Friday 31 October 2014

€100,000 gift is answer to prayers from silent Benedictine monks

Louise Walsh

Published 20/03/2014 | 02:30

Brother James, Dom Mark Daniel Kirby and Brother Benedict. Photo: Barry Cronin
Brother James, Dom Mark Daniel Kirby and Brother Benedict. Photo: Barry Cronin
Brother James, Dom Mark Daniel Kirby (prior) and Brother Alex. Photo: Barry Cronin

AN anonymous donor from the Netherlands has pledged €100,000 to save an Irish monastery.

The incredible donation came after a silent Catholic order spoke out about their "critical financial situation" in an appeal for funds to save their cash-strapped priory at Stamullen in Co Meath.

The Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration said they needed €750,000 to buy the 170-year old buildings where they have lived since coming from America at the invitation of the Bishop of Meath, Dr Michael Smith, two years ago.

The monks are hopeful their home will be saved after receiving donations from all over the world.

"The donor from the Netherlands asked to remain anonymous but she pledged €100,000 in order to get the ball rolling. We cannot believe it. We cannot believe how good people have been and all donations, big or small are significant and gratefully received," said Dom Mark.

Since coming to Ireland just two years ago, the monks have received over 20 applications from men wishing to become Benedictines.

"Promising young vocations are knocking at our door but the door does not belong to us, nor does the house, nor the land," said Dom Mark as they launched their appeal.

At present the monastery is occupied by four monks, three of whom are American. The fourth, Brother Finian (James) King is from Bohermeen in Meath.

The Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration live a life of prayer and silence, with little or no access to TV, radios or newspaper. After much deliberation, they felt they had to make a public appeal to secure their future in Stamullen.

The monks usually rise before 5am each morning and spend the day in prayer, speaking only when necessary.

For more information on the Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration in Stamullen and how you can help them, visit cenacleosb.org.

Irish Independent

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