Over the last 10 days the community has received some great local coverage in our Erie newspaper. One article was on local communities of religious and their attendance at the LCWR assembly in August and the after effects.
The second one was the front page story in our Sunday paper yesterday on the growing refugee population in Erie and organizations, including our St. Benedict Education Center, that are helping them.
Although all news stories such as these are linked on our community site, this gives you a "second chance" to catch them in case you missed them there. They are both worth reading. Photos and videos online included with both.
Here are some shots from Mepkin Abbey, a Cistercian (Trappist) abbey that we visited while in South Carolina. In the USA there are only 18 or so monasteries of Cistercian men and only about 6 of women, so we couldn't pass up the chance to visit one. As with many Cistercian places it's in the "middle of nowhere," but google maps found it, and so did we!
Their chapel is one of Frank Kacmarcik's, the noted Benedictine church and liturgical designer.
Their 1,000 acres is on a bluff over the Cooper River that runs through Charleston. It was given to the order from Clare Boothe Luce and her husband Henry of TIME magazine fame, for a new community in 1949 from Gethsemani Abbey. They are both buried on the property.
Today there are 14 members, with much support from volunteers and staff. The monks primary work/income is from growing mushrooms, offering private retreat accommodations, and visitors to their extensive gardens (originally the Luce's.)