Korean Brother Andrew Yeongmin Kang invites Catholics in the Philippines to relive the Camillian pledge of sharing God’s merciful love with the sick and to bear witness in serving everyone in the healthcare community.
By Rechilda Estores
Br. Andrew Yeongmin Kang, a Korean-born vocations director of the Sts. Camillus de Lellis & Lorenzo Ruiz Church in Quezon City, Philippines, gives importance to the needs of the sick.
“St. Camillus de Lellis, the patron saint of the sick, hospitals, and health-care workers, is the founder of our order, we have Christ as our model to serve and nourish the lives of people,” he told Vatican News.
He reiterated the belief of the Camillian founder to “see Christ in the sick and be Christ to the sick.”
The vocations director said the congregation of Order the Ministers of the Infirm embodies the actions of Christ in serving the people through their vow to care for the sick.
“We took a fourth vow whereby we consecrate ourselves to the service of the sick, both in hospitals and elsewhere, even at the risk of life,” he continued. “Being aware of this journey, we aim to give complete service and care to those who are sick.”
Camillian Brothers of Sts. Camillus de Lellis & Lorenzo Ruiz Church in Philippines (courtesy of Br. Andrew Yeongmin Kang)
Care and Love
Br. Kang recalled his 9 years of service in the Church by sharing how he encountered the Camillian vocation.
“The calling of God drove out all fear in going out of my country to learn a new culture and language because the Camillians are not present in Korea,” he said.
Aside from the care that they offer those who are ill, he said the Church also instills love in their service.
“If one is to serve a sick person, he or she should be able to put more heart into his or her hands that give care and love,” he added.
Br. Kang shared that the Camillian brothers are attending to the needs of people in different areas of the community.
“We do have regular exposures to different apostolate areas like hospitals, parishes, schools, urban poor communities, and social welfare facilities for home for the aged, children, orphans, and persons with disabilities,” he stated.
He said that the parishes in the Philippines also “have a group called Friends of the Sick, who visit the sick in the vicinity of the parish church and share the word of God with them.”
He highlighted that the Camillian Brothers educate people about health and help people who are victims of disasters.
“We also give Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) trainings to our seminarians and lay people,” he said. “We also have a subgroup called Camillian Disaster Service (CADIS) International, through which we address the immediate needs of the people affected by both natural and man-made calamities and try to provide sustainability for their lives.”
[ Photo Embed: Camillian Brothers of Sts. Camillus de Lellis & Lorenzo Ruiz Church, Philippines (courtesy of Br. Andrew Yeongmin Kang)]
The Korean-born vocation director expressed his belief that their service in the Church will contribute to the betterment of Filipino society. “We strive to inculcate these values to both corporal and spiritual needs of the sick. I believe that this will eventually accompany positive effects in our health care world.”
He said that being a Camillian brother helped him to “enter into a more intimate relationship with our God.”
Br. Kang concluded the interview by inviting others to be part of his congregation’s mission. “Do not hesitate to join us in sharing this joyful mission of God. It is a challenging ministry, but it is also definitely a very special and meaningful gift from God that we can share with others who need it.”
Caring for our Home
The Sts. Camillus de Lellis & Lorenzo Ruiz Church also recently celebrated the Laudato Si Week by orienting more than 50 Filipino children in response to the needs of taking care of our environment in accordance to the encyclical of Pope Francis in Care of our Common Home.
“The Camillian Task Force PH continues its advocacy of caring for our home – mother Earth, in our own simple way, caring for our future. – The Camillians”
The Camillians celebrating Laudato Si Week 2023 with children (courtesy of The Camillians)
In the Facebook post of the Camillians, it states that “teaching the children to care, assures us that we have a bright future. Care for one another, care for themselves, care for nature, care for everyone, and for all.”