Dear Friends of St. Paul’s Abbey,
The sky of Autumn is pure and high like a deep blue sea. The fruits are getting ripe and the leaves of trees are falling to the ground. We may give thanks to God for his abundant gifts and love. Asking God’s grace for all of you, I would like to bring you the recent news from our community.
Visit of Abbot Blasio Park: On September 9, Abbot Blasio, who was newly elected as the fifth abbot of Waegwan Abbey on May 7, visited us and stayed with us until September 18. On September 11, he visited Christ the King Priory in Schuyler, Nebraska to give thanks for their financial help for the construction of Waegwan Abbey. The next day, he returned to Newton with Br. Ansgar, Fr. Richard, Fr. Stephan, Br. Victor and Mr. Ballhausen who had a meeting at Schuyler of the congregation mission procurators. They were supposed to go to Niagara Falls on September 12, but they couldn’t go there because of excessive flight delays. The next day, Abbot Blasio and the mission procurators went on a Manhattan tour guided by Fr. Matthew and me. On Saturday, September 14, the mission procurators left Newton. Abbot Blasio met all the members living at Newton Abbey, from September 14 until returning to Korea on the 18th. We talked about many things and made some decisions.
Guests: We always welcome friends and guests. In April, we had a visit frrom Fr. Paul Rubadue, who is a priest of St. Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania. Abbot Simon Ri visited here on April 9 and stayed with us for around one month after his resignation as Abbot of Waegwan. Now he is chaplin of the Trappist convent in Su-jung, Korea. In May, Fr. Paul Kasun, monk of the Schuyler Priory, and his two friends, Mr. Richard T. De Luna and Mrs. Diane E. De Luna visited us. Other visitors in June were Fr. Ildelfonce Mapara, Fr. Volker, who is a monk of Schuyler Priory, Fr. Paul Paparosky from St. Peter’s Abbey in Canada and Br. Mark Florianiani from St. Vincent Archabbey. In July, Fr. Peter Ahn, who lived here for 10 years, came back for a visit. Now Fr. Peter works at the Suck-jun parish as a pastor. In September, Br. Herman Kim, who transferred to Assumption Abbey in North Dakota five years ago, came here for his vacation and met with Abbot Blasio.
Brothers: In April, Deacon Owen went to Pinebeach, Bayville, NJ to preside at the wedding of his grandniece. Br. Matthias went on pilgrimage to Mejugorie. I went to Mount Angel Abbey, OR, to attend the evaluation of Br. Marinus and ask for a scholarship. In May, Fr. Matthew, Br. Bernardo and Deacon Owen went to the Motor Lodge in Parsippany to take Pool Water Class and take the course and an exam for the license. Fr. Matthew and Br. Bernardo got their license. Abbot Joel went to Namibia to visit Abbot Justin in the Windhoek Priory and Fr. Peter Blue in Inkamana, South Africa. Fr. Augustine So returned home from Korea after his home vacation. Fr. Matthew went to Detroit Korean community in Michigan to give some lectures for the Charismatic Prayer Seminar. In June, Fr. Odilo took the oath of American citizenship. He became the first American citizen among Korean missionaries. Abbot Joel went to Waegwan Abbey, Korea, to attend Abbot Blasio’s blessing. Fr. Matthew went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem with his seminary classmates. Deacon Owen and I went to Our Lady of the Rosary monastery to attend Deacon Rafael Jose Perez’ ordination. Deacon Rafael is a hermit of Hermits of Bethlehem. In July, I went to Korea for my home vacation for around two months. I returned to Newton with Abbot Blasio on Sept. 9. In September, Br Luke went with Br. Bernardo and Steve to the summer meeting of the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association in Washington, NJ. Abbot Joel, Abbot Justin and Br. Luke went to Good Shepherd parish in Andoverto attend the funeral Mass for Fr. Steiger who was the founder and former pastor of the parish. In October, Abbot Joel went to Africa to visit the Benedictine students studying at Morogoro, Tanzania and at the Langata study house in Nairobi, Kenya. While he was in Tanzania, he visited Fr. Damian Milliken at Mazinde Juu, Lushoto, TZ. Br. Pontiano, who worked in the kitchen and the vegetable garden, returned to Waegwan Abbey on October 14. He took charge of the kitchen in Waegwan Abbey. Br. Ezekiel, who worked as goldsmith, will come here from Waegwan Abbey as soon as he can get a visa.
Events: We purchased a generator for the well and the sewage plant. Although it was rare, in recent years electricity has gone out because of hurricanes and heavy snow. When super storm Sandy hit this area, we lost power and used water from our pond for the toilets. We also installed a new roof on the Retreat House. From now on, we don’t have to worry about blackouts and leaks. We continue to renovate our buildings and our monastic way of life. We have discussed our liturgy, especially how to harmonize English with Korean. We have agreed to the Korean brothers’ proposal to pray the Divine Office separately in Korean instead of English from vigils to vespers on the first Saturday each month. If something happens on the first Saturday, we will do it the next Saturday. We will try this form for 6 months beginning in December, 2013. After 6 months, we will discuss this form and adjust it if desired.
Vocation Guests: Mr. Martin Eo and Mr. Jinmo Paul Chong visited us as vocation candidates. Mr. Jinmo will visit again in December and will decide if he will join our community. He is an American citizen who got a MA and Phd degree in mathematics at UCLA.
We continue to pray for you for your kindness and help. May God give you his abundant blessings and gifts. Thank you.
Fr. Samuel Kim, O.S.B., Prior
and the monks of St. Paul’s Abbey