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Corporate-sponsored cathedral soup kitchen helps Seoul’s homeless
SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) — The Seoul Archdiocese is helping homeless people with a soup kitchen run out of Myongdong Cathedral.
The energy and chemicals division of SK Group, the third-largest conglomerate in South Korea, is sponsoring the program by supporting 1,400 packed lunches each week. Lunches are served to homeless people every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, reported ucanews.com.
“When Pope Francis visited Myongdong Cathedral in 2014, he blessed us to be the yeast of the Gospel,” said Father Francis Kim Jeong-hwan, executive director of the archdiocese’s One Body One Spirit movement. “I hope that the soup kitchen will be a small yeast that changes the Church and the world into a world of warm love beyond Myongdong and the archdiocese.”
One Body One Spirit, inspired by the 44th International Eucharistic Congress in Seoul in 1989 and Catholic social teaching, works to make a peaceful world according to the spirit of the Eucharist.
Since the establishment of the organization by the late Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, the movement, as part of Caritas Seoul, has been working in many fields such as international development cooperation, domestic social welfare and life-sharing movements.
Seoul Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung said the cathedral soup kitchen “is the right place to reach out to those who live in the lowest places in the world and share our food so that no one is left hungry. I hope that the house will become a place that offers real help and service to those in need.”
Father Matthias Hur Young-yup, archdiocesan spokesman, said archdiocesan officials hope the soup kitchen will not only distribute meals to the homeless but also provide an opportunity for them to become active agents of their lives and members of society.
“It could give homeless people access to safe places to wash and do laundry while offering them employment opportunities with the aim of reintegrating them back into society,” he said. He also noted that, when Cardinal Yeom was a parish priest, he set up a soup kitchen that has been operating for more than 30 years, ucanews.com reported.