December at the Abbey was a month of the joyful anticipation and celebration of the coming of our Lord. The Creche Festival was again a great success, and we thank all of you for your many extra hours assuring the gardens be in top shape. We received many nice compliments on the grounds. As is our custom, our crews did not work during the week of Christmas or the week of New Year’s, but despite all, several of our Volunteers came and kept things in order.Read More »
A long-time friend and benefactor of Mepkin Abbey, Mr. Kline last visited the monastery in August for the dedication of the St. Francis Retreat Center and the Father Francis Kline Memorial Chapel.Read More »
At Vespers on December 3rd, our brother, Father Gerard Jonas Palmares professed his vows of stability, obedience and conversatio morum before Abbot Stan in the presence of the community, his parents and a number of guests. Advent is about preparing ourselves to live for the encounter with God who comes to be with us. In his three years of prayer and study, Father Gerard Jonas has given himself more and more to the monastic way and with the affirmation of the community to advance, he has spoken his vows, received his black scapular and leather belt and taken his place among the professed monks of Our Lady of Mepkin Abbey. In his exhortation, Abbot Stan spoke very specifically to Father Gerard Jonas of his journey to this moment.Read More »
On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception at Vespers in our monastic church, Brother Anthony Maria Odom gave himself more fully to God by his profession of first vows according to the Cistercian tradition. With the monastic community, retreatants, guests and friends praying with and for him, Rodney Odom, now Brother Anthony Maria, spoke the words of the three vows: stability, obedience and conversatio morum that express his commitment to live as did Mary – open to receive God’s Word and lovingly doing God’s will.Read More »
Study Days With the Novices of Belmont Abbey
Mepkin’s two novices and one postulant journeyed with our novice director to Belmont, North Carolina to participate in a program of study coordinated by Sr. Jeanne Margaret McNally, RSM, PhD, JCL. Hosted at the motherhouse of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas South Central Province in Belmont, Father Jonas, Brother Anthony Maria and Brother Ken joined with the four Benedictine novices and one observer from Belmont Abbey for a program designed under the umbrella of an appreciation for the encyclical ‘Lumen Fidei’ of Pope Francis. The presentations were: Living the Law, offered by Rev. Philip Scarcella, Ph.D, JCD; Faith and the New Encyclical, offered by Dr. Ronald Thomas, Jr. of the Theology Department of Belmont Abbey College; The Monastic Tradition and Social Justice, offered by Sister Rose Marie Tresp, RSM; and The Contemplative Life, offered by Father Kevin, M.Div of Mepkin. There was an informal gathering with Sister Jane Hotstream, RSM, President of the South Central Province of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, allowing for some conversation around recent developments in the dialogue between LCWR and the Vatican body asked to clarify some positions or holdings of the women religious who belong to the LCWR. A final session entitled Challenges and Encouragement in Religious Life was offered to those in formation from Mepkin Abbey by Bishop William Curlin, Bishop Emeritus of Charlotte. Mepkin and Belmont Abbey, through the efforts of Sister Jeanne Margaret, have a history of these study days. It has proven especially helpful to our men in formation to help them understand the active apostolates of religious in the world around us. And our visit to a Benedictine monastic community who live in the midst of their college campus providing higher education is both enlightening and a cause to more deeply appreciate our way of separation and hiddenness. These days afford the opportunity to pray with and observe Benedictine monks who are in service to the church as educators while engaging us in reflecting on the disciplines and values which are essential to the Cistercian tradition.Read More »
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November is the month we receive thousands of Visitors to see Mepkin’s unique Creche Collection. Our job was preparing for the event to have everything ready to welcome the guests. One highlight every year is the huge wreath that Jamie Nelson and her helpers fashion for the tower of the Luce Library. The 2013 Wreath is made completely with pine cones; please note that all the materials are natural, and even the bow is woven from palms.