South Korean Catholics at the Vatican. A Korean diocese plans to set up a town for elderly Catholics in 2013. CNS file photo

SEOUL – Incheon diocese in South Korea has announced its plan to set up and manage a town for senior Catholics in response to the country’s rising elderly population.

It is believed to be the first time in the country that a diocese is to build and run a town for senior citizens, said Ms Justina Kang, public relations head of the diocese’s senior town committee.

Kang told ucanews.com that in 2013, the diocese plans to establish a senior town for Catholics aged 60 years or older. The town will be called “Maris Stella” after the patron of the diocese.

The diocesan committee for the town said it will provide integrated pastoral care for Catholic elders and focus on improving their quality of life.

Under the construction plan, a church will be built with a priest staying and running spiritual programmes for the residents.

The town can accommodate up to 237 families with living spaces starting from 80 square metres.

The senior residents will have to pay a deposit of 18 million won (S$20,000) per 3.3 square-metre area and 1.7 million won monthly rent.

According to the country’s 2005 statistics, 10 percent of the then 48 million-strong population were 65 years old or older. The number is estimated to rise to more than 15 percent by 2020.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea said that in 2009, 19.2 percent of South Korea’s 5,120,092 Catholics were 60 years or older. n UCANEWS.COM

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