The Shalom Community participates in the Youth Pilgrimage for Peace in Korea


Last week, August 16 – 22nd, roughly 150 pilgrims – young and other lay people and priests – from various countries participated in a “Worldwide Youth Pilgrimage for Peace” in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.The pilgrimage was organised by the Reconciliation between the Koreas Committee, whose main office is in the Archdiocese of Seoul, South Korea.

The Shalom Community’s international assistance programme was invited to send a delegation to this important event, which took place throughout the 300km area of the DMZ. Despite the 1953 truce agreement which stopped the 3-year war between the North and South, division and tension continue to this day. Nonetheless, the governments of both countries, with assistance from the international community, have taken undertaken significant cooperative actions in the hope of reunification.

The Reconciliation Committee wanted to invite young people from around the world whose hearts resonate with humanity to help search for a lasting Peace and harmonious reunification. To achieve this, the event organisers provided for moments of prayer, Eucharistic celebration, mediations, fraternity and Peace walks along with other activities including participant dialogues about Peace.

The Shalom Community delegation consisted of four missionaries representing different nationalities and missionary contexts. Father Cristiano Pinheiro, responsible for the Community’s International Office in Rome, was among the pilgrim group. The Community’s participation in the event went a long way to consolidate its mission in the Asian continent. According to Fr. Cristiano:

In this pilgrimage, two words were specifically precious for us and grab our attention: youth and peace. These two dimensions are rich and essential to the life and mission of the Shalom Community. When we received the invitation to take part in this great initiative, we saw an obvious manifestation of the Divine Providence calling us to contribute through our Community’s ‘Charism of Peace’ to the path of Reconciliation that the Korean Peninsula is attempting to successfully carry out“.

Those taking part in the Youth Pilgrimage lived and shared an intense programme which began in Seoul and extended throughout various parts of the DMZ. During this journey, visits were made to many important areas related to the past War between the two Koreas during which communion moments were held with bishops and priests of the Korean Catholic Church.


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