On Friday, April 10, 2020, the Foundation Stone for the construction of the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Jeonju was laid by Metropolitan Ambrosios of Korea, assisted by the priests Rev. Fr. Hilarion Jeong and Rev. Fr. Antonios Lim, as well as Deacon Yohan Park. Due to the new coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony was attended by a few faithful from our Parish in Jeonju and representatives of the construction company E ECO CO. During the ceremony, Metropolitan Ambrosios delivered the following short address.
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
It is with deep emotion that we have all gathered here today to attend the ceremony of the laying of the Foundation Stone for the construction of the Holy Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos and the adjacent Community Center.
We could not have imagined a better time for today’s ceremony than this, as we will soon be celebrating the Passion and Resurrection of our Lord.
As is well known, the Passion of the Lord culminates in His Crucifixion. On the Cross, the God-man Jesus Christ, being “The King of Glory”, gave the hardest and most terrible battle in human History, defeating the Devil and Sin.
With His Holy Blood that was shed on the Cross, He strengthened and secured His Church. That is why we placed the plaque with the engraved Holy Cross on the foundations of the Church, because the Cross is, first of all, the foundation of our faith. And every Orthodox church has not only in its foundations, but also internally, externally and on its roof (in the dome) the sign of the Cross to bear witness to the victory of Christ to all those who may be inside or outside the Church.
Secondly, the Cross is the symbol of Sacrifice. Christ on His Cross gave the unique and unparalleled example of the supreme sacrifice for the human race, in order to teach us that, His earthly Church and Her members must always follow the path of sacrifice for the salvation of the world. This is the role of the Church and her children.
Thirdly, the meaning of the Cross is joy. “Behold, through the Cross joy has come to the world”, we recite every Sunday morning, but also every day for forty days after Easter. As the Apostle Paul writes, “if we die on the cross with Christ” (Gal. 2:20); if we live our personal crucifixion, daily crucifying “our sinful self with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24), then surely true joy will come to us, which, according to the promise of Christ, “no one will be able to take away from us.” (Jn 16:22)
Fourthly, the Cross is hope. Through the Cross, the secured and unwavering hope is born. If we rely on the Cross of Christ, we will never bend under the weight of trials and tribulations in our lives. For example, now that we are all experiencing the nightmare of the new coronavirus pandemic, we will not be overwhelmed by fear and despair, but, instead, we will live with the unwavering hope that after the crucifixion, the Resurrection will come.
Let us thank the Lord and His Blessed Mother who has deemed us worthy today to attend this joyful and historic event for our Metropolis.
At this point, please allow me to convey to you the warm paternal wishes and blessings of HAH, our Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as well as His Eminence Metropolitan Soterios of Pisidia, for the joyous completion of this sacred task.
Finally, we extend our many thanks to Fr. Hilarion Jeong, for the efforts he made for many years in order to reach today’s result. Also, many thanks go to the members of the Church Council, as well as to all the faithful of the Parish of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Jeonju. I ask all of you to continue offering your help according to one’s ability, so that we may achieve the desired result.
To the building Contractor and his associates we wish good health and strength to carry out this sacred work in the best possible way.
May God soon bless us to perform the Consecration of our Holy Church, so that the glorious and majestic name of God always be glorified in it, and may the Most Holy Theotokos be praised as “it is fitting and right to be called blessed.” Happy Easter!