The church Francis will find in Korea

This story appears in the Francis in Korea feature series. View the full series.

by Thomas C. Fox

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Holy Names Sr. Sophia Park, a native of South Korea, is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Holy Names University in California and teaches spiritual direction courses at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Park holds an Ph.D. in Christian spirituality from Graduate Theological Union.

Her research interests include biblical spirituality, cross-cultural spiritual direction and religious life from a postcolonial and global feminist perspective. She says she believes scholarly work should go with service and engagement with people for justice, that service and engagement without prayerfulness exists as fantasy.

I spoke to her recently about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to South Korea, what kind of church the pope will likely find there, her hopes for the trip, and what might be the lasting impact of the August 13-18 voyage, Francis’ third international apostolic journey.

An in-depth analysis of the upcoming visit will be posted at on Monday. GSR will link to it then.

[Tom Fox is NCR publisher and director of Global Sisters Report. He can be reached at His Twitter tag is NCRTomFox.]