August 18, 2012

The monastic community’s annual retreat ended at this morning’s conventual Mass, when the professed monks participated in the annual renewal of simple and solemn Benedictine vows of stability, fidelity to monastic life (conversatio morum), and obedience. The four-day retreat was conducted by Fr. John Fortin, OSB, a monk of St. Anselm’s Abbey in Manchester, NH. Fr. Fortin is a professor of philosophy at St. Anselm’s College, for many years now, and at different times has held positions of Novice Master and Prior in the monastic community. His retreat conferences explored answers to the theme questions, Do you believe that the kingdom of God is really within you? and, Is your goal to be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect? His presentations were enriched by insights into the O. T. stories of King Saul and King David, into the mind of Benedict as revealed in the Rule and into the writings of Benedictine and other spiritual writers. At the close Abbot James expressed the appreciation of all the monks for the inspiring and challenging words Fr. Fortin shared with us in our retreat days.