Four vocations for new Irish traditional monastery
Dom Mark Kirby OSB posted the following letter from David Craig on his blog:
Dear Friends of Vultus Christi and of Father Mark Daniel Kirby, O.S.B.,
Saint Patrick, all the great Irish saints, the thousands of contemplative monks of ancient Ireland, and the tens-of-thousands of Irish missionary priests and religious who left Ireland must be well pleased today, Saint Patrick’s Day. They know a new monastery under the Rule of Saint Benedict has begun this month at Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. And, the founding is by a small group of Americans! Love is being returned to Ireland. My name is David Craig and I am writing to ask you to financially help this new priory and new community.
In addition to publishing the popular Catholic blog, Vultus Christi, Dom Mark Daniel Kirby has brought his monastic vision to Ireland: a life of liturgical prayer, adoration, reparation, and intercession for priests. In continuity with the age-old Benedictine tradition of hospitality, the new monastery will welcome priests in search of silence and spiritual refreshment for days of recollection and retreats.
Just prior to the his move from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Stamullen, Co, Meath, Ireland, I spent two days with Father Prior Dom Mark at his former monastery in Tulsa. I have volunteered to take an unpaid position to help find supporters for this new monastery. Dom Mark needs our support for this vital work of adoration, reparation, and intercession for all priests, but especially for those wounded in spiritual combat or tempted to lose hope.
I knew Dom Mark and his community were dedicated to prayer for priests and I knew priests were coming to spend time at the little monastery in Tulsa; however I wanted to see for myself so I could tell the story clearly. When Dom Mark asked me to visit him in Tulsa prior to the move to Ireland I gladly accepted the invitation.
In addition to celebrating Holy Mass, Dom Mark’s community chants the Hours of the Divine Office seven times daily. After chanting Vespers the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Dom Mark then turns over a large ancient looking hourglass. It is about a foot or more tall and looks like something right out of Lord of the Rings. As the hour glass was slowly turned over I knew I was going to be there for a good while. I watched Dom Mark sitting at a 45 degree angle to the monstrance with his journal in his lap. I knew it was at this point he was praying for priests who had asked for prayers and for the countless priests wounded spiritually in our culture. I also knew he was praying for priests who had given up praying themselves. Though I could not make out the soft words from where I was sitting I knew I was witnessing a deep Union and I knew, Jesus, upon that altar, was listening. To say I was moved would not give justice. Let me simply say I also began to pray and found myself praying for priests who have stopped praying.
The Tulsa Oklahoma priory was a large house in a nice area. The house in Stamullen, County Meath Ireland is a real monastery of stone, surrounded by a wall, with a chapel, and out buildings. It has land,is in the country about a half hour north of Dublin Airport. Dom Mark is leasing the monastery from the former occupants, the Visitation Sisters of Drogheda. The lease with option to purchase has an escalation clause. The purchase price of the 15 acres monastery property without the adjoining 180 acres is presently 600,000 Euro and will increase yearly until purchased. Renovations of chapel to the monastic life, with one high altar, a Eucharistic Throne for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and two lateral altars, along with a new floor, choir stalls, accommodations for the faithful, and renovations to other buildings is also estimated at 600,000 Euro. I have asked Father to have the gratis architect he is working with to break out the chapel costs separately as a benefactor may be found who will donate the chapel cost in memory of a departed loved one. I do not have this figure yet.
Three additional American men and a new vocation from Ireland want to join Father Prior and Brother Benedict when the new monastery is ready. In addition to purchase and renovations yearly expenses are estimated to be $156,000 or around $13,000 per month. Moving the monastery to Ireland and its large library of books and furnishings took a considerable amount of the money Father had saved. I ask you to help Dom Mark and Stamullen Priory with the largest one time donation you can afford now and a monthly donation on or around the 1st of each month. If God has blessed you abundantly and you wish to donate the new chapel or purchase the monastery please contact me and we will arrange a tour and a meeting with Father in Ireland. I do not have all the answers to fundraising however I do know it is our job not Father’s. I need not tell you why our priests need the type of prayers that will be offered at Stamullen Priory and have a holy place they can go if they need help. Please donate online at the Vultus Christi home page or contact me directly at gifts@CenacleOSB.org
May Our Lady of the Cenacle bless you,
860-739-4607 (Connecticut, USA)