Newsletter – Christmas 2022 – E
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Our Lord Jesus Christ came to us to be our true hope and happiness in this disturbing and dizzy world. We pray that the Lord’s mercy, love, and abundant grace will be filled with all of you. In the new year of 2023, we pray that you will live a more gracious life in the love of the Lord, and I would like to tell you about our lives at St. Paul’s Abbey.
Guest: As the coronavirus situation improves little by little, more guests are coming to the monastery, and it is regaining its vitality. On April 25, Fr. Athanasio Jang-kyu Yi of Waegwan Abbey, who was on a mission to the Havana Priory of the Epiphany of the Lord in Cuba after studying language in Spain, visited Newton and spent time with our brothers. On April 27, Fr. Aaron Kyung-Wook Jang, newly appointed the Prior of the Havana monastery, also visited Newton to purchase various items needed for his community. On May 3, Fr. Aaron and Athanasio returned to Cuba. There are five monks in the Havana community: 2 Koreans, 2 Philippines, and 1 Cuban. They live separately in Havana City and the monastery on the outskirts. On May 19, Br. Andrew Dong-ha Kim, a monk of St. Vincent Archabbey near Pittsburgh, visited our community to make a retreat for his Solemn vows until May 23. He joined the Benedictine community in Taiwan, the Priory of St. Vincent, and came to St. Vincent to study as a priest. Sr. Lucia Joseph Misoji, a Tanzanian Benedictine sister studying at the University of Seaton Hall in the Diocese of Newark, came here during the summer vacation. She came to spend her vacation studying in the United States several times. This time, she suffered a severe injury to her finger and went to the emergency room with seven stitches. Fortunately, she was cured without any side effects and could concentrate on her studies, and she will come again to the monastery this winter vacation—besides, two Olivetan Benedictine Srs. Maricecil and Teresa, working at the Sacred Hearts parish in Toronto, Canada; Deacon Gregory, who is a monk of Hanga Abbey, studying at St. Meinrad Archabbey seminary, Fr. Silvester, who is a Sylvester Benedictine monk in Sri Lanka living at Silvester monastery in NJ, Sr. Joanna Lim who is a Franciscan sister joined from the Korean community in Manhattan, NY, Fr. Francisco DoYun Kim from Metacheon diocese visited our community. And from September 7 to 16, Fr. Pacomio Chong-Kun Choe, Prior of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Korea, came here to give our community and oblates an annual retreat under the theme of “The Lord’s Pascal Mystery.” It was a demonstration to remind us that our faithful and monastic life should be a life of living and give witness to others the mystery of the Lord’s Pascal Mystery. After presenting the retreat, Prior Pacomio went to St. Ottilien Archabbey in Germany with me to attend the General Chapter Meeting.
Brothers: The community, living vigorously in the joy of the resurrection, was infected with four people, including me, in early May by the coronavirus attack. Everything was recovered safely by living in isolation with uninfected brothers, including Liturgies and meals. On May 19, we could resume our monastic life way of life. Thanks to being recovered from the coronavirus threat, Brs. Luke Oh and Theodoro Lee could go to Korea for their home vacation in late May and early July, respectively. While they were in Korea, they renewed their American visas. Fr. Odilo also went to Korea on May 20 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the profession of his Sister Maria Goretti Yi, who is the Mother General of Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, and his brother Nicolao Yi of Waegwan Abbey in Korea. Our Cellarer Br. Bernardo Lee went to Schuyler priory in Nebraska from June 25 to July 2. When returning home, he had to spend the night nervously in Minneapolis airport due to the cancellation of a transfer flight. On September 13, Abbot Joel came here to attend an Abbatial blessing for newly elected Abbot Augustine J. Curley of Newark Abbey in the Cathedral church in Newark Archdiocese on Thursday, September 15. Abbot Justin is not feeling well but is always living a life of joy and gratitude. I attended the General Chapter at St. Ottilien Archabbey with Prior Pacomio Choe on September 16 after our Annual retreat and returned home on September 29. I attended a dinner with members of the Knight of Columbus on November 21 and a Superiors meeting with Bishop Kevin Sweeney of Peterson diocese on November 22. On November 30, I attended a funeral mass for Fr. Corneilus Hun Jang at the Chapel of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Manhattan, NY. Fr. Cornelius Jang was a Benedictine monk of St. Vincent Archabbey in Pittsburgh and taught Oriental art at Columbia University for a long time, helping the Korean faithful. Abbot Blasio visited Newton from June 17-27 and again made a short visit from October 1-3 after attending the General Chapter at St. Ottilien. I feel sad to say bad news. Fr. Gregory Jung-min Lee, who joined on July 5 last year and took the investiture ceremony for novitiate with receiving a new monastic name, Paul, by Abbot Blasio Park on June 19. Unfortunately, he left our community because of some personal reasons. Since he has lived as a parish priest for many years, it wasn’t easy to adapt to community life appropriately. I sincerely hope the Lord Jesus will send vocations to our community.
Christmas Tree: As the Corona situation improves little by little, the Christmas tree sales atmosphere also picks up the old vibe. By planting about 3,200 seedlings in April and mobilizing experts in autumn to prune the poorly shaped trees, many people were happy to buy well-trimmed trees. Due to climate change, we have a hard time selling trees because of the increasing number of rainy days in December. Still, we successfully sold the trees this year with the help of American neighbors and Korean volunteers for smooth sales. I appreciate their excellent works and hope the Lord’s blessing will be full of them.
Dear benefactors! Once again, I sincerely thank you for your prayers and help, and I wish you a merry Christmas and a hopeful New Year in 2023. Thank you.
Prior Samuel Kim and the community of St. Paul’s Abbey
When he speaks about monks visiting & staying at the Newton site exactly where is the site he is referring to. St Paul’s Abbey has been uninhabitable for years.