SEOUL, South Korea – Catholic married couples and families in service to the U.S. Military in South Korea are taking a deeper look at their faith lives this week in two separate gatherings organized with the support and cooperation of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). On Wednesday night, April 4, Dr. Mark Moitoza, AMS Vice-Chancellor of Evangelization, facilitated a marriage enrichment session for couples at the United States Army Garrison (USAG) Yongsan Memorial Chapel in Seoul. Meanwhile, nearly 30 miles southeast of that location, a Catholic Family Retreat will be held this weekend at the Yongmun Youth Camp.
The marriage enrichment session began with dinner, followed by review of a discussion guide called “Marriage as a Process.” The guide is based upon the REFOCCUS marriage enrichment inventory resource for couples who have been married at least two years. REFOCCUS stands for “Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study.” It is a product of FOCCUS Inc., USA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building, promoting, and enhancing healthy relationships by offering research-based resources and training for both professionals and resource volunteers.
The three-day Catholic Family Retreat will draw more than 180 participants from 22 families, including 30 teens, from all four major U.S. Military installations throughout the Korean peninsula to the Yongmun Youth Camp, a Catholic retreat site. Dr. Moitoza will serve as a facilitator and open the retreat weekend with an exercise for military families to unpack their journey of faith through a “mapping” and reflection exercise. Mr. Bob Perron, Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W. Va., will serve as the keynote speaker.
Dr. Moitoza noted that “Bob’s blend of humor and education have made him a highly sought-after speaker. He will speak about the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), namely, Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer, utilizing the free online resource v-cat.org, which has over 60 short videos with reflection questions about the CCC.”
The lead organizers of the Catholic Family Retreat, U.S. Air Force Major Gabriel Young and U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Francis Scherra, both serve at USAG Yongsan. Both have been instrumental in organizing the planning team, promoting the April 6-8 retreat, and coordinating what Dr. Moitoza said will be “a fruitful opportunity for prayer, reflection, and sharing.” Priests planning to attend the retreat include Father Joseph Campbell, CH (CAPT), USA; Father Joe Idomele, Ch Capt USAF; Father Jong Lyndon, CH (MAJ), USA; Father Emil Denmark, CH (MAJ), USA; and Father Edgar G. Villanueva, CH (MAJ), USA. All serve with AMS endorsement and faculties.