The Valley Catholic April 16, 2019 - Page 5

tvc.dsj.org | April 16, 2019 COMMUNITY 5 New Pastor Installed in Holy Korean Martyrs Catholic Church Holy Korean Martyrs Catholic Church (HKMCC) parishioners cel- ebrated Mass of Installation of Father Stefano Taehoon Ko as their new pas- tor on March 3. The Mass was presided over by Coadjutor Bishop Oscar Cantú. Father.Stefano Taehoon Ko belongs to the Diocese of Suwon in Korea, and he was sent to serve as the 11th Pastor in the history of HKMCC. This Korean Catholic community in San Jose was initially formed with 22 faithful families yearning to worship God in their native tongue, at Saint Law- rence in Santa Clara. As the community grew gradually, the place worship was moved to Archbishop Mitty High School Chapel, and then to Queen of Apostles Parish. In 1993, the community was able to establish its own church in a remodeled storage building in Sunny- vale and it was named Saints, Andrew After the Rite of Installation Mass, Coadjutor Bishop Oscar Cantú and Father Stefano Taehoon Ko posed with the special guests in Holy Korean Martyrs Catholic Church. and Paul Korean Catholic Mission. In 2005, the community was recog- nized as a parish in Diocese of San Jose with the new name of Holy Korean Martyrs Parish in remembrance of the blood shed by Korean Martyrs sow- ing the seeds of faith in God. Soon the community again had to relocate to accommodate the needs of a rapidly growing number of parishioners. With the guidance of Bishop McGrath, the community now resides in the current church in San Jose, serving 1200 active parishioners. HKMCC is thought to be one of the largest Korean Catholic com- munities outside of Korea. Young Adults and Religion By Lauren Loftus Young adults are much less likely than earlier generations to consider themselves “religious.” According to the Pew Research Center, 43 percent of people in the U.S. under age 40 say religion is “very important” to them, compared to 60 percent of adults over 40. To Elizabeth Drescher, adjunct associ- ate professor of religious studies at Santa Clara University, that doesn’t mean her students are uninterested in engaging the spiritual and sacred. Over the past two years, her students have become novice field researchers in the local spiritual landscape. They physi- cally visit sites of spiritual significance- from Presbyterian churches and Sikh gurdwaras to Santa Cruz beaches where locals practice yoga-and document their observations and experiences via a geo- mapping application, Encounter, devel- oped by Drescher and religious studies adjunct lecturer Jaime Wright, with the support of Living Religion Collaborative student fellows Connor Holttum (‘18), Nick Nagy (‘19), Claire Dixon (‘19), and Casey Xuerub (‘19). We chatted with Drescher about the significance of mapping religion and spirituality in Northern California. What first motivated you to document and plot religious and spiritual spaces with your students? I got interested in finding ways to teach religion that move beyond text. My focus is on how ordinary people “do’” religion-how we make it, how we use it in our everyday, ordinary lives. That involves looking at things like religious spaces and taking seriously students’ perspectives on their own religious and spiritual experiences, observations, and reflections. And that then developed into the Encounter geomap? Yes. My colleague Jaime Wright and I have a 2018-2019 teaching and tech- nology grant that supports continuing development of the project. Encounter is a story-mapping platform that visually and geospatially tracks students’ experi- ences in formal and informal religious and spiritual spaces, mapping where they’ve been as well as the stories that define those spaces as sacred. It can be viewed at: https://www.scu.edu/livin- greligions/encounter-mapping-religion/ Why is the mapping element-literally plotting points on a digital map of the Bay Area-important? We want students to tell the story of how religion and spirituality exist in and around the university and local communities. Encounter allows us to see young adults’ perspectives on religion as it shapes and is shaped by landscapes they’re exploring. What is the value of a tool like En- counter? We also want Encounter to allow people from outside the university to see how young people experience religion locally. This is way more valu- able than, say, a Yelp map of “here are a bunch of spiritual places and reviews.” It’s really a tableau of experiences that young people are both observing and participating in. How has this project informed your study of the religiously unaffiliated, AKA “nones,” a demographic that in- cludes more and more young people? There’s this idea that religion and spirituality are dying. I don’t think that’s exactly what’s happening. I think we’re in a moment where religion and spiri- The HKMCC is greatly indebted to the Diocese of Suwon and Caritas Sis- ters of Jesus sending priests and sisters to meet the pastoral needs, to grow into a mature Catholic community. The HMKCC is deeply grateful to the leadership of Diocese of San Jose for having provided Sunday Mass to the 2nd generation English speaking youth and young adults. Currently Father Joseph Youngsam Kim from Diocese of Suwon leads the youth ministry with help from the di- ocesan priests: Father Steve Kim, Father Gabriel Lee, and Father Ritche Bueza. The HKMCC will continue to meet the new challenge of generation gaps and language barriers within the Korean ethnic culture, searching for a creative way to unite the community keeping faith, hope, and love, steadfast in the Lord our God, Jesus Christ. tuality are being redefined and, impor- tantly, young adults are really central to that redefining. So understanding how they experience and perceive real spaces in which spirituality unfolds is critical.