We recently attended the ground breaking for the new Monastic Heritage Center (MHC) at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA. It was a great event and we had the opportunity to visit with some of our monk friends there. Once you enter the long magnolia-lined drive, you know you are on sacred ground, a special place. It is a wonderfully refreshing experience to chant the Psalms with the monks and to Break Bread with them. It is refreshing to walk the grounds in solitude and to be in the presence of the Creator. I even got up at 3:35 AM so I could chant the Nocturnes and meditate in between. What a way to greet a new day!
If you have never visited the monastery, I encourage you to do so. They have a guest house and you experience genuine Benedictine hospitality. If you are already familiar with the monastery, I encourage you to consider a gift to support this effort to help the monks become self-sufficient. We need their continued spiritual presence and this Bonsai Kin-dom (see below) in our midst. If able and interested, please contact Brother Callistus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The MHC will feature a complex featuring the original barn and will help people understand monasticism and the history of this place. Dom Francis Michael welcomed all. Local officials from the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance, the City of Conyers, and Rockdale County spoke–there is a deep sense of respect for the monks and the monastery in the local community. The monastery is recognized, as were monasteries of old, as the spiritual center of this community.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory gave a wonderful talk. The monastery specializes in bonsai trees. The archbishop likened the monastery to a bonsai of the Kin-dom of God. It is a miniature of the Kin-dom in our midst. It struck me–all our communities should be Bonsai Kin-doms! Solitude, prayer and solidarity will prune and nurture the Bonsai Kin-dom.
Below are links to the Atlanta Journal and Constitution article and slide show. Enjoy!
Blessings of peace,