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  • About SEOUL PRIORY  / South Korea

    The Seoul Priory was founded in 1987. 132 sisters work in 15 communities and engage in many kinds of socio-pastoral ministries. One of the houses is located among Korean immigrants in the United States.

    In addition to the pastoral work in 12 parishes, the sisters run 5 kindergartens and 1 significant kindergarten in the priory house compound. There is a school for deaf children renowned for the first quality of Korea, a kindergarten for handicapped children, and two nursing homes (one of which is for deaf mutes). They are also responsible for two soup kitchens for the elderly and unemployed. A iconographer sister works with icons that can offer a way to deepen people’s prayer life. It runs 4 counseling centers so as to help build healthy family relationship and upright self-esteem. The sisters make an effort to spread the light of the Gospel through their retreat center and the Bible school located in the middle of Seoul metropolitan area. 

    More about these communities and their ministries is found on the  Priory Website.

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    History of SEOUL Priory

    I. The Beginning

    God granted the German Sisters who survived years of life in the cruel concentration camp in communist North Korea, the faith and courage to return to the war-torn country, the land of the martyrs, South Korea. Their self-sacrificing dedication was rewarded by numerous numbers of young vocations which gave new foundation in Daegu a rapid growth. It was already in the priory chapter in 1971, the suggestion to make a new independent priory in the hope that true Benedictine spirituality could be better lived in smaller community, was up for discussion. After 15 years of deliberations, the priory chapter in 1986 finally came to a decision to establish a new priory in Seoul. On Nov. 16, 1987, Seoul Priory dedicated to St. Gertrud was born with 72 Sisters and 9 stations, mainly located in and surrounding area of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. It started as an independent priory with its novitiate which opened with 3 postulants from the Daegu Priory immediately.

    II. Expansion and Development

    On Oct. 13, 1989, the construction of Seoul Priory House located in the compound of Sang-Ji Retreat Center which had served as the seat of the new priory, was completed and blessed. The Church in Korea needed Sisters in many fields of apostolic work, and the Lord sent us a good number of vocations for the new priory to expand and develop.

    Since the founding year, we have established 7 stations for parish ministry and a clinical pastoral center in the Seoul National University Hospital. We also founded the first oversea station in respond to the spiritual need of Korean immigrants in USA. Sisters of this station take care of Korean nationals in New Jersey and New York areas.

    In 1993, St. Joseph House for the elderly with hearing impairment was constructed in Wongog, southern province of Seoul. Caritas Children's Center started offering special education to the children with multiple handicaps, and Suyu Soup Kitchen opened to distribute free hot lunch for the poor elderly since 1998.

    In 2004, Bundo Village, a nursing home, was built in Pocheon. Two years later, in the compound of the Priory House, Seoul Benedict Kindergarten started providing Catholic education to the children of the neighborhood of the convent which was then surrounded by newly built apartment complex. Counseling services by our Sisters for the children were followed.

    Upon the invitation of Bishop Peter Kang of Jeju diocese, Benedict Counseling Center was blessed in 2014 and the sisters were missioned to 2 parishes. In 2015, we built Benedict Center in the compound of the Priory House to accommodate a counseling center, a Bible school, and a place for our oblates. In 2018 new building of Bundo Village, nursing home, was constructed.


    Benedict Bible School

    Benedict counseling center


    III. Blessings of Today

    28 years after its beginning, 133 Sisters (128 final professed, 5 juniors) actively engaged in prayer and work in the Priory House and 15 local houses. We thank God for giving us still some good vocations, though rapid decline in number as almost all religious congregations experience nowadays in Korea.

    We proclaim the good news in 10 parishes, a retreat house, a Bible school, a pastoral center in a hospital, and a mission center for hearing-impaired persons. We care for the disabled in a children's center, a special school, a house for the hearing-impaired elderly. Every day the aged and the poor are welcomed in our nursing home, and in our two soup kitchens. Sisters endeavor to lay Christian value education in 5 kindergartens and an education center. We work for spiritual need of Korean immigrant communities in NJ and NY areas in the States, while trying to give assistance to immigrants in our own country. We are proud of two renowned artist Sisters who design and adorn many chapels and holy shrines with their sacred artistic works. We have sent 8 missionaries to 4 priories, and always give serious considerations to respond to the need of inter-priory sharing.

    Recently we put our special efforts in counseling ministry mainly by means of Sandplay therapy. It is an answer to the urgent need for spiritual and psychological healing ministry in Korean society and a fitting way by which aging Sisters can effectively help clients based on their life-long experience of faith and human understanding. We opened 4 centers with one more in preparation.



    IV. Responding to the Need of the Poor

    From the foundation days, Seoul priory intended to have solidarity with the poor, giving more considerations for them as prescribed in its Priory Statutes. Thus we respond to the need of the poor in caring for the hearing-impaired persons, mentally handicapped, and children with multiple disabilities in special facilities. We feed free hot meals in two soup kitchens. In parishes, Sisters visit and help the poor and lonely. Our kindergartens and counseling centers provide favors to children from multi-cultural background, poor or disadvantaged families.

    We are grateful to the Lord that invitations for more fields of apostolate do continue to arrive, and we know that one of the important criteria for a discernment process should be whether the new work would benefit the poor.

    That in all things God may be glorified!


    Gallery of SEOUL Priory

    Pr. house Garden

    Pr. house Garden

    Pr. house Garden

    Pr. house Garden



    Nursing Home

    Nursing Home





    Seoul Aewha School

    Seoul Aewha School









    Priory Web

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    Newsletter of SEOUL Priory





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