Monday, October 15, 2007

AIM USA

The AIM USA Board of Trustees meets at the Mount today. AIM, the Alliance for International Monasticism, was founded by a retired French abbot in the early 1960s to offer assistance by Benedictine and Cistercian communities in what used to be called the "first world," to Benedictine and Cistercian communities in what used to be called the "third world," now more commonly referred to as the "developing world."

Although the international office remains outside of Paris, today there are national secretariats in six countries bringing alliances between 100s of monastic communities in Europe and North America with those in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The US secretariat, which has been in Erie and sponsored by our community since 1990, coordinates fund raising, used book distribution, spirituality magazine subscriptions, mass stipends and yearly trips to women's Benedictine communities in sub-Saharan Africa for US monastic women.

This fall AIM USA has responded to the HIV/AIDS pandemic by producing a "Prayer of Monastics in Response to the AIDS Pandemic" and distributed it to communities worldwide calling for a common prayer on December 1, World AIDS Day. Special awareness is focused on monastic communities who minister to HIV/AIDS patients. The Prayer Service will be posted on the the AIM USA website soon or contact them at aim@aim-usa.org and ask for a copy.