Mount Saviour Monastery

Pine City NY 14871

                                                                                                                            May 2002
Dear Friend of Mt Saviour,

In early May, for the past 50 years, we have made our annual Dedication Day appeal for support and invited you to join us in thanking God for the blessings of the past and in prayer that they may continue into the future.  Our being here is, to a large extent, the result of your generous response. Dedication Day this year will be Sunday 18 August with Mass at 10 AM with a light brunch and music afterward.

We have no major new projects in mind, but after 50 years there are number of repairs and replacements that do need attention.  Work in the kitchen of St. Joseph's Guest House has been completed and we've kept the old stove.  The carpet in the large downstairs room has been there since the 60's and needs replacing, $3,000.  Both the Guest House Casas need new carpets and the west Casa needs interior painting for which we have no estimate yet.  Replacement with a new wood burning stove and two mattresses $700.  The main barn complex needs new roofing on the south and central sections which will be $40,000.  Work on the ledge and windows in the large refectory is in progress and that will be another $50,000.  Additional repairs and items like furniture for the men's Guest House can wait.  The sand filter sewer acted up unexpectedly to the tune of $??,???.  Sufficient for the day is the cost thereof.

As I write to ask your financial support, it is hard to keep a sense of proportion.  We hear daily of the terrible violence and suffering of so many people in the world around us.  And it is, of course, a concern of all of us for the church to face up to its own crisis as we try to understand how we can best comfort and minister to those involved. St. Paul's words to the Corinthians come to mind: " that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.  For as Christ's sufferings overflow to us, so through Christ does our encouragement overflow."  A recent excerpt from Hans Urs von Balthasar which we read at Vigils has been helpful to me.  The disciples, he says, did not have the slightest idea of what a resurrection could be, if not "on the last day" but in the midst of their own time.  Even more difficult for them, and for us, to understand is that the whole life of the church from the resurrection on would be stamped by the two-in-one event of cross and Easter.  Easter is reality on earth, but it leads not away from the cross but back to it.

St. Augustine came to relinquish the image of the church as a spiritual elite.  Like any other human society, it is irretrievably tinged with sin and contains within itself members of both the City of God and the earthly City.  The church cannot be an alternative society in which people could take refuge from the dislocated and tension-torn society in which it is always and inevitably placed.  His view of a monastery comes as good news and a wonderful surprise for those of us associated with Mount Saviour or any monastery.  While not exempt from the human condition, Augustine recognized that a monastic community was the nearest people could get to a society in which the bonds between its members were restored to their original integrity.  To become a monk was to associate with others on the basis of a free, rational decision, to take on obligations to owe no one anything but to love one another and to transform all duties into works of love.   His shift from the emphasis on asceticism to the renewal of unspoilt human relationships focused a direction in monastic life already implicit in Fourth Century spirituality and made explicit in the Rule of St. Benedict.

At Mount Saviour, we have not created a perfect community of love.   But we are trying to give the shape of that final society to the extent it can be visible on earth.  And that is why we ask your help in various ways - at the moment to pray for vocations and help us keep in repair the physical structures that enable us to receive guests and be of service to the Kingdom of God on earth.

We are happy to announce an Adult Study Week from Sunday Vespers 16 June through None on Thursday 20 June, 2002.  Fr. James Kelly OSB, who has a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture, will lead the group on a Journey Through the Scriptures.  Cost is $250 including room & board.

Please continue to remember us in prayer and, if possible, also in your estate planning and will.
                                                                                       In Xto,

                                                                                      Fr Martin

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