Today is the feast day of Saint Benedict, the founder of Benedictine Monasticism!
Last weekend I had the great blessing of visiting a western rite Orthodox monastery from the Benedictine Tradition.
Founded on Holy Cross Day, 2013, the The Monastery of Our Lady and Saint Laurence strives to model its life on the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict of Nursia (d. 547 A.D.), modified by its own Constitutions, under the guidance of its elected Prior (superior). Father Theodore is the Prior (or Abbott) of this monastery. Here he is making some lunch for everyone. Oh and that's Sebastian glaring at the camera. I don't think he liked me very much...
I was able to have some of the kids with me and it was an experience that they enjoyed as well. Evangelia said that her favorite part was playing cards and board games with the other pilgrims from church. Stephen said his favorite part was the nature walks.
"I think I'd like to be a monk one day," Stephen said. "Except they go to church too much."
The hospitality of the monks and nuns was wonderful.
They graciously gave of their time and attention to visit with us. And they even made me a cake for my birthday! (Well, I'll pretend it was for my birthday...)
I also really enjoyed having an opportunity to see the historic western rite in its Orthodox purity. The church building itself was very western in layout.
The iconography was a mix of western and eastern styles.
The liturgy and prayer offices reminded me of some of my best experiences in Lutheranism but the theology was Orthodox. It was a wonderful time of prayer and fellowship and receiving the Eucharist.
If you ever get a chance to visit the Benedictine Monastery of our Lady and St. Laurence definitely don’t pass it up!