Newsletter – Advent / Christmas 2011

Advent / Christmas 2011

Blessed Christmas! May the resounding message of Christmas
bring peace and love of God to you and your beloved ones!

Greetings and abundant blessings of our Lord to all of you as you prepare for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and the New Year of 2012. Although we live with various difficulties these days under the turbulent economic circumstances of the world, we should not forget that we can deal with them by the hope of Jesus Christ who alone can give us true happiness and peace in our lives. We pray and hope that you and your family have glorious and blessed Advent and Christmas seasons. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and your loved ones with his abundant grace, peace and happiness. Asking our Lord Jesus Christ for his love and grace, I would like to bring you up to date concerning the recent news from our community.

Diaconate Ordination and Solemn Profession : Br. Bede Na was ordained a deacon with 5 other seminarians presided by Bishop Arthur Seratelli at Saint Margaret of Scotland Parish in Morristown on May 20. Fr. Samuel and 11 other brothers attended and congratulated him upon his ordination. Now he works at the retreat house and camp. On July 23, Br. Bernardo Lee took his Solemn Profession in a ceremony presided by Abbot Simon Ri. His parents, who are from Brazil, and around 110 guests attended the celebration. He was the first candidate and also was the first to take solemn vows at our community since we Koreans came here. Although Deacon Bede took solemn vows first, he took them at Waegwan Abbey in Korea last year. Br. Bernardo works in the business office and studies accounting at Sussex County Community College.

Christmas tree sale: Thanks to good weather, we have sold a good number of trees so far. We hope that we can sell as many trees as possible this year under good weather conditions. When we see the people who buy the Christmas trees to prepare for Christmas, we feel the coming of the Lord to us. Every year many volunteers, Koreans and Americans, members of Knight of Columbus, officers from the County Sheriff’s Department and our neighbors come here to sell Christmas trees. We really appreciate their good efforts and help. We pray that God will give them his abundant grace.

Our Brothers : Fr. Bosco celebrated his 40th Anniversary of Ordination on July 5. Around 100 guests attended the celebration and congratulated him upon his anniversary. Every year our local bishop, Author Serratelli, invites Jubilarians to a Mass of Thanksgiving. Fr. Bosco was invited to attend the Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary Church in Denville, NJ on June 7, commemorating the Ordination to the Priesthood of Thirty Jubilarians. Br. Bernardo and I attended this Mass. Fr. Bosco also celebrated his 70th birthday on Oct. 3. We congratulated him and wished him good health and a loyal monastic way of life.

Abbot Joel traveled to St. Michael’s Priory in Kumily, India twice as usual. In addition, he was nominated “The Congregation Study House Advisor” by Archabbot Jeremias Schrőder and approved by the congregation council. Our organist Br. Luke had surgery on the lymph gland under his left arm on Oct. 6. Thanks to God’s help, he has gotten better and can play organ again. Fr. Odilo Yi visited Waegwan Abbey to attend the 50th Anniversary of Monastic vows of his borther Br. Nicolaus Ri on July 11. Fr. Peter went to Madrid, Spain from Aug. 15 to 21 to attend World Youth Day 2011 with a Korean-American youth group. On Aug. 20, Junior monk Br. Marinus Kim went to Mount Angel Abbey Seminary to take his first semester there. Br. Bernadin, Br. Dominic and Fr. Peter went on their vacations in Tanzania and Korea, respectively.

This year, I attended Bishop Serratelli’s Meeting with Superiors at St. Paul Inside the Walls with Deacon Owen on Nov. 22, and the Knights of Columbus “Pride in Priests” dinner with Fr. Bosco Kim in Haledon, on Nov. 21. On Sep. 12, I also went to Pittsburgh to give some lectures and celebrate Mass for Koreans for a couple of days.

Guests : Again this year many guests visited us. Fr. Damian and Abbot Justin visited us for medical issues. From Waegwan Abbey, Abbot Simon Ri came for the solemn profession, Fr. Raphael Sun and Fr. Mataeo Kim for selling books. Other guests were Br. Herman Kim, a former member of our community who now lives at Assumption Abbey in ND; Fr. Juanito, who was an oblate of our community; Monsignor Philip Franceschini, pastor of Church of our Lady of Pity in Staten Island, who came for a private retreat. On June 3, Fr. Michael Lee, a Korean-American who was ordained on May 28, visited us and celebrated Mass with us.

Events : We invited Fr. Hoyoung Choi, who is a music director and professor at Seoul Catholic University, and Mr. Sung-hun Yoo from Korea to give the Gregorian Music Retreat for Koreans from July 8 to 10. Around 53 people attended the successful retreat. Retreants asked us to invite them again next year. We also invited Fr. Prior Polycarpo Kim from Waegwan Abbey as a retreat master for our Annual Retreat from August 22 to 26 at St. Alphonso Retreat House, Long Branch, NJ. After giving our retreat, he was scheduled to give a retreat for Korean laity, but it was canceled because of Hurricane Irene.

We have some sad news. On July 24, Fr. Augustine So’s father, Aloisio So, passed away as the result of a car accident in Korea. Fr. Augustine went to Korea to attend his father’s funeral mass and returned home on August 7. Fr. Peter Ahn’s father has been hospitalized in critical condition. Now Fr. Peter is taking care of his father in Korea. Our novice Martin Cho left our community due to personal reasons. We hope he may faithfully seek God’s will at all times wherever he may go.

Dear beloved friends and benefactors, we always are thankful for your kindness and support for our community. We hope that our Lord Jesus Christ will give you abundant gifts and grace in this Christmas season. May the peace and happiness of the Nativity of Our Lord remain with you and your loved ones always.

     Fr. Samuel Kim, OSB, Prior
and the monks of St. Paul’s Abbey

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