they be named in honor of Saint Ha-Sang Paul Jung, who was canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 6, 1984. Saint Paul Chong was a leader of the early Korean Catholic Church, which kept the Korean Catholics energized following the killing of all Catholic clergy in the country in the early 1800s. When the Vatican and Church in China began sending priests back into the country, Paul Chong entered the seminary. In 1839, he was executed before he could be ordained.
Construction will begin immediately and should take approximately eight months. The construction cost of the multi-purpose building is $900,000. The church will be 7,446 square feet with a seating capacity of approximately 200 people. St. Ha-Sang Paul Jung will be the second Korean church in the Diocese, in addition to St. Andrew Kim Chapel in Fayetteville.
“It is a big blessing everyone has been waiting for, for a long time,” said Young June Pyun, Director of Liturgy and Mass Coordinator. “I hope this will bring the faith of our community to grow even more mature and be able to reach out to other communities in need.”