"How on earth am I going to learn how to pronounce that ?!", was the reaction of one good friend from Echuca when I told her that I would be moving to the Diocese of Uijeongbu.
On 17th March 2005 three of us, Brother Barnabas (the Korean Delegation Superior), Brother Salesio and I, changed address.
We moved into a small house on the side of a steep mountain near a tiny village called Do_Shin, which in Chinese characters appropriately means, "new way" or "new road".
It was decided by consensus that the new residence be called "Mother of Good Counsel Priory (convento)."
That may sound somewhat grand for the cottage built on about one and a half acres of land crossed by a steep gorge that is sure to be filled with melting snow and ice in the spring and summer.
Our new community will be living at the far northern end of the new diocese of Uijeongbu, which was only created last August when it was cut off from the Archdiocese of Seoul.
The new house is only ten kilometres or so from the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) which separates North Korea from South Korea.
The area is very mountainous, cold and snowy in the winter, but beautiful in every season.
The house, which at the moment only has two bedrooms, was built by a retired Korean Protestant pastor for himself and his wife.
He said he had been praying that someone who wanted to pray and work there would buy the house and land.
He was so pleased when we arrived at his door one cold morning in February.
There is also a storage shed next to the house which he had used as a prayer room. We hope to do some renovations soon after we move in, enlarging the house and turning the storage shed into a small chapel.
We hope to make Do-Shin-Ri house a place of prayer and reconciliation for individuals, small groups, and families.
This will happen especially during the warmer summer months when some may wish to come and stay in tents to pray with us and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.
In addition to providing this place of prayer we intend to begin a ministry of social justice in one of the nearby cities. There is very high unemployment and related social problems there.
Perhaps some of you may even be able to join us one day in the mountains overlooking North Korea.
You can pray for peace and justice among nations, peace and mutual respect between different religions and peoples, peace and harmony in our families, and peace and fairness in our places of work."
(Written by one of the friars.)