Building our house on strong foundation

Thursday, 12/7/17

Let me tell a story about my help in building a house on rock. It came about in April of 1954, my first summer in Korea, when I had been sent out to the East coast port of Sok-cho-ri.

I was helping out an old Irish priest, while he went about re-building a church south of there where I was to become pastor.

In my first week of watching over that old priest's church in in Sok-Cho-ri, I was approached by two boys Peter and Paul, whom the Benedictines up north in Wonsan, North Korea had taught how to serve Mass.  They had escaped south to Sok-cho-ri, where they were earning pennies running a photography shop.

Peter and Paul had picked up Catholic wives, and they were all living together in the one-room photography shop. When Peter's wife became pregnant, they asked me to lend a hand in their building a two-room house.

We borrowed a cart to carry up eight boulders  from a nearby river bed, and we dug  holes for them and for the  corner posts. With them erected, we bought spools of Black-Market telephone cable, and we strung it between the posts, getting mud to stick on it.

When Peter went off to his wife's village to have her baby, Paul and I tied  bundles of straw for the roof. We had just completed building that little house, when a typhoon struck Sok-Cho-ri, carrying off many neighboring houses, but leaving intact Peter and Paul'new house, built on eight large rocks.

When Peter arrived back with his wife and new baby,we had a grand house dedication party  on June 29, feast of Peter and Paul.

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