Dear friends of St. Paul’s Abbey,
Happy Easter ! May the risen Lord give you and your loved ones His abundant grace, peace and happiness. Wishing the abundant grace of Easter to overflow in you and your beloved ones, I give you our brief monastery news.
Guests: From Christmas season up to now several guests visited our community.: Abbot Blasio visited us on March 3. During his visit, he presided at the Fourth Sunday Mass of Lent on March 6. Actually, we invited some friends and benefactors to mass and lunch to celebrate my 25th Anniversary of monastic profession and the 60th birthday of Fr. Odilo. Around 100 guests joined the celebration. Bishop emeritus Michael Jong-il Park, who came from Korea to meet his relatives and friends, also visited us and joined the celebration. While Abbot Blasio was here, we shared many things and made decisions on some important matters such as the customs and practices at Newton and continuing renovation of buildings.
Br. David, Br. Justin and Br. Gaetan, who are from Togo studying at St. Meinrad Archabbey Seminary in Indiana, spent Christmas and New Years with us and returned January 2. Br. David is a monk of Agbang and was ordained as a deacon on April 2. Br. Justin and Br. Gaetan are Benedictines from the abbey of Dzogbégan, Togo. Fr. Aaron Jang visited here on his way to El Rosal in Colombia on Dec. 29 and stayed with us until Jan. 6. Now Fr. Aaron Jang is learning Spanish and adjusting himself to food, culture and atmosphere at El Rosal. Fr. Bede Na, who joined here and was ordained a priest but went to Waegwan Abbey in Korea 2015, came here to update his permanent resident status on Jan. 11 and stayed with us more than 2 months. Now he is working as an assistant pastor at Waegwan parish. On Feb 13, Abbot Justin came here for his medical treatment and is staying with us longer than in the past. During the Easter Triduum, Fr. Moses Man-gn Yun, who is a Salesian priest studying in San Francisco, and Fr. Sebastian Chang-hang Lee, who is a Paulist priest in Staten Island, visited us and celebrated the Holy Triduum liturgy with us. Fr. Yun assisted the celebration of the Passion of the Lord on Good Friday. Fr. Lee heard confessions for our brothers and sang the Exsultet at the Easter Vigil. Thanks to their help, the Holy Triduum liturgy was more blessed. On April 11, Fr. Boniface Tiguila OSB, superior of the Langata Study House in Nairobi, Kenya visited us and stayed with us for a few days. He came to the USA to attend the diaconate ordination of Br. David at St. Meinrad on April 2. Besides Benedictine Srs. Christy and Norberta, Fr. Ildefonce Mapara, OSB, who is a monk of Hanga Abbey living in Oregon, Fr. Michael Patella, who is a rector of St. John’s Seminary, and Fr. Gn-ho Park, who is a Korean Military Chaplain, visited us.
Our brothers: On starting New Year of 2016, some of our brothers’ mothers passed away. On Jan. 9, Br. Bernadin’s mother, Mrs. Kanisia Mkinga, passed away in Tanzania at the age of 81 and Fr. Matthew’s mother, Mrs. Lusia Kim, also passed away on the same day in Korea. She was 70 years old. Jan. Fr. Matthew lived with us for around 3 years and just returned to Waegwan Abbey in December, 2015. On Jan. 15, my mother, Mrs. Dorothea Chong, passed away in Korea at the age of 80. Br. Bernadin and I went to Korea and Tanzania respectively to attend the funeral rite. On Feb. 8, the day of Lunar New Year, we celebrated Br. Luke’s 70th birthday. Although he is not in good health, he works as an assistant cellarer with his whole heart. Abbot Joel travelled several places inside and outside of the country such as Tanzania, Kenya and St. Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana, U.S.A. On Ash Wednesday, Br. Ezekiel returned to Waegwan Abbey. He lived with us for around two and a half years. Now he studies theology for his priesthood. Br. Marinus, who returned from Korea and now is director of the retreat house, renewed his temporary vows on Feb. 17.
Dear friends of our community, thanks to your help and prayer, we could renovate and repair many places in our monastery buildings last year. We, however, should keep renovating some more places such as the roofs of the main corridor and kitchen area. We also will install showers and toilets in 4 more guest rooms. I humbly ask you to continue to help and pray for our community so that we can be deeply rooted in this area as a faithful Benedictine community. May the Risen Lord give you and your loved ones his abundant grace and peace. Thank you.
Fr. Samuel Kim, O.S.B., Prior
and the monks of St. Paul’s Abbey