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. Wishing the abundant grace of Easter to overflow in you and your beloved ones, I give you our brief monastery news.
10th Anniversary of Receiving the Stewardship: On December 15, 2001, Fr. Bosco and five other Korean brothers arrived at Newton and received the Stewardship of the Abbey from the American community on January 25, 2002 the feast of Conversion of St. Paul, Titular and patron of the monastery. Ten years later, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Receiving the Stewardship from the American community, again on January 25 the Conversion of St. Paul. Around 70 people joined our celebration at 11:00 am. After the mass, we invited them for lunch. Fr. Samuel Kim gave thanks to the friends and benefactors for their prayers and help. He also gave some special thanks to American confreres Abbot Joel, Abbot Augustine and Br. Luke for their fraternal love and cooperation.
Guests: Abbot Simon Ri visited us from Feb. 24 until March 1. He met each of our brothers and had a conference with us. He asked us to keep trying to prosper and firmly plant the Benedictine monastic way of life in this ground and to help both Korean and American communities with our mission works, giving witness to the Gospel. Besides Abbot Simon, several guests visited us. In January, our guests were Fr. Stephanus Kim, who works in China, Br. Nicodemo, who studies at St. Martin Abbey, Sr. Maria Goretti Yi, the sister of Fr. Odilo, and Ms. Maria Ji-young Khong, the author of several best sellers in Korea. She interviewed the American brothers and looked around our monastery because she came here to write a novel about Br. Marinus, who saved 14,000 refugees at Hungnam harbor during the Korean War. February brought the arrival of Fr. John Won-hee Lee, a priest of Eujungbu Diocese in Korea who has a sabbatical year. He will stay with us until April 17. A different Fr. John, who is an Indian priest, made a retreat for one week. In March, Fr. Matthew Choi, a Jesuit priest, gave a 9 day retreat to four Koreans staying with us. While he was with us, he heard the confessions of our brothers. May the Risen Lord give his blessings to all the guests and visitors.
Our Brothers: Prior Fr. Samuel together with Abbot Joel attended an annual abbots and priors meeting at St. Joseph Abbey in Louisiana from Feb. 10 to 14. He also visited the Korean community in Calgary, Canada to give some Lenten lectures from March 21 to 26. Abbot Joel helped celebrate Masses several times for the Hermits of Carmel in Chester and St. Joseph’s Parish in Newton. On Feb. 23, he went to Kumily monastery in India until March 14 and then visited the Langata Study House in Nairobi, Kenya until March 23. Although Abbot Augustine has Parkinson’s disease, he is in good health so that he sometimes can walk instead of driving his moto-wheelchair. He was congratulated on his 82nd birthday on Feb. 17. Also in February, Fr. Bosco went to the Korean community in Chicago to celebrate Masses for 2 weeks while the pastor was absent. We helped celebrate Masses and gave lectures for several Korean communities such as Rockland, Poughkeepsee, Edison and Princeton. We also helped the American community at Good Shepherd Parish near St. Paul’s Abbey. Fr. Augustine So went to the Korean community in Columbus, Ohio to give some Lenten lectures from March 24 to 26.
Every year, we are 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. This year, Br. Luke and some brothers attended Vespers and had dinner with them. We were also invited by Bishop Serratelli of Paterson Diocese to join him for Vespers and a reception to celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life at St. Philip’s parish on Feb. 19. Br. Luke and Br. Bernardo attended the event. Beginning this year, the Korean government gave the right to vote to citizens who live abroad. Thus, on March 29, several Korean brothers went to the Korean Consulate in Manhattan to vote for the members of the National Assembly in Korea.
We have to report unhappy news about our brothers. On January 31, Deacon Bede Na’s father, Mr. Jacob Na passed away after a car accident. Deacon Bede went to Korea to attend the Funeral Mass. Fr. Peter Ahn, who was assigned to St. Paul’s Abbey in 2002, returned to Waegwan Abbey in Korea on March 15 after being assigned as an Abbey secretary. On April 1, his father Mr. Francis Xavier Ahn, also passed away due to heart failure at the age of 81. Please pray for the souls of Mr. Jacob Na and Mr. Francis Xavier Ahn for eternal happiness and life in the bosom of God.
Dear friends of St. Paul’s Abbey,
As always we are thankful for your kindness and good friendship. We realize that your help is very important to us in order to live our monastic way of life and serve mission works. We hope that you can feel God’s love, mercy and peace through the works and prayers of our community. We keep praying for you and your loved ones 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 remain with you always.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Kim, OSB, Prior
and the monks of St. Paul’s Abbey