South Koreans celebrating community, faith

  • June 24, 2010
Sacred Heart of Jesus parishTORONTO - Wearing South Korea’s trademark red shirts, parishioners at Etobicoke’s Sacred Heart of Jesus parish have caught the World Cup soccer fever.

For the team’s third game of the World Cup in South Africa on June 22, against Nigeria, parishioners, including pastor Fr. Min-Kyu Antigonus Park, cheered their team on. The game ended in a 2-2 tie, sending South Korea into the Round of 16.

Also known as the Ye Su Sung Shim parish, it is home to about 1,000 families, most of whom are of South Korean descent.

About 250 people gathered in the parish hall for South Korea’s first game against Greece on June 12, cheering their side on to a 2-0 victory. The group also had breakfast together.

The mood wasn’t as jubilant for South Korea’s second game against one of the favourites, Argentina. The team lost 4-1. About 50 parishioners gathered for that game.

But Park said the sporting gathering, around the hall’s big screen TV, also provides an opportunity for the community to pray together before the game and share food from the Korean culture.

“It’s a big celebration for the Korean community,” he said. “We will watch together (with) hope.”

South Korea’s best showing in the World Cup was in 2002 when it co-hosted the tournament with Japan. South Korea had an amazing run, downing soccer powerhouse Spain in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to reach the semi-finals.

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