Dear friends of St. Paul’s Abbey,
Happy Easter! Jesus Christ is truly risen from the dead by defeating sin and death. Let us rejoice at his triumphant resurrection! From now on, we do not have to worry about anything in our lives because Jesus became our true hope as our savior and Lord. We would like to share the joy of resurrection with you. We also wish the abundant grace of Easter to overflow in you so that you can bear abundant fruit in this blessed Easter season.
Brief Monastery News
We brothers of St. Paul’s Abbey have sincerely sought and followed God’s will and made several development plans in order to deeply implant the Benedictine monastic way of life again in this area. As I mentioned last newsletter, we have properly proceeded with the installation project for showers and toilets in the retreat house rooms with the help of a Korean architect.
Visit of Abbot Blasio Park: On February 20, Abbot Blasio visited us and stayed with us until March 3. He met with all the Korean brothers twice for almost the whole day, talked about many things and made some decisions. In particular, we decided to renovate our retreat house mainly for retreatants. However, we also will install showers and toilets in our brothers’ rooms and expand the monastery area a little more. While Abbot Blasio was in the USA, he attended Abbots’ and Priors’ workshop at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Alabama from Feb. 21 to Feb. 25. He asked for some help from the abbots who have colleges and seminaries because he plans to send some Korean brothers to America to study. I also attended the meeting with him.
Our Brothers: Fr. Augustine So, who came here in 2011, returned to Waegwan Abbey in January. Now he works at the Abbey library. On April 25, Br. Mario Kim, who worked at the library in Waegwan Abbey, came here. He will be given his new assignment after having some time to adjust. The second Abbot of St. Paul’s Abbey, Abbot Emeritus Augustine Hinches, moved to a nursing home run by Dominican sisters in Caldwell, NJ on March 4. He worked and made good efforts for our community with his whole strength in spite of his Parkinson’s disease. Our brothers occasionally visit him. I ask you to pray for Abbot Augustine. Br. Matthias Yoo visited Korea for his home vacation for two months. Fr. Odilo also went to Korea for 2 weeks to attend the funeral mass for his sister-in-law. During Lent, Korean priests helped several Korean communities to hear confessions and gave some lectures. On February 6, Br. Luke had eye surgery once again because a fragment of cataract fell into his eye during the last surgery and it was successfully removed. After the surgery, Br. Luke along with Br. Bernardo Lee and Br. Ezekiel Kim attended the celebration of Consecrated Life with Evening Prayer presided by our local Bishop Serratelli at St. Philip in Clifton, NJ. Br. Ezekiel prayed one of the intercessions in Korean. On March 29, Abbot Justin returned to Namibia after having medical treatment for several months in the U.S.A.
Vocation Guests: Mr. Jong-kun Chris John Han and Mr. John Cho visited our community in January and in March respectively. They are both from the West coast. Mr. Jinmo Paul Chong will join our community on June 4. He was supposed to come here in March, but he asked me to postpone his entry until June because of his father’s eye surgery in May.
Guests: From January up to now, many guests have visited us, especially on March 21, the Solemnity of Passing of our Holy Father Benedict. Fr. Edward and Fr. Benoit from St. Vincent Archabbey visited us and stayed with us until the next day. They work at the Saint Benedict Education Foundation for Saint Anselmo in Rome. Around 6 people attended the Easter Triduum Retreat from Thursday, April 17 to Sunday April 20. Fr. Michael Goonan and Fr. Sebastian Lee, who are priests of the Society of St. Paul in Staten Island, visited us and attended the Easter Triduum Liturgy. Several Koreans and Americans attended Easter Vigil Mass and shared the joy and glory of the Lord’s resurrection with us.
March 15 was the 90th Anniversary of Foundation of Newton monastery. We Korean brothers have lived here for 12 years since we received stewardship from the American community. Soon it will be the 100th Anniversary of Foundation. We have sincerely tried to root our monastic way of life in this area, but it is not easy. There are many problems and difficulties, especially old and worn-out monastery buildings. Last year, we renovated roofing on the retreat house wing. This year, we have a plan to install showers and toilets in the rooms of the retreat house. We expect that our retreatants and guests will stay here more comfortably. I would like to ask you for help in order to faithfully seek and follow God’s will as monks and missionaries. Once again, we thank you for your generosity. May the Risen Lord give you and your loved ones his abundant grace and love.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Kim, O.S.B., Prior
and the monks of St. Paul’s Abbey