Back from New Skete
I'm back after spending 7 days at New Skete Monastery in Cambridge, NY.
My big question was answered:
"Do I have a vocational call to monasticism?"
The answer is "yes" (well... "I think so.")
New Skete is VERY big on DISCERNMENT!
So I'm going to be keeping a journal, think about it for 2 weeks and, if I feel the same way about it after 2 weeks, take the next step.
The process would involve several more visits to New Skete.
Even if it turns out that I'm not meant to become a monk at New Skete I will definately be going back for visits.
- Some of the work I did while at New Skete was:
Working with the nuns at their cheesecake factory.
(They packaged 270 Raspberry Ripple cheesecakes that day!)
Working in New Skete Farms:
Making cheese spread and
Packaging bacon (Br. David wouldn't let me near the meat slicer.)
Weeding is a great meditative method.
Good thing too...
Weeding is a never ending task (when it isn't winter.)
I was totally overwhelmed by the Offices and Liturgy done at New Skete.
- New Skete is what I would call:
A monastic community in the middle of the great north woods.
The brothers own 50 acres on top of a mountain (specifically Two Tops.)
You can throw away the general rules on Monastic Etiquette when you visit New Skete. The monks only wear their habits when attending Offices and Liturgy. The rest of the time they are in work clotes. I brought along a bowtie to wear to liturgy on Penticost and I was the only person wearing a tie.
Sox and long sleeve shirts are not necessary BUT...
If you go there in season they may be very beneficial to keep the mosquitos away and sox are beneficial in keeping ticks off when you go hiking through the woods. (Mosquitos are not "in season" yet but this area of the country is my old stompin' grounds.)
They bulldozed out their open lands and built all of their buildings themselves. They outgrew the little church (Holy Tranfiguration) that they had built in the Eastern European style and they built a bigger church (Holy Wisdom) in the basilica style.
They used to have an Abbot but they currently have a prior elected for a 5 year term.
I was the only person who brought a gift for the brothers but I would strongly recommend following this tradition -- especially if I join the community! ;>