30 August 2009

See you in September

I will be taking a brief hiatus from the blog as I prepare for the move to England.

Trying to sell my house and getting rid of 99% of my possession is my priority right now. I will start blogging again in the last week of September.

Please keep me in your prayers as I prepare to enter Mount St. Bernard Abbey.

Thank you

27 August 2009

Now it's really real

I bought my ticket to Europe yesterday. A one-way ticket Now it feels real. I leave America in twenty-six days: wow! The big task now is selling my house.

The big emotional task is saying good-bye to friends. I am surprised at the number of people who say they are upset that I am going. One person erupted with a vile tirade against me. The next day he sent me a half-hearted apology via text message but has not spoken to me since.

Most people who are saddened by my leaving are not against my vocation. I tell them if I could fulfill my vocation in the Chicago area I would. Some people with whom I have only had a handful of conversations tell me they are going to miss me. It is like the saying: "Is it love or the idea of being in love." I suppose in my case the saying might be:"Is it Declan or the idea of Declan." I believe these people are genuine but possibly overly sympathetic.

I have made a lot of real friends since I moved to Blue Island almost four years ago. As well as friends I have made from previous stages in my life. Now, thanks to Facebook, I am in touch with friends some of whom I have not seen since I was 13 years old. The support and prayers I am getting is truly heart-warming. Despite the fact that I am moving 4,000 miles away and that I will not be able to take a vacation, I intended to maintain my friendship with many people. While writing letter, email, and blog posts are not the same as sitting nextg to someone; it can keep connection strong. And with the speed of email real conversations can take place.

11 August 2009

It is officially official!!!

I have been accepted as a Postulant at the Abbey of Mount St. Bernard in the Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire, England. It is the only operating abbey of Cistercian monks in England, and about 50 miles from where I was born.

My date for entry will be 29 September 2009: The Feast of The Archangel: Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael. It is also the 174th anniversary of the founding of the abbey.

Thanks for everyone's prayers. And I hope the prayers continue!

God's Blessings and Peace to all of my readers.

06 August 2009

More Photos

This is the altar dedicated to St. Benedict. It is located behind the choir, and not visible from the people's nave.

This is Br. Martin with Mitzy. He is an amazing potter. His pottery is for sale at the Abbey's gift shop. Mitzy is a good mouser.

In 1950 Michael Tansi entered the abbey. He took the name Cyprian. After his formation, was to return to Africa to help start a new monastery. He died suddenly in 1964. After a miraculous healing of a young girl in Cyprian's home country of Nigeria, he was declared blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1990. His remains were returned to Nigeria and interred in a church which is now a place of pilgrimmage. Many Nigerians and other devotees come to Mount St. Bernard because of him. This is a photo of his shrine in the church.

Some of the calves.

The abbey in hedge form!