Dear Friends of St. Paul's Abbey,
Every year, we celebrate the joy of the resurrection of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Especially this year, we wish the abundant grace of Easter to overflow in you so that you can bear lots of fruit in this blessed Easter season.
Brief Monastery News
Novitiate of Br. Marinus: On the feast day of the Conversion of St. Paul on Jan. 25, we celebrated Mass at 11:00 am and had lunch with some guests and neighbors. During the Mass we had the Rite of Admission to the Novitiate of Br. Joseph Kim. As a novice, he received his monastic name Br. Marinus. Actually, he received this name to follow the good example of our deceased Br. Marinus La Rue, who saved 14,000 Korean refugees during the Korean War.
Vocations: We have two vocation aspirants, Mr. John Suh and Mr. Thomas Cho. They have been interested in and looking for a monastic way of life since last year. They have visited us several times. We expect that they will respond to God's call with sincere hearts and join our community in June.
Guests: We always welcome guests and visitors to our community. On Dec. 27, 2009, 5 Tanzanian brothers and 2 Korean sisters visited us and stayed with us until January 2. During their visit, the Tanzanian brothers went on a tour of Manhattan and Washington DC. Br. Patrick and 5 novices from St. Vincent Archabbey visited us and had lunch with us on Monday, Jan. 4. Fr. Joo, who was a pastor of Woodside Korean Community and Fr. Chun Kui Kim, who is a pastor of Columbus Korean Community in Ohio, visited us in the evening on Jan. 9. They stayed with us until Jan. 10. Fr. Joo returned to Korea on Jan. 11 after finishing 4 years of work for Woodside Korean Community.
Sister Theodora, who takes care of the poor and some orphans in Bolivia, visited our community on March 8. She said that she is very happy, even though she works very hard and lives as poor as Job, because she can feel their warm and pure hearts. I promised her to collect some money for the poor in Bolivia. I will make a tip box and ask retreatants to help the poor and will give it to sister Theodora at the end of the year.
Our Brothers : Fr. Bosco Kim, who had been a prior here from the arrival of the Korean brothers in 2001 until 2006 and returned to Korea in 2007, came back to St. Paul's Abbey on Monday, Feb. 8. I asked him to be Novice Master and he willingly accepted my request. He also helped Korean Communities by hearing confessions and giving some lectures during Lent.
Abbot Joel continues to travel many places around the world. On Jan. 12, he went to Kumily to attend the ordination of Br. Dominic and returned home on Jan. 21. He also attended the Annual Meeting of American Abbots and priors in Prince of Peace Abbey on Feb. 5 to 9. He, however, could not go back to India in the first half this year. On Monday, Feb. 15, he went to JFK airport to go to Kumily, but he returned home because of an Indian visa problem. However, he was able to visit Inkamana Abbey in South Africa in order to attend the 40th anniversary of priesthood of Fr. Peter Blue from March 15 to March 26.
Fr. Odilo celebrated his 25th Anniversary of Ordination on Feb. 5. We celebrated a Mass at 11:00 am. Around 80 people attended the celebration and congratulated him. On March 8, he went to Korea for his sabbatical vacation for one month. He will return home on April 9 with Br. Pontiano Kim, who has been assigned to St. Paul's Abbey.
Although getting weak, Abbot Augustine is still hanging in there. His 80th birthday was Feb. 17. We congratulated him at his birthday supper and wished him good health. On March 24, Deacon Owen was hospitalized because of congestive of heartfailure. We hope he will return home soon in good health. Br. Luke and Br. David went to PA to attend the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association meeting in the early morning on Saturday, March 6. They were awarded silver and bronze prizes for the tree competition. I went to several Korean parishes such as Maplewood, NJ, and St. Leo in Columbus, Ohio to give some Lenten lectures and hear confessions. I also gave a retreat to Metuchen Community in our retreat house.
Events: We elected new seniors on Jan. 29. Our Subprior Br. Matthias, Br. Luke and Br. David are seniors in our community. On Feb. 14, Fr. Bosco, Br. Luke and Br. Marinus went to St. John's cathedral to join Bishop Serratelli for Vespers at 4:00pm celebrating World Day for Consecrated Life.
On Jan. 22, there was a charitable donation presentation by the Knights of Columbus at Sacred Heart Center at 7:30pm. I attended the meeting with Deacon Owen.
After Canonical Visitation in November, 2009, we discussed and solved several matters which Archabbot asked us to address such as liturgy, English, energy saving and extra vehicles, etc.
On March 18, Fr. Jacob Cho, who is one of the Korean priests in Maplewood Korean Community, came here to have a penitential rite and hear confessions for our brothers.
Dear beloved friends, we heard many sad and tragic news stories, especially the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Although our financial condition is bad, if we share our goods and things with the poor and the needy, God will repay and give us abundant gifts. We always are thankful for your kindness and good friendship to St. Paul's Abbey. We hope that God will give you abundant gifts and grace, especially Easter grace. May the Risen Lord bless you with his peace and happiness.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Kim, O.S.B., Prior and the monks of St. Paul's Abbey.