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Korean Pontifical College Opens in Rome March 23, 2001

VATICAN, Mar. 23, 01 ( -- On Friday, March 23, Pope John Paul II traveled across Rome to preside at the inauguration ceremonies for the Pontifical Korean College, which will serve the seminarians sent by the Korean bishops to study in Rome.

Cardinal Kim Sou-Hwan of Seoul led a delegation of Korean bishops attending the inaugural ceremonies, which was timed to coincide with the Korean bishops' ad limina visits.

"Have a single heart!" the Holy Father admonished the Korean audience, in a reference to the division of that country. He also cited the example of St. Andrew Kim Tae-Gon, the patron saint of the new college, "who exhorted believers to draw from divine charity the strength to remain united and to resist evil."

There are now 37 pontifical colleges in Rome. The goal of these institutions is to allow students to travel to Rome from their own countries, and study there alongside their own countrymen as well as students from around the world. The pontifical colleges that are sponsored by the bishops of a particular country or region also give seminarians the opportunity to practice communal life and follow a common program of spiritual formation. Bishops from that country regularly stay at the colleges while they are visiting in Rome.