"Welcome to the Society of St. Francis" the sign says.
The brothers’ prayers and welcome to men and women seeking a time and space for quiet seems all the more profound to me. There were three guests here when I arrived. Like most of our friaries around the world, there are usually a few people around. One of the essential pieces of being a peacemaker is to carry on living with integrity and joy and affirming life, welcoming people into clean and orderly spaces, and the humane routines of shared meals, silence, prayer, laughter.
So today we shopped, ate lunch (walnut jelly and buckwheat noodles!) then went for ice cream (black sesame seed and walnut—walnuts play a big part in the local food), looked at dams, roads and lots of tunnels and other construction projects. The brothers shared a dislike for the construction boom, pointing out the encroachment on the rice paddies, the cheap and gaudy tourist facilities. And we told stories about our lives, our hope for the