IN MEMORIAM: Jae Chung '14

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With profound sorrow we post that the Rev. Jae Wook Chung, Class of 2014, died December 16, 2015, at Stony Brook Medical Center in Long Island at the age of 42. Chung's recurrence of cancer, and the swiftness with which it overtook him, has shocked us all. We join his family, his parish family, and all those whose lives he touched in their overwhelming grief. Jae Wook Chung was ordained deacon in January 2014 at the Cathedral of Incarnation. A Korean-American, he was born in Seoul in 1973, and immigrated to the United States at age 27 after finishing two years of required military service. He graduated from Korea's Dankook University with a B.S. in Economics.

In the United States, Chung founded a web agency for Global 500 companies with his wife, Shin Kang, a graphic designer.

He was an active parishioner of Great Neck Episcopal Ministries and served as a youth director for six years before entering The General Theological Seminary as a postulant of the Diocese of Long Island in 2011.

Chung also served as a member of the Diocesan Bishop Search Committee.  He and his wife lived at Camp DeWolfe as resident staff members in 2007, where they also created the camp's first website.

Jae Chung with his wife, Shin, at his side at his ordination to the priesthood on July 19, 2014 photo: St. Ann's Church
Jae Chung with his wife, Shin, at his side at his ordination to the priesthood on July 19, 2014 photo: St. Ann's Church

In February, 2014, Chung began his journey as deacon in Saint Ann's, Sayville. After his ordination as priest, he continued his ministry at Saint Ann's, as Priest Associate.

Chung also served as the co-convener of the Diocese of Long Island's Episcopal Asian American Ministry Commission, which was formed by a resolution at the Diocese of Long Island convention in 2009.

In an article in Saint Ann's parish journal, Chung wrote, "As a Korean-American who is not a native English speaker, I never imagined that I would be coming to a program-sized parish as a full-time minister in Suffolk County. However, it really happened to me when I answered 'Amen' to applying for the curacy position at Saint Ann's. For the last five months, my experiences magnifying (enlarging) the Body of Christ here at Saint Ann’s have 'enlarged' the priesthood in me with the astonishing joy of all the parishioners who are happily expecting my ordination on July 19. The ordination is not only for me, but also for all parishioners, as well as all people in this Diocese. I hope and pray that I can keep happily walking this sacramental journey as a priest to magnify the Lord with the people of God in the Diocese of Long Island and beyond."

Chung will be missed for all his many gifts, his deep love and faith in Jesus, but most especially for his prayerful, holy manner in all aspects of life. One particular gift he shared with his class at General was sand art. For his New Testament course, he did a unique class presentation, a rendering of Mark 9, the transfiguration and aftermath, which has been shared on YouTube.

A Vigil Watch was held on December 18 at Saint Ann's Episcopal Church, Sayville, New York and a Requiem Eucharist was held on December 19 at Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City, New York. The Rt. Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano presided. Burial followed at Saint Ann's Church Cemetery, Sayville.

Cards and messages of condolence may be sent to Chung's wife, Shin Kang, and their four children, Ian, Emma, Leo, and Lucas at: 59 Pine Street, Sayville, NY  11782.

A fund has been established by Saint Ann's, Sayville, for the benefit of Jae and Shin's four children, all of whom are under eight years old. Checks may be sent to Saint Ann's Church, Fund for Jae Chung, 262 Middle Road, Sayville, NY 11782. Saint Ann's contact information can be found at saint-anns.org.