‘Lovely people, weather, churches and cockatoos!’ Archdiocese’s new Korean Chaplain
When the Archdiocese’s new Korean Chaplain arrived in Australia two weeks ago, he half expected to be welcomed to the airport by a mob of kangaroos.
“I thought that I could see Kangaroos hopping around everywhere in this country,” Fr Andrew Yang said.
“I haven’t seen any of them yet – only cockatoos. I am getting used to the cockatoos’ wake-up call, which is the harmony of noise.”
Before moving to Canberra, Fr Andrew worked as a vice-chancellor and an IT administrator at the Chancery of the Diocese of Daejeon, in South Korea.
“One day, my bishop, Most Rev. Augustine Kim, called me and said ‘Fr. Andrew, I have something to talk about. Please come to my office as soon as possible.’ On the way to his office, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Have I done anything wrong? Why is he calling me? I visited him and the bishop asked me, ‘Fr. Andrew, I think you should go to Canberra as a Korean Chaplain. Would you mind going to Australia?’ I replied immediately, ‘No worries.’ To be honest, I was relieved that he didn’t call me to scold me.”
Fr Yang said on the day of his priestly ordination, he promised respect and obedience.
“It is not just about juridical obligation,” he noted.
“I firmly believe that God works through bishops, who are successors of the apostles. So, I was not hesitant to answer to God who speaks through my bishop.”
As Chaplain of the Korean community, Fr Andrew will provide spiritual care.
“Compared to the Catholic parishes in South Korea, cultural diversity in Australian’s churches is a strength,” he said.
“I think my role is important because it is not easy for some immigrants to go to the local Parish because of language, cultural differences, and backgrounds. As a priest who speaks their mother tongue, I can reach out to Korean people and worship the Lord with one voice. Also, I think I can help the pastor of the parish to build a bridge between the local parish and Korean Community.”
Fr Yang, who succeeds Fr Thomas Jin as Korean Chaplain, said he had enjoyed his short time in the country so far and was looking forward to his role in the community.
“So far, so good!” he said.
“Lovely people, lovely weather, lovely churches… and lovely cockatoos!”
Welcome to our Parish of South Belconnen, Fr Andrew. We will be happy to meet you and get to know you during your time with us!
Welcome, Fr Andrew.
We hope that all Catholics in Canberra eill experience your priestly ministry.
John Smith, Serra Club of Canberra