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Soulstay at the Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey()

Soulstay at the Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey

These days, it is so easy to be feel burnt out with the scorching heat.  I visited Chilgok Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey (칠곡 성 베네딕도회 왜관 수도원
) to cheer my tired body and mind up apart from the daily lives.

Chilgok Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey was established by priests in July 1952.  There are about 140 priests residing, and based on the lesson of Saint Benedict "Pray and work", the priests make the stained glass, art crafts, decorations and cultivate church garden.

Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey Retreat House (성 베네딕도회 왜관 수도원의 피정의 집) is the first Retreat House in Korea. "Pijeong(Retreat)" comes from a saying "Pisejeongnyeom(avoid the world to pray quietly)", which means to get out of the daily lives to pray.

Soul stay is not limited to Catholics, anyone can pray and contemplate on words anytime.  Especially, those who are damaged in heart or in need of relaxation visit the house. The house offers individual, group, small group or daily retreat programs.  Regardless of number of people, you can book the program.  Also, an individual participant can visit the abbey with the guide of father any time.

The program starts with people gathering in front of the house at 3:00 PM.  The manager explains briefly about the overnight schedule, and leads the people to the church, metal craft workshop, history exhibition room.  It takes about 2 hours.  During the time, I was able to feel the restrained and reverent air of the abbey.

After looking around the abbey, we went for evening prayer at the church.  There are 5 prayers everyday; morning, mass, lunch, evening and finish.  The quiet air of church became heavy with the sincere prayer of people.  After the prayer, we came back to retreat house and had dinner at the cafeteria on first floor.  To practice the importance of quietness on the rule of Order of St. Benedict , people each concentrated on their meal.

After the brief finishing prayer following the dinner, we sat down for small concert in old church.  Friar Luca Oh Seung Yoon and Gemma Kim Hyo Jin played classic with organ and violin,

I woke up at 6:00 PM with the sound of birds and went for the  morning prayer.  We had a simple breakfast and sat for the Sunday mass.  Sunday mass is opened to the public, and largest number of people take part. There were Catholics with white veil and children who came with mothers. The children all became silent when the mass started. After the mass, the soul stay program is finished with lunch and group photo.

Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey offers not only soul stay program, but "abbey experience school".  The abbey experience school is similar to soul stay, but it is for 3 nights and 4 days, which during you can learn about the meaning of labor, monk, and meet with father monk, draw icon and experience various things about Catholic church.  Last January, they hosted the 42nd experience school and soul stay program.  For further information or reservation, contact at 054-970-2000 or visit website (

Soul stay program started 2 years ago from Gyeongsangbuk-do and still not famous.  I hope it could be more publicized so many people can rest themselves.  For further information about the soul stay, visit the website (



Address : 17, Gwanmun-ro, Waegwan-ri, Chilgok-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do/ 054-970-2000 / Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey

Website :

By car

-Gyeongbu Expressway → Waegwan IC→ Chilgokdaero →Across Sunsim Female Highschool → Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey

- Jungbu Naeryuk Expressway → Namgimcheon TG → Yeongnamdaero → Gwanho five-way intersection, turn left toward Seokjeok, Waegwan → Guanmoonro →Across Sunsim Girl's Highschool → Order of St. Benedict Waegwan Abbey

By train

- Walk 7 minutes after getting off at ITX Waegwan station

- Walk 7 minutes after getting off at Mugunghwa Waegwan station

- Get off at Mugunghwa Yakmok station →Take bus no. 111(Gumi station, Yakmok, Waegwan Nambu stop) → Get off at Waegwan Nambu stop and walk 4 minutes.

By bus

Get off at Seodaegu Express Bus Terminal → Take bus to Waegwan at Daegu Bukbu Express Bus Stop → Get off at Waegwan Nambu Bus stop → Walk about 5 minutes toward Sunsim High school

Nearby Attractions

Chilgok Patriots Peace Memorial Hall (칠곡 호국평화기념관)

Flags of all nations at the entrance of memorial greets visitors. It is one and only memorial where visitors can indirectly experience the Great Naktong Offensive in the Korean war. There are Nakdong waterfall, Waegwan district war memorial, war veteran memorial including Hoguk peace tower representing the Great Naktong Offensive.
The entrance fee is 1,000 for elementary students, KRW, 2000 KRW for high school students, and  3000 KRW each for adults.
Adrdress: 1580, Gangbyeon-daero, Jungji-ri, Chilgok-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do 
Tel. : 054-979-5502

Chilgokbo Weir Chilgokbo Weir

The place which has the history of the worst combat in Korean war tells the legend of Gasan Bawi.  Design of Chilgokbo Weir with engraved bull born well displays the legend of Gasan Bawi which the ancient people buried an  iron horse and a bull under the cave to tame the energy of earth.

As the part of four-river refurbishment project, it is utilized as not only the renewable energy production facility, but also the tourist resource using Nakdonggang river scene. Especially, the newly constructed bike road attracts bike riders, and library, convenience stores and kindergarten attracts tourists.
Tel. : 054-979-3114

Nearby Restaurants

Ssarigol Driver's restaurant

This place is recommended by local residents. It is located at the outskirt of Chilgok, and very popular among residents. Stuffed cucumber pickles, braised mackerel, dongchimi is the basic side dishes, and you can have as much rice as you want.

Delicious soft tofu stew, biji stew, cheonggukjang stew are also popular, but in this scorching heat, cold bean noodle is the most popular menu of the restaurant.

Address : 1815-11, Chilgok-daero, Samcheong-ri, Chilgok-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do/ Ssarigol restaurant
Tel. : 054-973-3995
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