Dear Friends of Africa,
As of the end of June I have been in the United States on home leave. I have been meeting with friends and benefactors and spending very special time with family and both close and distant relatives. This is I must say the most agreeable part of my visit. We had a family reunion in the State of Maine in the far northeast and all the immediate survivors of the 14 in our family made it by car or plane to the event with the exception of one sister who was ailing at the time.
Some family members have visited me in Africa at one time or other. One of my sisters, Rose spent two years at Lupaso, a mission in the far south, working as a nurse in a small leprosy hospital. Some of these memories of Rosie in Africa go back to 1966. Most memorable is going with her on her hospital rounds as she gave out the nighttime medicines to her leper patients. The hospital was a mud wattle building with a thatch roof. Rosie had two little girls as her assistants, both little 10 year old girls, one who carried the medicine tray on her head, the other with a kerosene lantern on hers as the only illumination for the night time medications. Another memory is of Rosie amid a flood of tears telling of treating a little boy who had been trapped in a wild bush fire. He was only about 5 or 6 years old and found himself trapped one day in a grass wild-fire. Totally bewildered by smoke and the roar of the fire and losing all sense of a way to safety he climbed a tree. The poor little boy’s fate was sealed on that tree as the fire in the tall grass engulfed him. His cries of terror and pain quickly brought the villagers to his rescue and they brought him straightaway to the mission hospital. But it was the sorry task of the hospital staff to watch with the little boy without a patch of skin left on his seared body until he drew his tiny last tortured breath.
Two other nieces worked as teachers at Mazinde Juu for extended periods of time and have left fine legacies both in their teaching in the Mazinde Juu classrooms as well as lasting bonds of friendship among the people in the surrounding villages. I recall an incident when a young German couple came to Mazinde Juu for their wedding ceremony. They wanted a very simple wedding with no frills or fanfare. The young couple had inquired at one of our German Abbeys when searching for an understanding missionary to perform their wedding, and they were given my name. And so it happened on a Friday afternoon in early September 1995 the villagers brought our visitors to my door with their request for a simple wedding in an African surrounding. I was a bit baffled about the whole affair since our Benedictine brothers in Germany had neglected to inform me about the arrangement. However the common African approach to the unexpected is expressed as “Hakuna matata” that is “No Problem.” The ceremony was scheduled for the following day. Word spread rapidly throughout the villages of the impending wedding the next morning. Funerals are the only celebrations that can out-do a wedding for community participation. The groom who stayed with me for the night appeared dressed for the wedding in the newly washed jeans and a tourist token tee shirt emblazoned appropriately with “Hakuna matata” “No Problem” on the front and “No hurry in Africa” with a leisurely lumbering elephant on the back. I had no objections to his wedding apparel but my niece Kathy Esposito was disturbed since the bride to be had nothing of real show for a bridal gown. She did have a simple summer dress as I recall and the bridesmaid, Kathie, took a strip of an imitation lace tablecloth for a veil and a little flat-bottomed basket for a hat to hold the veil in place to complete the bride’s attire. So much for the simplicity of our bride and groom. When we reached our assembly hall which served as our house of prayer as well, the entire student body of the 400 students at that time and all the Sisters from the convent and every other spare space was filled to overflowing with the curious and devout villagers.
The Mass and Wedding ceremony proceeded with the usual decorum but as the couple left our hall the assembled students and villagers exploded with thunderous drumming and ululations. The young German couple, Mathias and his wife were given chairs in the shade to enjoy the jubilations. They were plied with African beer and roasted meats on bamboo sticks to give them strength for the day’s festivities. They were then escorted to the villages where food had been prepared and where they were fed and entertained for the rest of the day. I had excused myself from the day’s revelry but was on hand when the newlyweds were returned to the mission escorted by scores of men, women, and children of the village all the while singing, dancing and drumming with undiminished vigor. So much for the simple quiet private wedding they had envisioned in Africa. My niece Kathie stayed with us for three years and set high standards in our school performance in English and delighted the school with her well-chosen drama in English as well.
There was another one of the Milliken clan who came out to Tanzania and who also worked as a teacher at Mazinde Juu. She was my sister Jean’s daughter, Therese. Therese also taught English which is an essential subject since the medium of instruction in the Tanzania schools was and is till today in English. Therese was a dynamic teacher always devising new methods to get the message across. Therese was also an avid basketball player as well and spurred our girls on to a love of the game. The novices of the nearby Holy Ghost Novitiate would vie to recruit Therese for their matches knowing thereby that the team that Therese played on would be the winning one.
On one occasion, we both attended an English teachers seminar in Tanga the Regional capital some 75 miles from Lushoto. It was a two day affair. During the afternoon lectures on the second day there was a horrendous downpour with deafening thunder and blinding lightening. All the seminar participants sat transfixed waiting for the proverbial roof to fall in. After a couple of hours, the storm passed and a brilliant sun blessed the landscape. However, the roads leading home were mostly running deep with rain water and I shifted into four-wheel drive on our heavy school Nissan to negotiate the flooded lowland roads. After 2 hours drive we began to leave the plains and ascend the foothills of the Usambara Mountains. By then the rains were tapering off but we still drove cautiously on the twisting darkened mountain roads. The school was silent and dark when we arrived but soon lights appeared one by one in the Sisters convent. We were greeted with total surprise when the sisters received us. “How did you get here?” was their astonished greeting. The radio declared that the Lushoto road had been washed away two hours ago. But I assured the Sisters that we came home by that very road. Out of curiosity I drove down the following day to see the ‘wash out’. By daylight it was truly an awesome sight. The narrow strip of tarmac still clinging to the mountain side did not exceed by one inch the width of a normal vehicle. However last night I had never seen the empty gap in the road nor had Therese and we certainly never would have attempted such a crossing had we seen the road that daylight revealed.
Today all of our former Mazinde Juu teachers are back in the States, steady on the march into aging years for all, but certainly carrying many memories of their days in Tanzania. I can also add that they have left a legacy there and are not forgotten by the many students and parents who were touched by their lives here in Africa.
God bless you all for your steadfast and generous support.
Fr. Damian Milliken
Dear Friends of Africa, March 2017
In any society including our African villages there are those people who stand out, the ne-er-do-wells by the score, that is the do nothings, the mafia type who thrive on the fear they instil to achieve their nefarious ends, then the common folk who make up the majority and get on with living. Those who have had the good fortune of schooling live afar at their jobs; teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers and other professionals. But the ones who top the list as doers at least in keeping families together in our community are the mothers and especially the single mothers. In some instances, they are the widows. In many cases the mothers are single when the father has bailed out of the partnership leaving the care of the children to their mother. Time and time again I have found these single mothers indomitable. A recent case is an example but it is not at all unique.
Her name is Salome. She has 8 children, three of children are still schooling the other five have jobs and do what they can to help out at home. I never hear mention of the father. Throughout my years in the Magamba area Salome and her children have always been intermittent partners in any building and other school endeavours that have engaged me. Hand crushed gravel was one of Salome’s specialties. On Saturdays from dawn to dusk the tap, tap, tap of rock on stone resonated from Salome’s compound. There would be Salome with an infant on her back and every older child sitting amidst a growing heap of gravel. I was appalled seeing the brothers and sisters banging rocks on stones making crushed stone for my building projects. I asked Salome about using hammers but she replied that they were too expensive. So I took the boys to my tool shed and issued them with enough hammers to keep the family profitably pounding. Salome would borrow but never beg and always cleared her debt before the pay by date.
Two weeks ago, a tragedy befell the family. It was a Sunday afternoon when Salome had returned home after Mass. She decided to pick the avocados from her little orchard and she engaged an agile little boy to climb the trees to harvest the fruit. She was delighted with the quality of the harvest and paid off her helper with a full basket of fruit from the bounty of the picking that afternoon. But on surveying the trees later in the day she spied a branch that was laden with fruit but obviously overlooked by herself and her little helper. Salome is a tiny woman but with a tractor size determination in caring for her family. So she went up the tree herself to gather the fruit from the final branch. But the avocado tree is a jealous one and not forgiving of intruders on her claims. The limb Salome seized to reach for the ripened fruit snapped and Salome went down with an added weight of the avocadoes in her overfilled shawl. As she crashed earthward through the branches she fractured multiple ribs and her spine as well. She was rushed to our local district government hospital where the initial care was given mostly regarding the alleviating of pain inflicted by the fall but nothing further. She was then sent to the government referral hospital in Dar es Salaam, a full day’s journey from Lushoto. Lying on her back, over a period of a month Salome was repeatedly scheduled for an operation but each time the appointed day arrived the procedure would be cancelled. Salome did not have enough blood. The children had all donated but the doctors were still not satisfied. Finally, the last Thursday of February Salome was taken to the operating theatre. After a long delay the patient was returned. The report this time was the surgery could not take place. The reason given was the operating table was broken and not functioning. So the daily and nightly vigils go on. I have visited the stalwart mother twice since her hospitalization in Dar es Salaam, both for her sake and to bolster the spirits of the children who surround her bedside like guardian angels. Her radiant smile belies the pain that must come with all the broken bone wreckage in her tiny body. On my first trip after our prayers Salome gestured to me to bend closer; she wanted to whisper something to me confidentially. It was a business deal. She told me that she had delivered two trucks loaded with fire wood for our parochial school, St. Benedict’s. One truck I should pay $50 for both the wood and the transport. The second was for the school but for me not to let her children know that it was a donation.
The last time I visited Salome was the day before the last scheduled and aborted surgery and she was alone. I had the sacraments with me and we prayed together the anointing and the Holy Communion. Just as we were concluding our prayer a nurse came and asked me to give the sacraments to a woman who had been injured in a motorcycle accident. These machines by the way account for three quarters of all the hospital casualties today. So after taking this added call I made my way down the corridor. Passing Salome’s ward she beckoned me to come in again. This I did straight away and she then whispered softly. “You left something out of the anointing.” Then she went on “Father you anointed me, my head, my eyes my ears and mouth and my hands too but you forgot my feet.” So I fumbled among the bundled sheets and covers finally locating a foot which I anointed. “That does the trick,” I assured her, at which juncture she took my hand with oil still shining on my fingers, kissed them and then let me go my way. But Salome is the constant intruder on my thoughts and prayers where ever I am these days. She has no feeling below the waist and the nurses tell me that she will never walk again. But I have no doubt that somehow or other our Salome will get around. She has three children still in school and a determination that can grow legs or possibly wings if she has to. Her youngest daughter, Felista, is with me in Mazinde Juu in her second year of Secondary school. She comes nightly to my office after night study to say good night on her way to her dorm. She is the latest version of Salome, vibrant, cheerful and a delight to be near. She is a perfect replica of her mother in body and soul.
Another quaint story comes from our Congregation Superior from Germany, Archabbot Jeremias Schroder. He had come to our mission at Sakarani here in the Usambara mountains and was meeting with the missionaries stationed here myself included. He was accompanied by an African priest from West Africa and the discussion one evening was quite lively. The topic was about witchcraft and superstition, mixing the beliefs from East Africa and West Africa. I was able to add some notes about my own observations here and added some Irish traditions as well. I had some authority on this topic for I had a similar discussion with friends years back when I lived in the south of Tanzania. I believe I must have shown a bit of distain in some of my remarks about the local superstitions at that time. Later when making a visit to the home of one of the fellows who was also at that discussion he let me borrow a book from his home library. He was by the way a very well educated African government official at the time. The book he let me borrow was entitled “700 Irish Superstitions” He, in a very gentlemanly manner wanted to let me know that we all need to call a spade a spade when it is called for. Getting back to our recent meeting at Sakarani in an all embracing discussion on witchcraft and sorcery Father Archabbot Jeremias related an encounter he had years back on a visit with a former classmate in Vienna. His friend was now a practicing Psychiatrist in the former hometown of the famous doctor Freud. As he went into his friend’s practice he noticed a gilded gold horseshoe hanging over the doctor’s front door. Being rather curious seeing that symbol of good luck over the door of a psychiatric clinic he asked his friend in jest, of course, if the noted psychiatrist actually believed in this good luck charm. The doctor replied good naturedly “Of course not” and when Jeremais asked further why he ever bothered having it over the door. And the charming retort came, “Because it works.”
To conclude I would like to quote from the local newspaper “The Citizen” of March 22 from an article about a recent altercation between the Regional Commissioner of Dar es Salaam and a local News Agency. The statement relates to the Commissioner’s storming the offices of the news Agency with armed police for the Agency’s failing to report some personal accusations that the RC wanted to put on the air about one of his vocal critics. The quotation is now a response made by Ms. Hellen Kijo-Bisimba the National Director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre of Tanzania because of the public support the President gave for the Commissioner’s high handed action. The daughter of Ms. Kijo-Bisimba was a student some years ago at Mazinde Juu and we are happy to hear solid comments coming from the women of Tanzania who have been silent for so long on abusive behaviour going unaddressed. (Quote from the Citizen) “Dr. Kijo-Kisimba said Mr. Mokonda’s actions were a blatant violation of freedom of the press (Storming the Agency’ offices). What Mr.Makonda did was an act of hooliganism. He also abused his position by attempting to force an independent media organization to air content that was purely of his personal interest. “He made a mockery of the rule of law.” she said. Dr. Kijo-Bisimba urged the public to step up pressure on the President Magufuli to sack Mr. Makonda before the controversial RC did further damage. She also criticised Dr. Magufuli’s assertion that he collected candidacy forms of his own volition ahead of the 2015 Presidential elections, and that nobody could tell him what to do to appoint or to sack. “It is not the candidacy forms that gave him the presidency, wrote Hellen, but the Tanzanians who voted for him. He’s obliged to listen to those who put him in power and put their interests first.”
This was a refreshing comment on the events of the day especially coming from an intelligent committed woman. Let us hope she keeps her job and stays around for a long time in her critical position. Our girls at Mazinde Juu have every reason to look up to her a former school Mom and follow her courageous example. In that same edition of the Citizen by the way there was another article which claimed that Africa was not moving forward because the voices of the women were not heard nor heeded. Let us hope that Mazinde Juu fulfils the role to correct that anomaly. Thanking you for your faithful support and belief in our cause for women’s education.
Happy Easter it is Life we celebrate.
뉴튼 수도원을 아껴 주시는 고마우신 모든 분들게,
우리 한 민족의 고유 명절인 추석도 지나고 이젠 완연한 가을로 접어들고 있습니다. 수도원에 있는 밤나무의 밤송이가 입을 벌리고 고추는 빨갛게 익어 가고 있습니다. 올해도 풍성한 수확을 기대하며 주님의 은총이 여러분께 가득 깃들기를 바라며 수도원 소식을 전합니다.
I. 수도서원 50주년: 우리 뉴튼 공동체의 미국인 형제 죠엘 아빠스, 저스틴 아빠스 그리고 루가 수사가 9월 9일 토요일에 수도서원 50주년 서원 갱신과 축하식을 가졌습니다. 11시에 축하 미사를 봉헌하고 미사 후에 함께 식사를 하며 기쁨을 나누었습니다. 서원 갱신 미사는 미국 카시아노 베네딕도 연합회의 총재 아빠스인 엘리야 아빠스가 주례를 하였는데, 엘리야 아빠스는 대학생 때 죠엘 아빠스의 제자였다고 합니다. 이날 약 11명의 손님 신부들과 120여명의 축하객들이 참석하여 함께 기쁨을 나누고 축하해 주었습니다. 현재 루가 수사만 우리 수도원에서 함께 지내고 있으며, 죠엘 아빠스는 네브라스카 주 스카일러 수도원에서 그리고 저스틴 아빠스는 남미비아에 있는 베네딕도회 수녀원에서 지도 신부로 생활하고 있습니다.
II. 형제들 소식: 왜관 수도원에서 생활하던 지 석영 베르나르도 수사가 6월 7일에 뉴튼으로 와서 함께 생활하고 있습니다. 베르나르도 수사는 2008년 1월 14일에 첫 서원을 하였는데, 현재 영어를 배우며 유 마티아 부원장 수사를 도와 일을 하고 있습니다. 그리고 지난해 5월 17일에 이곳에 와서 생활하던 아프리카 토고에 있는 악방 수도원의 탬탬 수사가 개인 사정으로 8월 11일에 악방 수도원으로 돌아갔습니다.
수도원 건물 관리를 맡고 있는 송 기중 바르나바 수사는 8월 28일부터 11월 17일까지 워싱턴 주에 있는 성 마르티노 베네딕도 수도원에 가서 미국 수도생활을 체험하며 영어도 함께 배우는 시간을 가지고 있습니다.
이 오딜로 신부는 9월 21일부터 11월 9일까지 고국 휴가를 위해 한국에 가 있으며, 다른 형제들 모두 기도하고 일하라는 사부 성 베네딕도의 가르침에 따라 충실히 생활하고 있습니다.
저는 지난 7월 19일부터 7월 24일까지 콜롬비아에 있는 엘로살 베네딕도 수도원에 다녀왔습니다. 남미와 북미에 우리 오틸리아 연합회에 소속된 5개의 작은 수도원이 있는데, 이번에 수도원 원장들이 함께 모여 수도원의 나아가야할 방향과 여러 가지 안건에 대해 토의를 하였습니다. 콜롬비아에 있는 엘로살 수도원은 수도 보고타에서 약 40분 정도 떨어진 곳에 위치한 작은 수도원으로서 약 12명의 수도자들이 피정집, 농장 그리고 목공소를 운영하며 생활하고 있는 수도원입니다. 9월 18일에는 한국에서 유엔 총회에 참가하기 위해 뉴욕을 방문하신 문 재인 대통령과 함께한 동포간담회에 유 마티아 수사와 참석하였습니다. 이 자리에서 문재인 대통령과 영부인에게 마리누스 수사와 수도원에 대해 사진을 보여 드리며 간략하게 소개하기도 하였는데, 영부인은 수도원에 마리누스 수사의 업적을 기리며 나무 한 그루를 심고자하셨습니다. 시간이 촉박한 관계로 직접 수도원에 오시지는 못하고 적당한 시간에 대리 식수를 하실 예정입니다.
III. 손님: 이번 여름에도 많은 손님들이 다녀 갔는데, 특히 6월 27일에는 박 블라시오 아빠스가 워싱턴 DC 해병대 전쟁 기념 공원에 있는 장진호 전투 승전 기념식에 참석하기 위해 급하게 뉴튼을 방문하였습니다. 이 기념식에 문재인 대통령이 참석하면서 흥남 철수 때 14,000명을 구한 마리누스 수사의 업적도 기리고 감사하기 위해 박 블라시오 아빠스와 죠엘 아빠스를 함께 초청하였기 때문에 그 기념식에 참석하기 위해 뉴튼에 오셨던 것입니다. 7월 3일에는 오랫동안 우리 베네딕도 총연합회 수석 아빠스를 역임했던 노트겔 볼프 아빠스가 잠시 방문하였는데, 이날 박 블라시오 아빠스와 함께 마리누스 수사를 기념하여 미스 김 라일락 두 그루를 수도원 묘지 십자가 옆에 식수 하였습니다. 7월 4일에 블라시오 아빠스는 한국으로 돌아갔고, 노트겔 아빠스는 다음 목적지로 떠났습니다. 이밖에 서원 50주년 축하식에 참석하기 위해 많은 성직자와 수도자들이 뉴튼을 방문했습니다.
IV. 봉헌회 소식: 매월 셋째 주일 오후 2시 미사부터 저녁 식사까지 모임을 가져왔던 봉헌회원들은 9월 30일부터 10월 1일까지 1박 2일로 피정을 가졌습니다. 주님의 은총과 사랑에 감사하며 그 사랑과 은총을 이웃에게 충실히 증거 하는 삶을 다짐하며, 봉헌회원으로서의 신원과 역할에 대해 생각해 보는 시간을 가졌습니다.
V. 위령성월 연미사 안내: 우리 뉴튼 수도원에서는 매년 11월 위령성월을 맞이하여 돌아가신 이들을 위해 한 달 동안 미사를 봉헌하고 있습니다. 위령 미사를 신청하실 분들은 11월 전에 수도원에 신청하시면 돌아가신 조상들을 위해 한 달 동안 미사를 봉헌합니다. 동봉하는 봉투에 위령 미사를 신청해서 이 베르나르도 수사 앞으로 보내주시면 감사하겠습니다. 이외에 수도원에 미사를 신청하고자 하시는 분들은 언제든지 신청해 주시면 미사를 봉헌하도록 하겠습니다. 혹시 위령 미사에 대해 문의하고자 하시는 분은 이 베르나르도 수사(973-222-2728)에게 연락하시기 바랍니다.
뉴튼 수도원을 사랑하는 형제 자매 여러분, 우리 공동체는 뉴튼 수도원을 위해 기도와 도움을 아끼지 않으시는 모든 분들께 늘 감사드리며, 주님의 풍성한 은총과 사랑이 항상 함께 하길 바라며 기도합니다. 감사합니다.
김 사무엘 원장 신부와 형제 일동 드림
주님께서 참으로 부활하셨습니다.
주님 부활의 기쁨과 은총이 여러분 모두에게 가득 깃들기를 바라며 뉴튼 수도원의 소식을 전합니다.
종신서원과 봉헌회 입회식: 지난 2009년 7월 1일에 뉴튼 수도원에 입회 하였던 김 덕현 요셉 수사가 1월 29일 오전 11시 미사에서 한국에서 온 박 현동 블라시오 아빠스의 주례로 종신서원을 하였습니다. 요셉 수사는 2010년 1월 25일 수련을 시작하면서 마리누스로 수도명을 받았다가 종신서원을 하면서 세례명인 요셉을 다시 수도명으로 받았습니다. 이날 뉴튼 수도원 봉헌회 입회식도 함께 있었는데, 100명이 넘는 손님들이 미사와 축하식에 참석하여 함께 기쁨을 나누었습니다. 현재 23명의 봉헌회원들은 사부 성 베네딕도의 가르침과 정신에 따라 주님을 더욱 충실히 따르기 위해 매월 모임을 통해 베네딕도회 수도생활을 배우고 있습니다.
기도길 조성: 지난 소식지에서 말씀드렸듯이 4월 중순에 수도원 뒤편 채소밭에서부터 묘지까지 약 350미터 정도 되는 거리에 두 줄로 106그루의 벚나무를 심어 기도 길을 만들었습니다. 앞으로 벚나무 사이에 십자가의 길도 새롭게 조성하고자 합니다. 나무를 기증하시는 분들의 이름을 나무에 표시해 기념하고자 하오니 원하시는 분들은 연락해 주시기 바랍니다. (김 사무엘 신부: 973 670 9511)
손님: 종신서원식과 봉헌식을 집전하기 위해 박 현동 블라시오 아빠스님이 왜관 수도원의 선교 담당 총무인 고 진석 이사악 신부와 함께 1월 24일에 뉴튼에 와서 1월 31일까지 머무르며 뉴튼 수도원이 나아가야할 방향과 수도생활의 쇄신과 발전 에 대해 함께 고민하는 시간을 가졌습니다. 지난 2016년 아프리카 남미비아에서 선교활동을 하다가 건강상의 이유로 뉴튼에 와 있던 Justin 아빠스가 치료를 잘 마치고 3월 21일 남미비아로 돌아갔습니다. 이날은 사부 성 베네딕도 별세 대축일로서 Justin 아빠스가 미사를 집전하였는데, 다시 선교지로 돌아갈 수 있게 해주신 주님과 뉴튼 공동체의 환대에 감사 인사를 전하였습니다. Justin 아빠스는 9월 10에 죠엘 아빠스와 루가 수사와 함께 수도서원 50주년을 경축하기 위해 다시 뉴튼을 방문할 예정입니다. 그리고 지난 11월 말에 이곳에 와서 함께 지냈던 왜관 수도원 봉헌회원인 김 마태오 형제가 2월 27일에 한국으로 귀국하였습니다. 마태오 형제는 이곳에 있을 때, “기도하며 일하라”는 사부 성 베네딕도의 가르침에 따라 우리와 함께 기도하고 함께 일하며 봉헌회원으로서 충실하게 생활하여 아름다운 여운을 남기고 돌아갔습니다.
수도원 형제들: 2017년 새해에 70세 생신을 맞은 죠엘 아빠스는 1월 9일 네브라스카주 스카일러라는 조그마한 도시에 위치한 Christ the King 수도원의 원장으로 임명되어 떠났습니다. Christ the King 수도원은 독일에 있는 뮌스터슈바르작 수도원의 예속 수도원으로 약 8명의 수도자들이 우리 오틸리엔 연합회 선교활동을 위한 모금과 피정집을 운영하며 생활하고 있는데, 그전 원장인 Mauritius Wilde 신부가 로마 성 안셀모 수도원의 원장으로 임명되어 감으로써 죠엘 아빠스가 3년 동안 원장직을 수행하게 된 것입니다. 그리고 우리 수도원의 부원장인 유 마티아 수사는 아프리카 케냐의 티고니 수도원에서 있었던 외국 문화 체험 프로그램에 2월 1일부터 28일까지 참석하여 이곳과는 다른 분위기와 문화를 체험하는 시간을 가졌습니다. 송 바르나바 수사는 비자가 만료되어 재발급 받기위해 3월 20일 한국으로 가서 휴가 겸 재충전의 시간을 보낸 후 5월 15일에 돌아올 예정입니다.
친애하는 형제 자매 여러분, 우리 뉴튼 공동체는 여러분의 관심과 사랑에 늘 감사드리며, 주님의 풍성한 은총이 여러분들과 항상 함께 하길 바라며 기도합니다. 우리가 이곳에서 사부 성 베네딕도의 가르침에 따라 수도자요 선교사로서 충실히 생활해 갈 수 있도록 계속적인 기도와 도움을 겸손 되이 청합니다. 다시 한 번 우리 공동체를 아껴 주시는 여러분 모두에게 주님 부활의 은총과 사랑이 가득 넘치길 바랍니다. 감사합니다.
김 사무엘 원장 신부와 형제 일동 드림
Dear friends of St. Paul’s Abbey,
Happy Easter ! Every year, we celebrate the joy of the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Especially this year, we wish the abundant grace of Easter to overflow in you so that you can bear lots of fruit in this blessed Easter season. Wishing the love of the Risen Lord always to remain in you and your beloved ones, I give you our brief monastery news.
Perpetual Profession and Admission of Oblates : Br. Joseph Duck-Hyun Kim made his final profession during the Sunday Mass on January 29 presided by Abbot Blasio Park. Br. Joseph received St. Marinus as a monastic name when he began his novitiate on January 25, 2010. However, he received his baptism name, Joseph, as his monastic name when he was taking his final vows. The rite of admission of oblates was also carried out at the same time as final vows. More than 100 guests joined the celebration and shared the joy of profession and oblation. Now 23 oblate members have a meeting once a month and learn the spirit of the Benedictine monastic way of life.
The Way of Prayer : We built up the way of prayer after planting around 110 cherry trees behind the monastery building. The way goes from the vegetable garden to the Abbey cemetery. The length is about 350 yards. We will also build up the way of the cross alongside the way of prayer. We have the way of the cross in the woods next to the monastery building toward the Abbey cemetery. But it is difficult and dangerous for the people to pray there because there are lots of bugs and insects, and even some bears occasionally.
Guests: Abbot Blasio visited our community with Fr. Isaac Koh, a mission procurator of Waegwan Abbey, from January 24 to 31. He presided at the final profession and oblation on January 29 and had meetings with our brothers and some of our benefactors. We set aside time to seriously consider our monastic way of life and mission work in our present condition. We also talked about how to develop our buildings and master plan, etc. Abbot Emeritus Justin returned to Namibia on March 21. He came here in February, 2016 to be treated for his health problems. He presided at the Solemnity Mass of our Holy Father Benedict. He gave thanks to God for returning to his mission place with good health, and also for the hospitality of the Newton community. He will visit us again in September to celebrate his 50th Anniversary of Monastic vows with Abbot Emeritus Joel and Br. Luke on September 10.
Our brothers: In January, Abbot Joel, who celebrated his 70th birthday on New Year’s Day, went to Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, NE to serve as prior for 3 years. Br. Subprior Matthias Yoo had a good experience in Prince of Peace Priory in Tigoni, Kenya attending the “Mission Exposure” program from February 1 to 28. This program gives young brothers in Europe and Asia a chance to get a firsthand experience of the kind of mission work our Ottilien Congregation is engaged in. As superior of St. Paul’s Abbey, I attended Abbot’s and Prior’s Workshop at Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, CA from February 17 to 23. Abbot Joel also attended the meeting as superior of Christ the King Priory in Schuyler. While I was there, I asked some of the American Abbots if they could arrange for our brothers to experience the American monastic way of life and study English in their monasteries for a couple of months. Without hesitation, they accepted my request. Actually, Abbot Blasio and I talked about what is the most effective way to learn English for our brothers since we usually speak Korean more than English in our community. I would like to send our brothers to American monasteries to learn English and experience staying in them one by one if they want to.
Dear beloved friends, as always we are thankful for your kindness and good friendship at St. Paul’s Abbey. I also 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 monks. 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