The Fr John Lee ‘phenomenon’, already aired several times in these pages, is gaining further momentum in Korea, this time from a government perspective. A Press Release yesterday by the Korean Ministry of Public Administration and Security says the following:
A well-known Korean Catholic priest who died last year after 8 years of volunteer work in Sudan will receive an award recommended by the public.
The Ministry of Public Administration and Security announced Tuesday the list of 24 citizens who will receive citizen-recommendation awards in mid-July.
The awards are given to people who contributed to society through volunteer work, donations, and good deeds against all odds. Incepted in February, they are aimed at allowing ordinary citizens to choose and award for their own heroes.
The late Father John Lee Taeseok will receive the highest medal of the Mugunghwa Order.
Lee became well known to the public after the documentary “Don’t Cry for Me Sudan” about his dedication to Sudanese people was released last September.
Lee died of cancer in January 2010 at the age of 49.
The Mugunghwa Order (named after the Rose of Sharon, Korea’s national flower) is Korea’s highest recognition of civil merit. It is traditionally given to Heads of State and others at the highest level of Korean society who have contributed to the welfare and security of the nation.