|The Easter season has brought many blessings to the monks. The floor of the first phase of the new monastery in Monte is nearly complete and we are on schedule for our first Mass there June 4, Pentecost. We also are planning a formal inauguration on September 17. We are very grateful to all of our friends around the world who, in various ways, are helping make this possible.The warm weather has brought not only spring animals (snakes abound, as do crowing roosters, roaming cows and wild horses), but also volunteers from throughout Italy and the United States. They are helping us bring the “jungle” of our 500 year old property into order. Some arrive with 8 people packed in a small car, others arrive via military cargo planes transporting personnel to Europe. Providentially, a series of provisional metal containers (more solid than tents!) have been delivered to provide lodging for guests who wish work and pray with us.
Guests are to be received as Christ, says St. Benedict, and this summer we’ll be happy to do that for many. Some will be coming for a special program with the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies, which reinforces the great scholastic tradition of the monasteries. In time, we hope this program, like the holy Rule itself, will bring a love of learning and the intellectual life to Norcia. In this way, out of the ruins and from the heights of the mountains, Truth will be sought and studied.
But studying hard is always made a little easier with that which gladdens the heart…
Beginning Saturday, June 3, we will start selling our beer in Norcia again. To mark the occasion, we will also be launching a special I Love Nursia label with beer that was bottled after Easter but brewed before the earthquake and managed to resist the many aftershocks. I’ll share more details about this with you next time. Now, plans for the new brewery are well underway and we hope to break ground on the new structure August 1.
While many donations have been received for the project, about $250,000 still needs to be raised. I ask you to consider making a special gift for this undertaking.
Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, O.S.B.