Dear Friends of Mount Saviour,                                                                         April 2007


Dedication Day will be Sunday, August 12 with Mass at 10 AM followed by a brunch and then music in the Chapter Room around 12:30 P.M.  This is a special occasion when we thank God that we are here and thank all the people who have helped us be here.  We invite you to join us in thanking God for the blessings you have received especially in the past year.                                                                                                                                                                        


St. Benedict uses two important phrases in the Prologue of his Rule that are a little hard to identify and even a little hard to translate. “Open our eyes to the deifying light.”  And “Let us listen with thunderstruck ears.”  What is the deifying light?  It could be the light that is making us ever more into the image and likeness of God, which is why God created us in the first place.  It could be Christ the light of the world, or the brilliance of the Transfiguration, etc.  Thunderstruck ears could refer to the thunder of God’s voice as heard at the great theophany at Mount Sinai when God gave the Ten Commandments and made the Covenant with the Hebrews.  Our Mass is the corresponding New Covenant                                                                   and usually a little quieter.  I am writing this in the Octave of Easter so the sounds I am hearing are full of joy, the memory of the Easter Exultet and the heavenly liturgy of Hebrews 12:22. We need to be aware we live in the divine light and need to hear the thunder of the Divine voice, which can be a wake up call!  “It is high time for us to arise from sleep” (Rom 13:11)!  And: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart.”


                                                 RECENT ACTIVITIES

      Doug Cumming did a fine job again with the Christmas Crčche.  We were also very grateful to the members of the Servants of the Word Community in Chelsea, MI. who came again to work as well as pray.  Br. James Cronen’s brother Richard died on 30 December and Br James’s leg was improving enough so that he could attend the funeral.  Br. Thomas was hospitalized with a severe Staph infection 13-16 January.  A combination of intravenous antibiotics, a soft bed, and the playoffs for the Super Bowl saved him.  The Knitters Retreat was quite a success thanks to the energy and organizing ability of Penny Allen and the lectures on sheep management etc. by Br. Pierre.                               .

Another great blessing for us was Fr. Roman Paur, Prior of St John’s Abbey in Japan who facilitated our self-assessment 13-19 January and a second session 18-23 February.

This made the task of our Visitation by Abbot Timothy Kelly and Abbot Melvin Valvano much easier.  We ask your prayers to help us carry out their suggestions and advice over the next few years.  That is the best gift you can give us and we to you!

We were also richly blessed to have had Abbot Gregory Polan OSB of Conception Abbey as our Community Retreat Director. You might remember a total stranger terrorized their Monastery and killed two monks and wounded two others.  Abbot Gregory shepherded the community through the experience to a time of reconciliation, forgiveness and peace.  He is more than qualified to help others – which he did for us!  The Retreat ended the morning of Epiphany and Maureen Cadley invited us to St. Gertrude’s Guest House for a festive supper.


We were pleased to host the Cornell Catholic Community and the students of Cathedral Prep in Erie, Pa. during February.  Laetare Sunday, the Joyful Sunday in Lent, is especially so for us.  For many years we have sung Vespers and Compline at Grace Episcopal Church in Elmira interspaced with a joyful buffet supper and similar table companions.  Rev. Don Matthews and the parishioners do better every year.  Rev. Han Van den Blink now retired from the faculty of Colgate Rochester Divinity School and Sr.Patricia Schoelles SSJ of St. Bernard’s School of Theology joined Br. James, John Boler and me to discuss Mark Searle’s book Called to Participate with the Friends of Mount Saviour during March and April.


We are over-joyed that The Everyday, the DVD about our monastic life, won three nominations and two Emmy Awards at the 50th Annual N.Y. Emmy Awards Event on 1 April.  Matt Kells had been in our Summer Program a few years back and wanted to do something for us in return.  He teemed up with Shawn McGinn who won

an Emmy for the photography and Chris Ward who won an Emmy for the Audio with the help of Srael Boruchin and Kate GeisWe are very proud of all of them and very grateful.  We hope people who view it will be moved to make a Retreat here and those                  considering following Christ in a religious vocation would likewise find their way here.


Speaking of vocation Br. John Thompson is attending workshops sponsored by the National Religious Vocation Conference in Plymouth MI.  One is on Behavioral Assessment the other on Critical issues in Vocation and Formation Ministry.  Just as he arrived the brakes on the Toyota tore themselves apart.  He is enjoying the Workshop but may need to walk home.


                                                  FUTURE ACTIVITIES

The 5th Annual Damasus Winzen Memorial Lecture by Sister Mary Collins OSB                            will be held Sunday 6 May on Worship and Faith.  Sister Mary Collins teaches at Catholic University and St. John’s Collegeville MN


Radical Encounter Course for College Students Monday May 28 to Thursday June 7.

The Emmaus Experience VI – Return of the Prodigal Son: Stories of Forgiveness, Healing and Reconciliation.  Friday October 5th to Monday October 8th.


Mount Saviour Summer Experience for men ages 20-35 (flexible on age).  July 1-July 31. This is a four –week experience in a Catholic Benedictine Monastery that draws participants – through prayer, community life, work and study into a world of relationships and networks that reveal God. There is no fee for the program but the participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the monastery.  The number of participants is limited to ten.

Other events are on our web site


Books and audiovisuals: The Every Day, the Emmy Award Winning DVD or VHS is available at $22.95.

The Lectures on our 50th Anniversary:  The Contribution of Monastic Life to the Church and the World has presentations that can be read and re-read with profit.  The first part of the book treats of general Benedictine Contributions and there are pictures of life at Mount Saviour and then friends and Oblates recording their experience here.

     Since the Mass is the source and focus of most of our spirituality, I want to recommend three books to be studied in sequence: Mark Searle’s Called to Participate is $9.95.  Vatican II said that Participation was the goal of our worship, but it did not say what Participation was! So we had everyone singing and moved the furniture around but neglected the underlying theology.  Benedictine Jeremy Driscoll’s  What Happens at Mass at $10.95 is the next one to read and study.  Finally Nathan Mitchell’s Meeting Mystery:  Liturgy, Worship, and Sacraments is $20.

Other books to read are Albert Nolan’s Jesus Today: A Spirituality of Radical Freedom is $16. and Carl Arico’s Taste of Silence: A guide to the Fundamentals of Centering Prayer is $16.95. All of these book scan be obtained through the Monastery bookstore.

                                               SPECIAL NEEDS

We have mentioned the removal of the two old boilers covered with asbestos : $30,800. and their replacement for $41,000.   

We need to replace the urethane insulation on the roof covering the central portion of the  East Building.  Bids are still out at this time.

We need people who value time spent with the Lord in the company of others who have some of the same values.  The experience of time spent in this way enables them to be aware of the deep joy Jesus experienced during his lifetime.  Time spent in this way is called a “Retreat.” 

Nine women from St. Mary’s Church in Oneonta N.Y. told of their experience of their Retreat at Mount Saviour under the direction of their Pastor Joseph Benintende. One woman said that praying the Liturgy of the Hours was a relatively new experience and her participation exposed her to a new way of seeing and praying the psalms.  “I liked being able to join in and soak in that atmosphere. It recharges our spiritual batteries, and I need that periodically. Part of the monks’ focus on hospitality is to make visitors feel that they are part of the community for the short time they are there.  You just soak yourself in this life of prayer.  It doesn’t seem forced.  Most of us didn’t want to miss it. It was the sense of peace and oneness and getting into the Church’s prayer life other than just Sunday Mass.”  Another person said returning to the psalms several times a day, as the monks do, you begin to understand how prayerful spirituality can be deepened. They run through your mind like a song you can’t get out of your head.

We welcome the opportunity to celebrate your Mass intentions.  The Diocese suggests $10.  We also accept less.

Please remember us in prayer and, if possible also in your estate planning and will.

Our Legal title is –The Benedictine Foundation of New York State.

We are grateful for your prayers for vocations.

                                                                                    In Xto,