“Yes, Christ my hope is arisen…. Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining. Have Mercy, Victor King, ever reigning.” (Easter Sequence)
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. We pray that you have a glorious and blessed Easter season.
Brief Monastery News
On January 1, we started the year of the sheep with a New Year’s Greeting after Morning Prayer. We greeted one another with faith, hope and love in Jesus, giving thanks for God’s great love and grace.
Renovation: The renovation of our retreat house and the installation of fire alarms and smoke detectors in the entire monastery building have almost been finished. We opened the retreat house on April 2 for the Easter Triduum Retreat. Around 6 retreatants and several guests attended the Easter Triduum Liturgies. We are still waiting to change from our old boiler to a high efficiency natural gas boiler and to replace some of the windows to prevent heat loss. We expect that the construction will start this spring after the snow melts and ground the thaws.
Visitors: We always welcome guests and visitors to our community. On January 10, Srs. Lumen Gloria and Caritad Choi and Philipa of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing visited us and had lunch with us. Srs. Lumen Gloria and Caritad Choi are Congregation Council members of the Tutzing Sisters. While they visited their sisters at the Korean community in Demarest, NJ, they came here to meet us. On Sunday, Jan. 11, the Right Reverend Yu Soo-il Francis Xavier, the bishop of Military Ordinariate in Korea, visited us and stayed with us until the next day. Fr. Francisco Lee, who came here on November 11, 2014 during his sabbatical year, returned to Korea on February 4. While he was here, he gave us our Annual Retreat for 2014 and influenced us with many good examples. On Sunday, March 8, Fr. Stephano Sang-Jin Kim, who work in China as a Benedictine missionary, and his brother Alex visited us and celebrated mass with us. They left after lunch. On March 11, there was a special event in our community. Two family members of Sewol ferry victims from Korea visited us and attended mass with us at 11:30am. Around 25 Koreans and 10 Americans also attended the mass. We consoled them and prayed for God’s merciful love and help. After the mass, we had lunch with guests in the retreat house dining room. In the Sewol ferry disaster, around 293 people mainly high school students, lost their lives; 9 people are still missing.
Our Brothers: As usual, we were invited by the Benedictine community of St. Walburga Convent to join their Vespers and dinner to celebrate the Feast of St. Scholastica on Feb. 10. Abbot Joel and Br. Luke attended the celebration and had a joyful time with the sisters and other monastic guests. The next day, Abbot Joel went to Germany to work on behalf of the Congregation at St. Ottilien at the request of the Abbot President. He returned home on March 7. We were also invited by Bishop Serratelli of Paterson Diocese to join him for Midday Prayer and a reception to celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life at St. Philip the Apostle Church in Clifton, NJ on Feb. 15. Br. Luke, Br. Matthias and Br. Barnabas joined the event.
As a prior of our community, I attended the American Abbots and Priors’ workshop at St. Bernardo Abbey in Cullman, AL from Feb. 2 to 9. On March 13, I went to the Korean community in Memphis, TN to give some lenten lectures and hear confessions until March 17. I was so impressed by their good faith and piety. Fr. Matthew also went to the Korean community in Cleveland, OH to celebrate Sunday mass and hear confessions from March 14 to 16.
Fr. Bede, who was the first confrere to take vows at Newton after the Korean brothers came here, was assigned to Waegwan Abbey in Korea on March 13. Now he serves ill brothers in the infirmary.
Dear friends of St. Paul’s Abbey, we really appreciate your prayer and help for our monastic life. We will keep trying to prosper and firmly plant the Benedictine monastic way of life in this ground. We also humbly ask you to keep helping us with prayer and generosity. We will pray for your help and kindness so that Jesus Christ will repay your good deeds with abundant gifts and grace, especially Easter grace. May the Risen Lord’s peace and happiness always be with you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Kim, O.S.B., Prior
and the monks of St. Paul’s Abbey