In the News

Monks’ Lives The Same Even With Additions At Abbey

Associated Press — The daily cycle of work, worship and contemplation at Mepkin Abbey still follows the simple pattern that Trappist monks have observed for a thousand years. But in recent months there have been some changes at the South Carolina monastery near Charleston.

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Mepkin Abbey Opens Retreat Center That Reflects Trappist Simplicity and Encourage Contemplation

The Post and Courier — It’s a cool and cloudy day at Mepkin Abbey, the kind that speaks of silence, save the occasional rumble of a car passing a small sign to the monastery’s new retreat center.

From the beginning, the monks have welcomed guests to the abbey’s enchanting 3,000 acres of preserved woodland that grace the Cooper River banks near Moncks Corner. After all, what is a monastery without hospitality?

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New retreat center and chapel dedicated at Mepkin Abbey

The Catholic Miscellany — The monks at Mepkin Abbey broke briefly from their quiet monastic lifestyle to celebrate their new St. Francis Retreat Center and the Father Francis Kline Memorial Chapel. The Aug. 25 dedication included a Mass, musical performance and choirs.

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Seniors shown that aging is a gift

MEPKIN ABBEY—The monks of Mepkin Abbey want people entering the second stage of life to open their eyes and see aging as a period of growth instead of decline.

To that end, Trappist Father Guerric Heckel was instrumental in creating a series of lectures and retreats that focus on the self development and spiritual growth of senior citizens.

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Mushrooms a blessing for Mepkin Abbey

The Berkeley Independent — He eases down a narrow walkway between 60 columns of oyster mushrooms that hang like fragile punching bags.

In his square-shaped glasses, trucker hat and blue-collar jumpsuit, he may not look like it, but Brother John Corrigan is a monk . . . and a farmer, a business manager, and Mepkin Abbey’s mushroom-growing expert.

Later he will don his monk vestment – a white and brown robe with a hood – and enter the chapel for Noon prayer.

But not before a morning’s worth of work in one of eight former tractor-trailer containers that grow oyster mushrooms, and a hangar-shaped building where rows of shiitake mushrooms grow on shelves.

The monks and other monastic guests must work to cover their daily expenses, according to Mepkin Abbey Communications Director Mary Jeffcoat.

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Columbarium at Mepkin Expanding

Jim Rozier says it is the best deal around.  Rozier, the former Berkeley County Supervisor, is talking about the columbarium at Mepkin Abbey, which sits peacefully along a gravel walkway with an oak-tree lined grassy knoll on one side and sweet grass plants on the other.

Since the monks are often busy and have little contact with the outside world, Rozier oversees columbarium activity. He has been involved with the Mepkin community since he was a child. “The goal is for the columbarium to blend in and become part of Mepkin,” Rozier said.

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