Our Blog

Brother Robert receives the novice habit

On Saturday evening, October 31st, the Eve of All Saints, the Mepkin community gathered in the chapter room of the monastery with our abbot, Dom Stanislaus, to pray with Brother Robert, as he was clothed with the novice habit.  Having completed a year of prayer and study as a postulant, living the life fully with all the brothers in the community and having come to believe God is calling him to advance in this monastic way, Robert had asked to receive the novice habit and his request was met with a favorable reply.  A novice wears a white robe, as do all monks, and the white scapular and white cloth belt that identify him as a novice.  Over these garments he wears a white cloak.  The cloak is worn by novices and those in temporary or simple vows.  Robert joins Brother Juan and Brother Martin in the two further years of prayer and study that are the preparation for profession of simple vows.

Read More »

Mepkin novices attend papal mass in Washington, DC

Earlier this year a letter was sent to all the religious superiors of the United States to invite them and each of the novices in the United States to attend the mass of the canonization of Junipero Serra to be celebrated by Pope Francis at the Basilica National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.  Abbot Stan had to decline but gave his permission for our novices to participate.  And so our Brother Juan and Brother Martin, accompanied by Brother John and Father Kevin travelled up to Washington by car the day before and received wonderful hospitality from Father Brian Shloth at the LaSalette community at their house of studies near the Catholic University of America.  The mass was to be celebrated at 4 PM.  Early the morning of the mass the Mepkin contingent joined the long lines waiting to pass through the security stations with metal detectors and went to their designated places for the mass.  The novices and Brother John were with the huge number of novices inside the basilica.  Father Kevin was outside in the area reserved for the priests who were concelebrating.  There was a wonderful spirit of unity in faith and a prevailing sense of cordiality as the hours passed waiting for the Holy Father to arrive.  As everyone knows, upon arrival the pope passed through the crowd outdoors in the ‘popemobile’ receiving a joyous welcome from all in attendance.  As had been planned, Pope Francis entered the basilica, visited the Blessed Sacrament chapel for a brief time of prayer, and then slowly walked up the center aisle of the basilica waving to the novices who were welcoming him with loud and hearty cheering. (For all of us gathered outside we knew the Holy Father was with the novices as the loud cheering erupted, spilling out to where we were listening to the wonderful music provided by combined choirs and an excellent orchestra).  When he reached the sanctuary, Pope Francis turned and offered prepared remarks to the novices and gave them his blessing.

Read More »

Thirty-Second Sunday of the Year (B)

1 Kgs 17:10-16; Psalm 103; Heb 9:24-28; Mk 12:38-44

God’s immeasurable generosity can be the only context within which to hear these wonderful, familiar readings.  For the One who rescues us from death by offering his life for us and to us – our high priest – is the presence of God’s generosity and as we are nourished in this celebration of the Eucharist joining ourselves to Him in offering His prayer to the Father, we are strengthened to be givers after the pattern of Jesus, in communion with both the widows mentioned in the scriptures this morning.  Our monastic tradition teaches us that we are created in the image and likeness of God – the giver – who inspires the poor widow of our first reading to respond to Elijah’s request to be fed by sharing the little she has.  Similarly out of love for God, the widow of the temple gives her two small copper coins and receives recognition from our Lord who tells us she has given more than the others for she gave not from her surplus but from her meager budget – “all that she had” – nothing left over.

Read More »