Mount Calvary Monastery

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1 Mount Calvary Monastery Fall 2013

2 NEWS Our superior, Br. Robert Sevensky, has the right to name houses and works of the Order of the Holy Cross. Now that we have purchased this property from the Sisters of the Holy Nativity, he has decided to name us Mount Calvary Monastery. This indicates that the principle purpose of the community is to live the monastic life in as much fullness and depth as possible. Out of this life of prayer and worship several works emerge. One, for example, is Spiritual Direction. Br. Thomas Schultz (and others from time to time) offer direction to those who wish. Another work, more obvious, is the retreat house known as St. Mary s. Groups come for their own programs, and we offer or sponsor programs here. Other works flowing from the monastic life are talks, conferences, teaching events in parishes, and writing. Other works may well manifest themselves in the future. Still, the center of our life is the monastic community. We are excited about this definition and believe that it is a suitable use of our energies, as well as a valid witness to the Church in this area and to the world around us. On a practical note, it is clear to all of us that our house is not adequate to the monastic life we wish to live. We are beginning to think

3 (dream) about what might be done to make the place more usable, and what is feasible. We are asking the advice of friends and have retained Thompson Naylor Architects to work with us. This will take time and money, but in the end we hope to have a house suitable for eight to ten monks, with some perhaps being novices. In all this, we hope that men will want to join this community At the behest of the fire department, we have also had the eucalyptus trees trimmed. (In the trade this is known as lifting their skirts. ) Not only are we now a little bit safer, we have a better view. We are hoping to move The Great Cross from the old Mount Calvary to this property. It will be placed at the head of the driveway and will the first thing one sees. (Perhaps this will cut down on people just driving through, perhaps not.) When the hole was being dug for the support, Chumash artifacts were discovered and it all came to a halt as the archeologist ordered. Chumash authorities investigated. The general consensus is that wherever we were to dig, we would find the same thing. Apparently we sit on top of a Chumash midden. After more archeological excavation, the project should proceed. Since we are in an historical district, permits are required for both the cross and our new street sign, both of which are expensive, time-consuming, and not yet ready. We hosted a festive open house with tea and Vespers on September 15 for the Feast of the Holy Cross. This was originally designed to celebrate the placement of the new cross, which has yet to happen. We had a fine time anyway and saw lots of friends. Finally, we have a completely new web site and we urge you to look it over: We think you will find this new window into Mount Calvary to be much more complete than our previous effort, as well as much more attractive. The designer, Robert Gerson, took many photographs that show the property (and the monks and staff!) to great advantage. You can download our brochures and newsletters. It even displays the weather in Santa Barbara, handy for those coming from a distance. Mount Calvary Monastery Issue 5 Fall 2013, is a free quarterly publication of Mount Calvary Monastery 505 East Los Olivos Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

4 BROTHERS AND STAFF We warmly welcome Br. Adam D. McCoy, who has settled in well, taking on a number of jobs. Oxford University Press is inviting him to contribute a chapter to a new book on monasticism. He will be writing on Anglican monasticism. Adam is the author of the major history of the Order, Holy Cross: A Century of Anglican Monasticism, published several years ago. He blogs on our new web site. Br. Laurence Harms is now living in New York at our monastery there in a section devoted to assisted living. Br. Timothy Jolley has returned to South Africa where he is a member of the household. Our wonderful staff work hard and are very loyal and helpful in many ways. Luis is, of course, the star, producing delicious meals that delight our guests. Teré manages the office and many things connected with the guesthouse. Kim helps in the office. Elisa is primarily in charge of keeping the place clean and ready for new guests. Carlos and Pedro look after the grounds. Our guest house soap is made by the monks of St. Joseph s Monastery in Natchez, Mississippi. It may be ordered by phone ( ) or website ( We receive a donation for each purchase. Monks Blend Coffee may be ordered from: We receive a donation for each purchase. PLEASE REMEMBER US IN YOUR WILL Many of the good things we have been able to do are the result of legacies, for which we are very grateful. We are Mount Calvary Incorporated. You may call the office for further information.

5 VISITORS, VISITATION, VISITING We ve welcomed a number of interesting groups recently. Two yoga groups came, one Buddhist-oriented and totally silent. Also, several familiar parishes came for retreats or programs: St. Luke s Long Beach, All Saints Beverly Hills, St. Mary s Laguna Beach, and, at varying times, much of the staff of Our Lady Queen of the Angels, the historic La Placita church in the plaza in downtown Los Angeles. The Franciscans (OFM) from Santa Barbara Mission next door made a quiet day here. Many others have come as well. Brother Robert Sevensky, OHC Superior, makes his annual visitation in October. This is to be sure we are behaving ourselves, and possibly to give us a little inspiration. He was recently in Poland, where he gave a paper on American religion ( Spiritual But Not Religious ) to an ecumenical gathering of monastics. As a bonus, he got to visit the village from which his grandparents emigrated to the United States. He doubtless has brushed up his Polish a bit. Three of us went to New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur for Fr. Cyprian Consiglio s installation as the new Prior. He is a long-time friend of ours. Dignitaries included the Prior General of the Camaldolese from Italy, his Vice Prior, and the Bishop of Monterey. We, Holy Cross, were singled out for a welcome. Nick and the Community of Divine Love later made a small retreat-conference there and were most graciously received. Several of the Camaldolese spent time with us as a sort of rest and recreation time. Brs. Nick and Adam (at left) greet the Camaldolese. The new Prior, Fr. Cyprian Consiglio, is the monk wearing a cap. Photo courtesy of Br. Bede Healey, OSB Cam.

6 PRACTICE A phrase that has been in wide use for a long time is the practice of religion. Religion as an institution is not popular these days, yet if we are baptized members we are called to be a religious people and to practice that religion. About five years ago a book was published entitled Practice, the memoirs of a guitarist taking it up after some years of not playing. He says that when he gets ready to practice, he can sense the guitar almost quivering in anticipation. I don t know if God quivers in anticipation when we decide to pray or attend church, but I know that we are affected. If we practice well it is possible to practice badly or fruitlessly our respect for our neighbors becomes more immediate, our love for the scriptures more heartfelt, and our adherence to God more complete. We also practice our religion by concern and action for the poor, the marginalized, the suffering, and the dispossessed. Without this, the rest of our practice is just... practice. Altogether, the many ways we practice religion builds a strong spiritual house. The next time someone asks you if you are spiritual or religious, reply: Both. SILENT RETREATS Our practice requires retreat days. Normally these happen once a month, but they often get lost in the business of things. Instead we have decided to try three days of retreat quarterly. We have also decided to open these days to guests who want to share monastic silence. No program will be offered, just meals, a room, the Divine Office, and silence. The first of these will be November 19, 20, and 21. A reservation is necessary, and we are asking a donation of $300 for the three days.

7 FROM THE PRIOR For my spiritual reading during our long retreat, I read Strangers to the City, written by Michael Casey, a Cistercian monk of Tarrawara Abbey in Australia, and published by Paraclete Press. In a time of surging interest in Benedictine spirituality, it is important to read something accurate, thoughtful, and true to the Rule of Benedict. The book was probably designed with novices in mind, but the clarity of the commentary means that it should be accessible to anyone attracted to Benedict. The book begins with a chapter entitled Why Are You Here? and arrives at the last one, Reaping the Benefits, by way of all the aspects of monastic living that must eventually be addresed to mature in this way of life. One naturally expects the sections on Asceticism, Chastity, and Contemplation, but Leisure, Reading, Dispossession, Generativity, and Antecedent Willingness indicate that there is more to the picture. Casey writes clearly, with vivid examples and apt quotations from patristic and monastic writers. The general thrust is that we are asked by the Rule to live in a countercultural way, less and less influenced by a culture of money, power, and violence. We are to live as strangers to the city. I recommend it to anyone who is serious about Benedictine spirituality. REACHING US Phone: Website: Mailing address: Mount Calvary Monastery, P. O. Box 1296, Santa Barbara, CA 93102

8 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED Mount Calvary P.O. Box 1296 Santa Barbara, CA Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Santa Barbara, CA Permit No. 139

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