October 30 marked the five-year anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed the ancient monastery in town ...
Dear friends and family,
October 30 marked the five-year anniversary of the earthquake that destroyed the ancient monastery in town and launched the community of monks on the new path in Monte (on the mountainside). It is an anniversary that does not pass without our remembering all those who suffered throughout the region, and the thousands of people who helped us in those first days and weeks. We are ever grateful and pray for you.
That five-year mark also allowed us to celebrate important progress on the restoration currently underway in Monte. With the first-floor walls in place, one can now walk around the monastery (if isn't raining, since the roof is not yet installed!) and get a sense of how the monks will live and work for what we hope are centuries to come. We are halfway to the completion date and a little more than halfway to our fundraising goal. You'll soon hear more about how that is going from Fr. Martin, who is now directing the effort.
This has also been a busy time for two academic initiatives. Fr. Cassian spent four months in Rome on sabbatical, immersed in the libraries of universities as he worked to complete a book on the historical development of liturgical books, which has been the focus of his studies for decades. Fr. Martin is following a similar path having just completed his licentiate degree in sacred liturgy. His studies focused on the history and development of the rite of consecration of an altar.
BELOW: Monks recently celebrated Thanksgiving in Monte, hiked through the mountains and saw the old, defunct Spoleto-Norcia railway. It was also the first time that All Saints' and All Souls' were celebrated in the restored church.
ABOVE: The monks' dogs can be quite effective sellers of Birra Nursia!
Thanks to some easing of pandemic-related restrictions, we were finally able to host our Italian oblates for a day of recollection in November. Fr. Basil led beautiful meditations for All Saints, which combined the Rule of St. Benedict and Dante's Divine Comedy. Our hope was that, with these activities, some "food" for contemplation was offered in the midst of these trying times. We are pleased to share with you a few images of recent activities, and thank you for your continued support of our life of prayer in Monte.