Where to begin... WARRRRRR EAGLE! Of course!! It is great to be an Auburn Tiger!!
Lots going on in the monastery and outside of it.
I am busy in Campus Ministry at Benedictine College (BCM) and with Development at the Abbey.
- I attended the FOCUS conference in Denver with about 175 of our students... a great conference which had a significant effect on many of our students. Most were strengthened in their practice of the faith which was already central in their lives. Some were brought back. Success stories abound!! Praise God!!
- It is a pleasure to once again be the main celebrant and preach at Masses. I am scheduled to celebrate Mass at our campus chapel twice a week (and I am usually blessed with a third time when a sub is needed). And I am on the rotating schedule at the Abbey. I celebrated Mass at the latter yesterday and got to wear my Marian vestment (which is my First Mass vestment given to me by my family) as we celebrated the votive Mass of Mary, Pillar of Faith.
- I am teaching RCIA and we have a good crew... about 10-12 attended last week...
- Many students seeking spiritual direction is encouraging. These are not your ordinary college students!!
- Kansas Catholic College Student Conference (KCCSC) coming up Feb 11-13. We (BC) are hosting it - Please keep that in your prayers.
- It is just great be on this wonderful Catholic campus.
- I have been calling to thank donors and meeting the members of the Friends of St. Benedict's Abbey to get their ideas of how to improve our fundraising efforts. A great group of people with some GREAT ideas!
- I recently brought to the Development Board the idea of a Donor Newsletter. They were receptive and open to the idea and now I have to run with it to provide a sample issue for their approval (keep that in your prayers and if you have any suggestions, please send them to me!!).
It is great to be active in my priestly ministry while living in the monastery. The monastic life gives me some camaraderie, structure and discipline (though I can always use more of the latter!). It is a blessing to be around men striving for holiness and challenging me to keep up!!
- Following an invitation from FOCUS, I have received permission to help out at FOCUS Summer Training for 2 weeks this summer. What a blessing it will be for me to be around so much young, dynamic, Catholic energy!! And it will hopefully be a good opportunity to make our monastery better known among the young men of FOCUS and the young men on the campuses where they will be serving next year! With God's grace (and YOUR prayers), it could lead a couple of men to seek entrance into our monastery!!
- I was approved by my superiors to host another series on marriage for EWTN with the wonderful Greg & Julie Alexander (of Alexander House fame!)! It will be taped in mid-Oct of this year. This series will focus on Marriage Enrichment.
Have you had enough yet?!? I have... and I have to go concelebrate our Sunday Mass!
God bless you all,
Father Justin Damien Dean. OSB(!)