Korean Military Bishop Joins Knights of Columbus

Gains honorary membership in historic ceremony

Bishops Xavier Yu (left) and F. Richard Spencer with members of KOC Bishop John J. Kaising Council, #14223

Bishops Xavier Yu (left) and F. Richard Spencer with members of KOC Bishop John J. Kaising Council, #14223

SEOUL, KOREA—The Knights of Columbus (KOC) took an historic step to expand international membership in the Catholic fraternal service organization by inducting a Korean bishop on Saturday. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Bishop Xavier Yu, the Ordinary for the Diocese for the Military Services, Korea was granted honorary KOC membership while taking part in a First Degree induction ceremony at Camp Yongson. Bishop Yu witnessed the ceremony in which eleven others from the local military chapel and civilian communities were also inducted into the Bishop John J. Kaising Council, #14223.

The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA was represented at the ceremony by His Excellency, the Most Reverend F. Richard Spencer, Auxiliary Bishop and Episcopal Vicar for Europe and Asia. Acting on behalf of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Bishop Spencer accompanied Bishop Yu to the ceremony and afterward, hosted a luncheon in his honor at the Dragon Hill Lodge.

Bishop Spencer said:

“This historic event constitutes the first step in expanding international membership of the Knights of Columbus in the Republic of Korea through military-to-military friendships. The armed forces of South Korea and the United States maintain close ties, and so should their Catholic members. The Knights of Columbus is an outstanding vehicle through which these two groups can get to know each other better and practice their common faith.”

Bishop Yu said he will encourage more South Korean servicemen to join the KOC by creating Round Table organizations throughout the Korean Military Diocese under the sponsorship of the Kaising Council, of which he is now a member.

The KOC was founded in 1881 in New Haven, Connecticut by a group of men who met in the basement of a local church with their pastor, the Venerable Father Michael J. McGivney. They sought strength in solidarity, and security through unity of purpose and devotion to a holy cause: to be defenders of their country, their families and their faith. These men were bound together by the ideal of Christopher Columbus, who brought Christianity to the New World. Their efforts came to fruition with the incorporation of the Knights of Columbus on March 29, 1882.