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