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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Hallelujah Korea, Part XIX: Namcheon-dong Cathedral, Busan Suyeong-gu - Home of Diocese of Busan


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Busan (Hangul/Hanja/Latin: 천주교 부산교구/天主教釜山教區/Dioecesis Busanensis) is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church located in Busan Metropole, South Korea. On 21 January 1957 Pope Pius XII erected as an Apostolic Vicariate of Busan. It was elevated to a diocese by Pope John XXIII on 10 March 1962. The current Bishop of the diocese is Paul Hwang Chul-soo.

The seat of the diocese is Namcheon-dong Cathedral of the Holy Cross (南川洞聖堂), located at 15 Suyeong Avenue 427th Street/Suyeongno 427beon-gil, Namcheon-dong 69-1 beonji, Busan Suyeong-gu. The diocese is suffragan to the Archdiocese of Daegu and covers Busan Metropole, Ulsan Metropole and some parts of Eastern Sector of Southern Gyeongsang Province (Yangsan, Gimhae and Miryang).

However, the diocese covers large parts of Gimhae and Miryang with some exceptions on the particular communes, which are covered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Masan. The areas mentioned are:
  • Gimhae (JinYeong-eup and Jillye-myeon)
  • Miryang (Cheongdo-myeon, Muan-myeon, Bubuk-myeon, Chodong-myeon and Hanam-eup)

Namcheon-dong Cathedral, whose titular saint is St. Paul Jeong Ha-sang, is a quite modern building. While it is definitely big enough to accommodate large crowds for major diocesan occasions, such as the recent episcopal ordination of the Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Sohn Sam-seok. The Cathedral has it's unique architectural and interior design, uncommon for the usual Catholic Church.

The skylight roof stained glass window of the Namcheon-dong Cathedral with huge space (53m x 42m) is crossed with the concrete beam covered with aluminum, and seen from every angle. The broad space without pillars receives natural light, and the glory and dignity of the Trinity God the Father are imaged on it.