In Memory Of Cardinal Kim Suhwan

A poem of remembrance

by Fr Kevin O'Rourke

Fr Kevin O’Rourke, a Columban from Ireland ordained in 1963, is professor of English at Kyunghee University in Seoul, Korea, and is the author of three books of Korean poetry in translation and is planning to produce an anthology from AD 668 to the present day.

Dust of snow,
a wind that chills to the bone,
pinched mourning faces,
collars raised, hats pulled low,
the shiver of death everywhere.
Cardinal Kim Suhwan
is lowered to his final resting place.

He brought forth simplicity,
a water simplicity that quickened
every root it touched.
He brought forth patience,
a medicament patience that salved
the wounds of the poor.
He brought forth compassion,
a loving compassion that embraced the world.
Simplicity, patience, compassion,
these three:
timber for a master carpenter,
clay for a master potter,
the hub of a master priest’s wheel.
“If you bring forth what is inside,
what you bring forth will save.”