For the next few years Bro. Salesio will be responsible for local decisions about Augustinian community life, ministry and finances in South Korea, where the Order arrived in 1985 and now has three communities: one in Incheon (a retreat house, and a nearby boys’ home). Another at Kang-hwa Island near Incheon (a formation house for Augustinian candidates), and the third at Yeonchon (a larger retreat house) in the Diocese of Uijeongbu, over an hour’s drive from Incheon.
Bro. Salesio was raised in Jinhae, a naval port on the south coast of South Korea, on the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales. He was baptized when a university student, completed his compulsory military service and, after a year of contact with the Augustinians, entered the Order in February 1999. After the blessing of the remodelled small retreat house at Yeoncheon (on a smaller previous site there than today’s larger property) he was then sent to Incheon Priory to assist at the Augustinian Group Home for boys from dysfunctional families, Norang-Narang, where he worked for the next two and a half years. It was during his time there that he received his solemn vows as an Augustinian on 26 May 2007. After completing his formation studies and other courses at Kang-hwa, on 3 March 2010 once he was again up in the snow at Yeoncheon with the job of building planner and fundraiser. Stage one of the building project was launched at the time of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Augustinian Delegation of Korea, and then blessed and officially opened in September of 2010, when Cardinal Prospero Grech O.S.A. visited from Rome in order to officiate.Since then Bro. Salesio has been involved in Stage Two of the Yeoncheon building complex. About this work he has written, “Without the effort, one in heart and mind, of all the brothers and the generosity of the benefactors the Lord has sent us, none of this would have been accomplished. We still have debt to pay off and the second half of the retreat house to complete but we'll go about it calmly thanking God for the graces given so far. Those supporters close to our Order are unanimous with us in agreeing that this whole venture has been a miracle from God. While new buildings are a thing of joy it is the unity of purpose and prayer that this venture has generated in the brothers that is more important. Praise to God who works marvels through us his lowly servants.”
Among the talents and interests of Bro. Salesio are photography and designing wax candles (see photo at left). May God bless him as he undertakes his responsibilities in the months and year ahaed.