New Zealand born Columban priest working with marginalised in Korea

New Zealand born Columban priest Father Robert Brennan has been in Korea since 1966.  He has been working with credit unions, which lend money to those in need at low borrowing costs, as he continues to devote himself to helping families marginalised by the ruthlessness of capitalism.

He studied Korean for two years before being sent to Wonju, Gangwon Province, where he met Bishop Ji Hak-soon, well-known for his pro-democracy activities, who was in charge of the local church.

He spent 17 years working in the eastern coast city of Samcheok and the mining city of Jeongseon, where one of the notable things he did in Jeongseon was to set up a credit union. Nonghyup, the banking unit of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, which was the only financial service provider working in the village, was drawing complaints from community leaders for what they saw as excessive interest rates charged to the town’s many low-income earners.


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