Work has begun on the St. Francis Retreat Center and the Father Francis Kline Memorial Chapel which will be located on the site of the former St. Anthony Guest House. A blessing of the construction site will be held on June 3, 2012 at 3 p.m. and the building should be completed by the end of this year.
The new Retreat Center, which will replace all of the existing guest houses, will have sixteen private rooms with private baths (two being handicapped accessible with an adjoining room in each case for a care giver), a library, offices for the Guestmaster and Spiritual Director, and a room for counseling/confessions. The Father Francis Kline Memorial Chapel will be a free-standing meditation chapel dedicated in memory of our beloved Abbot Francis Kline who died August 27, 2006.
W.G. Clark and his partner Josh Stanstny of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, are our architects and Hightower Construction Company, Inc. is our general contractor.
Dr. John Palms (former President of the University of South Carolina) and his wife Norma head the fund-raising efforts and participated in building committee meetings. Almost all of the funds to build this project have been raised. A significant portion of this amount came in as memorials for Father Francis Kline at the time of his death.Read More »
1st rdg Acts 10 34a;37-43 commissioned us to preach & testify
psalm Ps 118 this is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice
2nd rdg Col 3:1-4 seek what is above/life hidden with Christ in God
Gospel Jn 20:1-9 look - see - believe - understand
May God’s measureless love envelope us today as we celebrate Our Lord’s resurrection!
Whereas the saying ‘seeing is believing’ may be an apt adage for other occasions, this morning ‘not seeing is believing’ might be the better phrase. For it was in not seeing Jesus’ body in the tomb that the disciples’ belief grew, with the understanding that his body wasn’t there because He had risen. I am often drawn to reflect that we go looking for Jesus in the wrong places. He is not in the place of the dead – the cemetery – the grave – in lackluster faith or in the pretense of religious practice. Jesus is known in the midst of believers! Jesus’ ministry was marked by attending to folks who were not the stellar church goers, but they got down to believing on a very intimate level and their faith often had to do with the fact that they had wandered from the path of relationship with God or had grown indifferent to God and they were upended by the One who ultimately died a shameful death so that we all would wake up and smell the coffee.Read More »
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
- 1 pound oyster mushrooms, halved if large
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 4 large)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 ¾ cups canned low-salt chicken broth
- 1 ¾ cups whipping cream
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 ¾ pounds russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds (about 8 cups)
- 2 ½ cups grated Gruyère cheese (about 10 ounces) Guoda works well too.
- ½ cup rice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¾ lb Oyster Mushrooms
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1st rdg 1 Jl 2:12-28 return, repent, rend your hearts
psalm 51 Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned
2nd rdg 2 Cor 5:20-6:2 be reconciled/now is acceptable time
gospel Mt 6:16-18 do deeds in secret, pray in secret, fast in secret
Ash Wednesday brings us an external ritual that calls for some serious internal work. We know that we do not wear ashes as a badge of honor but rather they are a public declaration; “I am a sinner, please pray for me.” This ancient practice is a Christian’s deep embrace of the truth of one’s fragile condition. We comprehend our need for God’s mercy and love. The reception of ashes is accompanied by the exhortation of the readings to live the ongoing conversion of being reconciled to God. Although our sins are the catalyst as it were – the emphasis is not on our sins, not even on us. God is the center. The return to God or the turning to God is what is important. And the surrender of self – the dying to self with Christ in order to fully embrace coming to life with Christ in the wonder of his resurrection is where we are being led.
For so many reasons the monastic tradition “gets” Lent. Isn’t our vow of conversatio morum loosely translated ‘ongoing conversion’? While the exterior of Ash Wednesday commands our attention it is the interior spiritual journey that deserves our effort and that really matters. The Lenten spring is about the transformative experience each believer allows God to draw us into through silence, reflection, practices of discipline, penance, curbing of appetites in order to make room for God, so as to emerge into the newness God alone brings. One can travel the path of one’s own choosing and it may give you a few insights, but God’s desire is to have us participate in a much fuller reality that can only be ours through a deeper union with God. Jesus is telling us in the gospel that the practices are only of value if they bring us to “…the Father…who will repay you.”Read More »
1st rdg: Prv get wisdom/keep hold of instruction … she is your life
2nd rdg: Col clothe yourselves with love/word dwell in you richly
Gospel rdg: Mt instruction/service/humility
My brothers in community as much as we celebrate the memorial of the Cistercian founders today, we are celebrating the means they provide us to celebrate what we are living, our vocation, the dynamism of the call God is giving us in the here and now. There is no need to remember the spiritual journey of Robert, Alberic and Stephen – with all its ups and downs – if it does not draw us to reflect on our own spiritual journey.
So we gather up some key words from our scriptures today – wisdom – clothe yourselves in love – let the word of Christ dwell in you richly – instructor – servant – humble – and we consider what message God may be offering us today.
What formed Robert, Alberic and Stephen in the monastic endeavor forms us in the monastic endeavor. Relationship with God, nurtured in solitude and quiet, in personal and communal prayer, in our manual labor, and grounded in our life as a community of faith, all this is at the heart of what we are celebrating. The whole self is being engaged by God, intellect, will, emotions, our corporeality, all leading to the interior commitment from which springs a wholesome spirituality. The author of Proverbs encourages us to “get insight” and this involves just as much the practical / the human as it does the academic. While we do gather ‘Information’, it is only when we acquire meaning from this data that we can live our response to God.Read More »