Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Monday, January 26, 2004

Monastery Visit

Today, my wife, daughter, and I visited the tranquil Abbey of New Clairvaux, a Trappist-Cistercian Monastery in nearby Vina, California. In the two weeks we have remaining in the United States, I hope to return there to assist the Hours.
Lest we forget...

North Korea's Killing Fields

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Thanks for the Link

Flos Carmeli

Saturday, January 17, 2004


From Korea-centrism and the foreign 'threat', an insightful look at the economic roots of South Korea's current surge in nationalism:
    There is nothing that will draw Koreans together faster than the belief that outside forces are ththat it is not so lovely... not so enchanting. Their fingers would wag at the crowds packing the Underground during rush hour, or stab at the morning paper to show me the politics of the day. They would try and wave the banner of the day to day grind before me, to dissuade my eyes from seeing the beauty and charm. Sad, really... that they would so eagerly try to steal away such a jewel. Hostile, even... in their zeal to prove that the world holds no magic. If I were to turn my ears to their words, they would gladly fill my thoughts with belching black smoke and mechanical living.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Impressions of the Southwest

We returned a few days ago from a week visiting the states of Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. The natural wonders we saw like Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, and the Painted Desert, all testaments to the Glory of the Creator, have been described by writers better than me, so I'll focus on the human wonders of that area.

What is most impressive about Nevada is its desolation. There is very little human settlement between Reno and Las Vegas. On the way to Beatty, Nevada's gateway to Death Valley, we passed through Fallon, a small, pleasant city, where I was surprised to see a Korean Baptist Church. I also saw many dubiously named establishments along the highway, only the last one clearly labeled as a brothel. In Las Vegas I noticed many things that I thought were indigenous to the seedier parts of Korea: cards with nude women and phone numbers scattered about, brighly lit trucks advertising adult night clubs slowly driving around town, etc.

We spent too little time on the Navajo Indian Reservation, but it was good to hear their language still in use, even on a country music station that introduced the latest hits from Nashville in the Navajo tongue.

The highlight of the trip was New Mexico, where I hoped to see many of the places described in Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop. In Santa Fe, we saw three beautiful churches: St. Francis Cathedral, the Loretto Chapel, and the San Miguel Mission, the oldest church structure in the United States.

We went on to Taos. We received a tip from a man in Sante Fe that if we were interested in churches, we should stop by the Santuario del Chimayo. Located in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this shrine is known for its holy dirt, some of which we brought home and which is said to have healing powers. The shrine is filled with the crutches and baby shoes of those who have been healed. It was very Mexican in character. To my Korean wife, the shrine seemed to belong to a religion other than Catholicism, and I had to agree with her assertion to some extent. Still, it was a very interesting place.

Due to our visit to the shrine, we arrived later than expected inTaos. There were two sites we hoped to see: the Taos Pueblo and the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church. Arriving at just before 4:00 and knowing that the latter would soon close and the former close at 4:30, we headed for the Pueblo and arrived shortly after the hour. Although the sign clearly said that the Pueblo was closed for visitors at 4:30, the Indian at the gate turned us back saying that closing time was now 4:00. We headed for the church but were unable to see that as well. We went to the Taos Plaza and intuition led to me to the nearby Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, where we were able to attend a Saturday evening multi-lingual mass; the Kyrie was sung in Latin, Greek, Spanish, and English!

On the way home, the last stop was most impressive of all: the Acoma Pueblo, located on a mesa some 367 feet above the desert floor. Founded in 1150, it is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the United States. Its massive San Esteban del Rey Mission Church was perhaps the most massive and austere of all the mission churches I have seen in California or New Mexico.
Developments in South Korea

From South Korean Foreign Minister Ditched in Policy Row:

    The "People's Participatory Government" is the slogan [South Korean President] Roh's team uses for its populist administration, which calls for more independence from Washington and closer ties to North Korea.

From U.S. Is Korea's Adversary?:

    A recent survey asked people which country they believes most threatens Korea's security. 33 percent named North Korea, and 39 percent named the United States. Among people in their twenties, 58 percent said the U.S. was the bigger threat, while only 20 percent cited the North. If we were to act upon the results of that survey, then the U.S. should be considered the Republic of Korea's main adversary, instead of North Korea.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Desert Southwest

We are now leaving for a trip to the Desert Southwest. We hope to see some of the geological wonders, as well as some of the Indian lands and old Spanish missions.

Monday, January 05, 2004


A story from South Korea:
Sex slaves and the U.S. military

Friday, January 02, 2004

Nazi Horrors

From Brazil Starts Fingerprinting U.S. Travelers:
    "I consider the act absolutely brutal, threatening human rights, violating human dignity, xenophobic and worthy of the worst horrors committed by the Nazis," said Sebastiao da Silva in the court order released on Tuesday.

What act does da Silva compare to "the worst horrors committed by the Nazis"? Fingerprinting foreigners entering the United States.