"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

Saturday 6 November 2010




Although the EBC claims technical canonical continuity with the congregation erected by the Holy See in 1216, that earlier English Congregation was destroyed at the dissolution of the monasteries in 1535-40. The present English Congregation was revived and restored by Rome in 1607-33 when numbers of Englishmen and Welshmen had become monks in continental European monasteries and were coming to England as missioners.
At the beginning of the 21st century the EBC has Houses in the United Kingdom, the United States, South America and Africa
The above was taken from the "Wiki".   Of course, we are the house in South America.  Although the EBC is known for its schools and parishes - I served in the parish of Whitehaven that has had Benedictine monks as parish priests since 1706 - our monastery in Pachacamac has no outside apostolate, nor is it directly involved in education.   This is because we set out to serve the Peruvian Church in what it most needs, a house that offers the cloistered life to men.  There are lots of enclosed convents of nuns, but not a single one for monks; which means that those who had a strictly monastic vocation had to go abroad.
Fr Augustine Baker, who was born in Abergavenny in 1575 and died of the plague in 1641, was born into a "church papist" family - one that conformed to the Anglican establishment while being Catholic by inward conviction,.  He lost all belief in God while up at Oxford, but survived a close shave with death which he experienced as a miracle.   He became a Catholic.  Eventually he became a member of the Middle Temple and could have looked forward to a distinguished career as a lawyer.   However, he left England and became a monk at St Justina of Padua monastery in Italy.   Ill health forced him to return home, but he took vows in the Italian Cassinese Congregation and, a little later, helped in the resoration of the English Benedictine Congregation.   His happiest years were spent with the English nuns in Cambrai, now the Stanbrook Community.   His teaching to the nuns was put into a book called "Santa Sophia" by   and has become a staple diet of English Benedictine monks and nuns ever since.
He was a mystic and belonged to the school of Cassian, of "The Cloud of Unknowing" and of other English mystics.  Indeed, the survival of most of the classics of the English mystical tradition is completely due to members of the English Benedictine Congregation under his influence.   He taught that the purpose of monastic life is continuous prayer.  This is a gift of God, but monastic life must prepare those who live it to receive this gift.   Paradoxically, he only received this gift of constant prayer himself after he had left the silence of the Cambrai convent and had gone across to England to face the dangers of the English mission.   It seems that this act of obedience, against all his inclinations and tastes, was exactly what was needed to prepare him to be completely open to God.   He would probably have become a martyr, but he died of the plague before the authorities could get to him.

Mass at Belmont Abbey: the Exit
Now us at Pachacamac - workmanlike

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