St Paul’s Abbey, Newton, NJ Summer 2010
Dear Friends of the Abbey,
The summer of 2010 gives a new meaning to the phrase, “hazy, hot, and humid.” This has been a good growing season both for our tree farm and the kitchen garden, just not too great for people. Let us hope for more comfortable weather in the fall. Now I’ll try to fill you in on the news from here.
THE COMMUNITY IS GROWING
Over the past few months, the community here at St. Paul’s has increased:
>Br. Pontiano Kim, who lived here previously in 1999 and 2000, has returned from Korea and is supervising our food service.
>Br. Bede Na has returned to us. He was in our motherhouse in Korea where he made his solemn profession.
>Br. Bermardo Lee has returned to us with a new religious worker visa after a one year hiatus inKorea.
>Two postulants, Messrs. John Suh, previously of Atlanta and Japan, and Thomas Cho, previously of Los Angeles and Korea, joined our community in June.
On July 20th, Abbot Simon Ri came for his annual visit. On July 22nd he presided at the investiture of the new postulants, brother John and brother Thomas. The abbot spoke to the community on various subjects: the recent canonical visitation, our mission work, the condition of the community and our future. He visited two of the Korean parishes which we serve, the community in Demarest and the Long Island Korean communities.
On April 19 two financial visitators examined our financial practices and were able to suggest several modifications to improve our operating procedures.
Archabbot Jeremias visited in mid-July as a follow-up to an earlier canonical visitation. He was able to suggest approaches to our administrative procedures.
Mr. Wonjune Kim and a production team from a film company in Korea visited our monastery in connection with Br. Marinus LaRue. He was the merchant marine captain who transported 14,000 refuges during the Hamheung evacuation in the Korean War. This company is making a documentary film about the Korean War as part of the 60th anniversary remembrance of the beginning of the War; the Hamheung evacuation is an important part of that story. Both Abbot Joel and Father Bosco were interviewed by the production team.
Ms. Hyun Suk Kim, a staff reporter of the Voice of America, Korean Service, also interviewed Abbot Joel and Fr. Bosco about Brother Marinus in connection with a VOA program that was to be broadcast into North Korea.
Fr. Mattaeo Kim of Waegwan stayed with us for a couple of weeks while he coordinated the sale of Korean books published by our Bundo Press in Waegwan.
On June 22nd four Korean Benedictine Sisters from LA visited with us while they were en route to an annual retreat at Huntington Seminary on Long Island.
Prior Samuel traveled to Los Angeles to attend the General Assembly of Korean Priests in the USA. He offered several retreats in various parishes and here at the monastery. He also planted 19 cherry trees along the driveway of the monastery and made several decorative plantings around Subiaco.
Subprior Matthias traveled with Fr. Bosco to attend the diaconal ordination of Rev. Mr. Michael Lee, the son of Mrs. Magdalena Lee. He also traveled with Abbot Joel and Br. Pontiano to Schuyler to participate in the 75th anniversary celebration of the foundation of the Schuyler monastery on July 11, 2010.
Abbot Joel traveled to Kumily, India in May. Fr. Bosco went to St. Meinrad Archabbey for a Formation Directors’ meeting. He also was retreat master for a meditation retreat. His retreats will be held four times a year.
Br. Luke attended a Christian Brothers Medical Program Trustee meeting in Chicago in May. Fr. Peter led a pilgrimage for the Legio Mariae to Fatima, Portugal. Deacon Owen was hospitalized on March 24th for heart problems. He had open-heart surgery on April 8th, then convalesced in theBarn Hill Care Center and returned home to the monastery on May 3rd.
Fr. Michael Na, a Korean Air Force Chaplain and a friend of Prior Samuel, visited St. Paul’s. Fr. Na. came to the US to improve his English and will study in Buffalo.
>A flea market was held near the Gift Shop parking lot by the Don Bosco Columbiettes in April.
>On Vocation Sunday, May 2nd, 800 children visited and enjoyed a picnic here.
>On May 26 our community went to Jones Beach, Long Island for a spring outing.
>On June 27, sixty people from Dail Korean Protestant community held a retreat in our retreat house.
>On July 1 a Dallas, Texas Korean community held a retreat.
>July 11th we celebrated the feast day of our Holy Father Benedict. We had a cookout on our back lawn and invited the local priests to celebrate with us.
Well that seems to be about all for now, so I think I’ll sign off till next time.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Kim, O.S.B.