I think the missionary is a second vocation, starting a new life. When I was a high school student joining in the summer camp I was very much attracted by the Salesians, so my vocation blossomed. While studying theology I saw several heroic missionaries who bravely left all. I heard them recount their adventures in their mission land and this stirred the thought of the in my heart. I still wanted very much to go to the missions. Finally today, having to leave for a new land, I am really moved. I would like to ask you to pray for me so that I can bring the Gospel, witness to it and bring the spirit of Don Bosco through my second vocation."
These were Fr Lupicinus.
Kim's words as he was sent to the missions at a formal Eucharistic send off in Seoul on Sunday 9 March 2014. Fr Kim is heading for Zambia.
The main celebrant at the Mass was Fr Isidor Hong, the provincial delegate for the missions. He encouraged people to imitate the courage of the new missionary who is willing to give his whole life for people far away, starting a new life. The homily, instead, was by the new missionary, telling of his vocation story and the aspiration which was to attract him to become a missionary 'ad gentes'. There were about five hundred faithful at the Mass including the various groups of the Salesian Family and young people, especially those boys whom he had cared for – there were about 40 of them who had lost a good friend and were finding it painful as he left for the missions.
Lupicinus Kim, after ordination to the priesthood a year ago, worked in a kind of group home for disadvantaged boys until he was assigned to the missions last December. Since last January he has been attending a preparatory course for new missionaries held by the Columbans, on the recommendation of the General Councillor for the Missions, Fr Vaclav Klement. At the Mass was also one of his colleagues from the missionary course, a priest of the Suwon Diocese who is heading for Chile shortly.
A couple of lay missionaries from 2008, Francis Jin and Sofia Lee were also at the Mass. They work in Malawi, a mission territory belonging to ZMB, and for the moment are on furlough in Korea. Currently they are under the umbrella of Fr Alex Kim, also a Salesian missionary from Korea for many years, in the Liongwe community.
Instead of the provincial, who is in Rome for GC27, Fr Michael Chang, head of the Mission Office as well being provincial economer, invited those present to pray for the new missionary so he can bring the spirit of Don Bosco to his place of mission, and have the bodily and spiritual good health to be a mystic in his activity. He also expressed the hope that the missionary spirit flourish among Salesian Family members and that there be a strong wave of support for missionaries and the education of young people who are in mission territories.
The parents of Lupicinus, who could not hide their great pain at sending their dear son away, said a word of blessing and encouraged him to be a faithful servant of the Lord and do everything possible to share the love of the Father. Lupicinus' older brother, also a Salesian priest ordained just a month and a half ago, Fr Benedict Kim, is in Australia to completing a Masters in Moral Theology,Lupicinus takes his flight to Zambia on Monday evening from Korea.
Blessed be the journey of the new missionary for the young in ZMB.