Father Seong Jae-deok(Pierre Singer, 1910-1992)
Father Seong Jae-deok, founder of the Little Servants of the Holy Family, was born in Hesdin, France on October 13th 1910. He entered the Foreign Missionary of Paris in 1928 and was ordained as a priest on July 7th, 1935. In the same year, he was sent to Korea as a missionary and appointed as a pastor of Seoul Baek-dong Church(nowadays known as Hyehwa Catholic Church) in 1939. World War II was taking place then, and Korea was suffering hard times under Japanese occupation.
He anticipated the future fate of Korea, and was worried about what the Church could do to settle the problems. He noticed women who desired for a religious life, and started our community with two candidates on December 25th, 1943, which was Christmas.
Foundation of the Little Servants of the Holy Family
We are the first congregation established by the diocese in Baek-dong, Seoul(Hyehwa-dong nowadays). Our
founder foresaw several problems caused by war after the Japanese colonial period such as orphans, injuries,
refugees, and separated families. He profoundly understood that workers of God would be needed, as the Church
had the duty to show the benevolent face of Christ and to help those who are in need.
He chose Hyehwa-dong, where a seminary and Carmelite convent are located, as the appropriate formation place
for the Catholic mind and spiritual aid.
He called for candidates who desired for religious life and suggested that,"It is risky and not productive to stay
so by staying together you will be able to achieve more meritorious deeds, and manage a perfect religious
That is how our religious community was established, by ardent women who gathered to dedicate themselves
to those suppressed by the Japanese-occupation and a country doomed with dark shadows of the war.
We vowed ourselves for obedience to examples shown by the Holy Family,
following father Seong's suggestion on December 25th, 1943.
We decided to name ourselves as the Little Servants of the Holy Family, quoted from the speech "I am His servant." by the Blessed Mother and Korean martyrs Kim Hyo-im Columba and Kim Hyo-ju Agnes who stood against the jury at the risk of their life.