Two of Saint John's Abbey's junior monks, Br. Mariano and Br. Cassian in attendance at the Order of Saint Benedicts' Junior Summer Institute.
The silence at the St. John’s Abbey Guesthouse lets me listen to things I normally take for granted. Things like the sounds of nature, as there are over 2,500 acres of lakes, prairies and forests in which to decompress. Things — or people — like my husband. When together, we often focus on doing, not on being together. But here, among the Benedictine monks in rural central Minnesota, I’m beginning to understand through their example the gift of silence. Without the noise of modern life, you’re not only able to hear what is said, but what is unsaid, both in others and within yourself.
The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John’s University invites guests to experience time differently through its new exhibition, “Living Prayer: Prayer Brought to Life, Living Through Prayer.” The exhibition features Books of Hours, Breviaries, and related books and works of art. The exhibit is free and open to the public in HMML’s Reading Room and Alcuin Library’s Culhane Gallery now through May 2018.
As extremists destroy ancient churches and cultural sites across the Middle East, a Minnesota monk has emerged as a global defender of the sacred documents often hidden inside. The Rev. Columba Stewart offers a safety net to religious leaders across the globe who are struggling frantically to safeguard their heritage, often hiding their fragile, yellowed books behind secret walls of churches, monasteries and family homes. Against the odds, Stewart’s team brings digital photography stations to these fragile lands. The photos of manuscripts taken by local crews are sent electronically 6,000 miles away — to the safety of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, where they are permanently preserved for the world to see.