Mount Saviour Monastery
Dear Friend of Mount
Dedication Day will be Sunday, August 14 with Mass 10 AM
followed by a
light brunch and music in the Chapter Room around
writing this during the Conclave to elect the new Pope. He will
certainly be elected before you receive this letter. Yet I prefer
to write in this mood of awe at the out-pouring of reverence and
respect for the person of John Paul II than to be plunged into the
confusion and speculation that will accompany the election of his
successor. I will long ponder in amazement the crowds who filled
the Piazza and streets around St. Peter’s. More than anything
else, the mourners gave evidence of the awe and deep reverence we are
to have for each human person. What aided and made it so acute
for me was the recent encounter in Georgia between Ashley Smith and the
man who killed a judge and several other people - Brian Nichols.
The regard for a person that brought the people to John Paul II’s
funeral and the reverence that surfaced between the two people in
Georgia were different in every way yet the dynamic was the same.
Brian Nichols said of Ashley Smith that she was an angel sent by
God. The Newsweek article began: “Ashley Smith knew plenty
about shame and despair, and about grace”. So, of course did
Brian Nichols who responded to her appeal. So, I think, in some way,
did John Paul II, though I don’t want to get into that. I
wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds in either of their situations.
Each of them drew on their experience as human persons. At the end of
the Pope’s life and as a result of their encounter in Augusta, all
three will hear the joyful “Well done you good and faithful
servant”. The angels will be jumping up and down singing
alleluias until they bust their harp strings. The same is to be
true of each one of us if we can admit our sins and faults, confess
them to the Lord, and believe the great love God has for each of
us. “You have been told what to do and what the Lord requires of
you: Only to do the right and to love goodness and to walk humbly with
your God”(Micah 6,8). Dedication Day has always been a special
time when we thank God that we
are here and we invite everyone to use this occasion to thank God for
the blessings and benefits they too have received.
Topical Retreats were introduced
here in December on Advent; in March,
on the Paschal Mystery of Jesus; in April; Mary Our Mother. May
20-22 we will focus on the Eucharist and June 24-26, The Universal Love
of Christ. Call Br. James Cronen 607-734-1688 or e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Since this is the Year of the
Eucharist, we hope to give a conference on the Eucharist each week
during July and August if there is a sufficient number of guests.
It is a special joy to announce that
the Third Damasus Winzen Lecture
will be given this year on Sunday, 12 June at 4 PM by Nathan
Mitchell. Professor Mitchell received his PhD in theology
from the University of Notre Dame where he is teaching currently in the
Theology Department while serving as associate director of the N.D.
Center for Liturgy. He has written extensively on the liturgy,
most recently in Real Presence: The Work of the Eucharist. Since
1991, his column, “The Amen Corner,” has appeared regularly in
Worship. The title of Prof. Mitchell’s lecture is
Sapienter Indoctus: Worship as
‘Wise Ignorance’ in the Rule of St
Benedict. The phrase is taken from Gregory the Great’s
description of St. Benedict as “expertly unlearned and wisely
In Gregory’s account of his final days, the “father of monks”
envisioned the entire world in a ray of shimmering light.
Jean-Ives Lacoste has written: “The man to whom the world appears in
its totality and from afar, within a new horizon, does not cease to be
himself in the world. Benedict is graced with his vision, not in
some seventh heaven, but somewhere in Italy.”
Professor Mitchell wrote: “Benedict’s
life and Rule have raised basic questions about our worship: What is it
to “exist liturgically?” How can worship be both “worldly” and
“unworldly”? How does our paradoxical experience of worship
place the world “inside a ray of light,” yet leave us, with Benedict,
“somewhere in Italy,” where God’s good soil clings to our shoes? It is
my hope that if this lecture does not provide answers, it may at least
help us to love these questions. That is our hope as well.
The conference will be followed by Vespers, refreshments and
We have two new wonderful products. #1.
The long awaited book of
lectures in celebration of Mount Saviour Monastery’s 50th
Anniversary.entitled Monastic Contributions to Church and
Society, is now ready. The lectures in the first part of the book
treat of the over-all contribution of Benedictines. Next are
pages of photographs taken at Mount Saviour since our beginning, and
finally, lectures about Mount Saviour.$19.95 & $1.65 tax for N.Y.
folk & $2.00 shipping/handling.
#2. Matt Kells, who took part
in our Summer Program a few years back
and Sean McGinn, have produced an excellent DVD and
VCR of the Every
Day Life at Mount Saviour.
Some of the rams got out again so we had 100 lambs born in February who
should have waited until mid April. Br. Pierre did a masterful
job of shepherding. We now have a llama. Shearing will be
Saturday 28 May.
We have several maintenance and renewal projects that have been
completed and some that are in progress. We thank you in advance
for any help you can give to ease the financial burden of thse
renovations and replacements: renewal of the monastery sewage system:
$30,000: interior painting of the casas:$1500 each; new cookstoves for
the casas: $600 each; painting in St.Joseph’s Guesthouse:$4700;
painting in St. Gertrude’s: $1500; painting in St. Peter’s Conference
Room:$800; additional chairs in Chapel and Chapter Room:$5000;
replacement of cookstoves in the monastery kitchen: $7000.
We expect Tom Colucci to begin his Novitiate in May. We thank you for
your prayers for vocations and are grateful your continual help in so
Please join us in prayer for the
newest Benedict in Rome.