MISSIONARY BENEDICTINES IN KOREA
Beginnings in North Korea
Also in Korea our Congregation has had a very eventful history of building and destruction, suffering and death, beginning anew and full blossoming.
On November 21, 1925, four sisters went to Wonsan, North Korea, at the request of Abbot Bishop Bonifatius Sauer, OSB. Wonsan was raised to a priory in 1927.
In May 1949, under Communist leaders, the Korean mission was destroyed. The Korean brothers and sisters were scattered, two sisters were killed, and five others are missing. The European missionaries were imprisoned for almost five years in a work camp, hidden in an non-agricultural mountain region where they had to live and work under the harshest conditions. Two German sisters died in the camp. After their release in January 1954, the priests, brothers and sisters were transported across Russia and unexpectedly appeared one day at the Friedland camp on the German border.
Sr. M. Gertrud Link, the prioress at that time, left behind an eloquent testimony from that period in her must read book, My Way With God, published in 1998 by EOS Verlag St. Ottilien.
In 1950, 13 Korean sisters who had fled to South Korea met again in a refugee camp in Pusan.
At the invitation of the Bishop of Taegu, (called “Taegu” at that time) they came to the city on October 23, 1951. From that beginning developed today’s Daegu Priory that with 307 sisters and 33 stations is our largest priory.
The Seoul Priory was founded from Daegu in 1987. It numbers 127 sisters and 16 communities.