Dom Elias Dietz, fulfilling his responsibility as our Father Immediate, came to Mepkin Abbey in early Novemeber 2012 from the Abbey Gethsemani to conduct an abbatial election. Abbot Stan had completed the six-year term as Abbot to which he was elected in October of 2006. Calling our community together Dom Elias asked us to reflect on the sessions given us by Dom Damian, Abbot of Spencer, and Mother Marion, Abbess of Crozet, during the previous several months in preparation to take up the serious task of electing an abbot. Having instructed us in the procedures of an election on the evening before,Read More »
May 28, 2012
On May 28, 2012, at 4 p.m. The Nancy D. Hawk Memorial Day Concert was held at Mepkin Abbey as part of the Piccolo Spoleto Spotlight Series. Sponsored by Mrs. Margaret O’Brien; Dr. and Mrs. John Palms; Dr. and Mrs. Nortion Seltzer; Mrs. Carolyn Bishop-McLeod; and Snyderbar, the concert was presented by some of Charleston’s finest musicians. The Ensemble of Saint Clare at Mepkin Abbey presented a varied program: Concerto for Oboe and Strings by Bach; Concerto Tre for Alto Recorder, Horn, Strings and Continuo and concludes with Bach’s ravishing Concerto for Two Violins, Strings and Continuo.
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In the early evening of Sunday, June 17, the monks, with friends and benefactors, dedicated the Columbarium at Mepkin Abbey. Almost 200 people attended the event, including many who have purchased niches.
Fr. Guerric Heckel presided at the dedication ceremony which included music by a brass ensemble, and remarks by Susan Conant, lead designer for the project; Thomas Campbell whose wife is inurned in the Columbarium; and Abbot Stan. The ceremony concluded with the brass ensemble leading the congregation down the Columbarium path while playing “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
After the dedication, Jim Rozier, Columbarium manager, said that almost all of the niches in Phase 1 have been sold and plans are being made to begin the second phase.Read More »
Remarks and blessing by Abbot Stanislaus Gumula
Today is a day so longed for. It means that a dream that was conceived many years ago is finally about to see the light of day. Many were the conversations that Father Francis Kline, Mepkin’s third abbot, and I had about this dream.
He once told me over the phone as he lay in his bed at Sloan Kettering that he had come up with the design of the rooms he would like to see at the new Retreat Center. On another occasion we agreed on the architect we would ask to put this dream on paper.
And just over a month before his death in August, 2006, we were talking about it and he said he just didn’t have the energy to do the fund raising that would be required for such an undertaking. Looking him straight in the eye, I told him: “Don’t take this wrongly, Francis, but your death will bring us the funds for this project.” And looking me back straight in the eye, he responded, “I know. But as long as I am alive, I have to worry about this.”
He need not worry any longer. The outpouring from his friends assures us that this project will indeed be finished. We are here today to begin the final phase.Read More »
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 »