Dear Friends and benefactors of St. Paul’s Abbey,
When we see the deep blue sky and beautifully tinted trees in this season, we can feel God’s grace. Asking God’s abundant grace and gifts for you and your family, I would like to share the news of our community with you.
I. Our Brothers
New face: Br. Barnabas Song came here from Waegwan Abbey in Korea on September 22. When he was in Seoul monastery, he worked as a cellarer and manager of the monastery. Now he is learning English and having his period of adjustment.
Abbot Augustine: On May 25, our beloved brother Abbot Augustine Hinches passed away peacefully and returned to God at St. Catherine of Siena Health Care Center in Caldwell at 3:07am. In spite of his Parkinson’s Disease, he worked hard and made good efforts for the community with his whole strength and heart. He loved Christmas trees and the tree farm so we decorated the altar with Christmas trees at his funeral mass. Around 150 people attended the funeral mass and burial rite.
Sad news: On August 25, Br. Marinus’ father, Mr. Basil Do-Su Kim, passed away because of lung cancer at around 4:38pm. The funeral mass was at the Korean community in Brooklyn, NY at 10:00am. All Korean brothers attended his funeral mass and consoled his family. Postulant Jin-mo Paul Chung, who joined on June 4, left the monastery on September 24 because of his view of the monastic ideal. He wants to live a more prayful life.
Other Brothers: Br. Bernadin and Fr. Odilo went on their home vacation to Korea and Tanzania in June. Br. Bernadin visited Korea for two weeks on the way to Tanzania. He visited Waegwan Abbey and its dependant houses. He had a good time and experience with Waegwan brothers. In June and July, Abbot Joel attended several celebrations such as the 25th Anniversary of Ordination Mass for Fr. Prior Elias Lorenzo at St. Mary’s Abbey, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Profession of Fr. Raymond Studzinski at St. Meinrad Archabbey, the alumni reunion and the 50th anniversary of the class of 1964 at St. Meinrad Archabbey with Br. Luke. On September 8, Abbot Joel went with Br. Luke to St. Mary’s Abbey to attend the inauguration of the 75th anniversary of Delbarton School with Abbot Primate Notker at 5:30pm and on September 23, he went to Cuba and then El Rosal, Colombia for the major superiors’ meeting.
This summer many guests visited our community. On June 12, Fr. Aaron Jang of Waegwan Abbey and Fr. Elias Lee of St. Joseph Priory in Korea came here to learn English and experience some American culture before attending “Study Weeks” in Germany for abound two months. While they were here, they visited some Benedictine Abbeys and convents, and also visited Niagara Falls, New York City, Washington D.C., etc. On June 23, Mr. Bob Lunny, who was one of the crew members of the ship “Meredith Victory” and 5 Koreans visited us in memory of Br. Marinus and his heroic act and humanitarian mission at the evacuation of Hyungnam Harbor during the Korean War. They visited our Abbey cemetery and honored Br. Marinus. On July 28, Fr. Christian Temu, who was a Congregation Secretary, visited us and stayed with us until August 2. On September 6, Abbot Primate Notker visited us and had lunch with us. He came to St. Mary’s Abbey in New Jersey on September 5 for the inauguration of the 75th anniversary of Delbarton School on Sept. 8. In spite of his age, he always looked very energetic and spirited. Abbot President Jeremias and Fr. Stephan Raster came here for the Canonical Visitation from September 16 to 19. The day before, the newly elected prior of St. Joseph Monastery in Korea, Prior Pacomio Choi, arrived with Abbot Blasio Park who came here for the visitation. After the visitation, they went to Cuba and El Rosal to attend the major superiors’ meeting.
III. Canonical Visitation
Abbot Blasio also joined discussions with the visitators. They encouraged and stimulated us to thrive as a community so that we can firmly root the Benedictine monastic way of life in this ground. On the basis of the visitation, Abbot Blasio and brothers made several decisions, after having deeply reflected on where we should focus to realize the goal of the community and its missionary obligations. So we have made the following decisions:
1) Vigils, morning prayer, vespers and Mass are celebrated in Korean. 2) Noon prayer and compline are celebrated in English. 3) However, Mass on Wednesday and Saturday is celebrated in English. In special cases, the language of the liturgy can be determined differently after community notification is announced. 4) The time of the community Sunday Mass changes from 9:00am to 10:30am. 5) We started this schedule on Sunday October 5.
The plan to remodel the retreat house is still being promoted. When we submitted the construction proposal to the township on July, the Building committee rejected it because our buildings need fire warning systems and handicap restrooms, etc. Thus, the construction was delayed in order to revise the drawings and prepare for fire equipment, and the cost has more than doubled. Although we asked for help from the congregation at the visitation, we also should pay our own expenses. But it is very difficult for our present financial condition to complete this construction without your help. I humbly and eagerly ask you for help. When we renovate our retreat house, we can accept retreatants and guests in more modern, convenient facilities. Thank you for your prayers and support. May God repay your good deeds with his abundant gifts and grace.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Kim, O.S.B., Prior
and the monks of St. Paul’s Abbey