She joined the Columban Sisters in 1992 and has spent time in mission in the Philippines.
She has spent the past three years studying for her degree in Theology and Anthropology at Milltown in Dublin, Ireland.
She tells us her story:
My name is Angela (MinSook) Yoon. I am from South Korea. I come from a very traditional Catholic family. My mother’s family brought the Catholic from North Korea. I grew up listening to the story of my great-grandmother’s faith. When the Catholics were persecuted by the government in Korea, my great-grand mother lost her rosary beads. Fortunately, her helper found it and to gave it to her. He did not report her to the government. My grand mother told us this story. Whether it was true or not, I was proud of my family’s traditional faith when I was a child. My uncle was a diocesan seminarian in North Korea but he died of illness. During the Korean War, my mother’s family escaped from North Korea. Before the War my father, at the age of nineteen, had escaped from North Korea. He was baptized when he married my mother.
14 years ago, I joined Missionary Sisters of St. Columban. Before joining the congregation, I had taken an intensive one-year course in interior designing and had worked in an architectural company for 4 years. I used to draw and to paint new plans for new houses and buildings etc. As a young woman, I was ambitious to be a professional worker and to earn lots of money. After 5 years of doing commercial art I asked myself: ‘What gives meaning to my life? Is it money? Or a good job?’ At that time, I was satisfied with my life but I was still searching for something deeper. I always did voluntary work at my parish Church. This gave me deep joy. I began to think becoming a religious sister and I contacted the Columban Sisters who encouraged me in my vocation. Later on I joined them. This has been one of the most important life-giving experiences in my life.
I spent 3 years in the Philippines. After a language course in Mindanao, I joined local Redemptorist mission team and took part in the catechism programme which they were offering in a mountain area in Dipolog. There I lived with local people in order to learn their life style, language and culture. Then I worked with drug and alcoholic addicted young people, listening to them as they shared their difficulties and problems. Next I taught deaf and mute children how to paint. I found they had many talents in drawing and painting. Through the medium of art, I was able to communicate with those children. During the art class, the silence gave me a time to pray. I am sure that God was with us while the children were drawing and painting. I read their feelings and conditions through the art.
In the Philippines, I learned very much from the people with whom I worked. They taught me how God works in our lives. Even though they were materially poor but they know how to share with others. I have been privileged to experience God’s love through missionary work. The missionary activities are not my own work; the mission is God’s and I am trying to respond in faith. I try to bring God’s love to all the peoples I meet on my missionary journey.
Angela studied Theology and Anthropolgy at Milltown in Dublin, Ireland and was sent for missin to China since 2007.