South Korea: Waiting for female vocations

Source: FSSPX News


“If in five to ten years there are still no vocations, I am not sure I will carry on working here,” Sr. Mary Joanna Suh told Church of Asia. Female religious congregations who came to South Korea in the mid 1990s – the Sisters of the Notre Dame schools, the Capuchin or Dominican Sisters – no longer have any local vocations.

 Sr. Mary Joanna Suh, a Korean nun born in Japan and a member of the Notre Dame congregation – whose mother house is in Munich – arrived in South Korea in 1996. The same year Sr. Angela Martinez, a Columbian and a Capuchin, settled in the country with five other sisters of her community. “It is true, we do not have a single Korean candidate,” said the nun.

According to the Catholic Bishops Conference of South Korea, at the end of December 2004, there were 103 female religious institutions, with a total of 9,471 members. Twelve of these institutions were established in South Korea after 1991.

 The Congregation of Saint Paul of Chartres, founded in France in 1696, is the largest and the oldest religious congregation established in Korea. It currently has 972 members. Korean nuns are present in Mongolia and in the People’s Republic of China, with no new vocations to date.