Silverstream Priory, County Meath: April 2012 Archives

A Winning Team

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Fr Prior with Architext Adrian Buckley and Intern.JPG

The renovation of the monastery is a collaborative long term work. We are blessed with a winning team. Here, in the priory church under renovation, you see our brilliant architect, Adrian Buckley together with a young Spanish intern from his office.

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Studying plans in the garden outside the priory church are (left to right): Frank Brennan (Project Manager); Father Prior; Sean Ascough (Engineer); and Adrian Buckley (Architect).

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View of the priory church. Beyond the white metal fence is the monastic cemetery. The nave of the church will contain the monastic choir. Two transepts, to the right and left of the sanctuary (not visible) will be reserved for visitors. The priory grounds seen here will be part of the monastic enclosure, open to outsiders only for the procession on the feast of Corpus Christi and similar outdoor liturgical processions.

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Here you see the side of the priory facing east. On the lower level you see the windows of the refectory. On the first level you see the windows of the temporary Oratory. Once the renovation of the church is complete, the temporary Oratory will become the library.

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Gratitude

I am profoundly grateful to Our Lord for bringing me to such a beautiful place on His earth. The view of the Irish Sea in the distance lifts the heart to God. The entire property was dedicated to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus by the Brothers of Saint of John of God in 1940. She has watched over it, kept it for us, and led us to it. We ask her now to obtain the funds necessary to pass from a lease to purchase. This means raising 600,000 Euros. Might there not be six benefactors willing to offer 100,000 Euros each?

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In the Radiance of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus

The monastery and property are destined to become a place of beauty, silence, healing, and peace, not only for the monastic community, but especially for the priests from near and far who will make their way here in search of the Face of Christ. The splendour of Our Lord's Eucharistic Face radiates over the entire property.

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Saint Thérèse

Adoration of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus in the little monastic church of Silverstream Priory, long dedicated to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus will be, without any doubt, pleasing to The Little Flower who wrote:

Divine Jesus, here truly is the ultimate limit of thy love; after having made visible to feeble creatures thy adorable Face, the brightness of which even the seraphim cannot bear, thou wishest to hide it beneath a veil even thicker than that of human nature . . . but Jesus, I see the splendour of Thy countenance radiant in the Host.

Silverstream Priory, under the patronage of Our Lady of the Cenacle and Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, is a place of great natural beauty. The radiance of Our Lord's Eucharistic Face, contemplated and adored here, will make it a place of supernatural beauty as well. Where there is beauty, there is healing, because all created beauty here below, that of earth, and sea, and sky, and stars, suggests that, behind it all and before it all, there is an Uncreated Beauty who yearns to show us His Face.

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The visit of the Pudewa Family from Oklahoma -- Andrew, Robin, Christopher, and Elizabeth -- came wrapped in the graces of Holy Week and Pascha. Robin is an Oblate of the monastery.

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During the first days of unpacking, demolition, and construction, we ate all together in the kitchen. Here from left to right are: Andrew Pudewa, Robin Pudewa, Father Prior, Pat Cullen, Brother Benedict, J.B. Kelly, and Kevin Symonds. We have since moved into the refectory.

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Chris Pudewa and John Kelly engage in a little lighthearted comedy during a demolition job. At one point we had two men named John Kelly working in the house at the same time: J.B. Kelly from Missouri, and John Kelly from County Limerick.

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Here is our kitchen. You can see that it needs work. There are no counters or usable cabinets for food preparation and storage. The arrangement of the sink (not shown) is very impractical. The kitchen needs to be renovated completely. The new refrigerator was a gift from our neighbours Mary and Bill.

Life at Silverstream Priory

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Help from Good Neighbours

God has blessed us with wonderful neighbours here in Stamullen. Just today, Colin Whelan and his son Sean were here to help us with an internet installation. Colin is the managing director of a communications company called Omnisys -- Keeping It Simple. He is an extraordinarily capable and generous man. 6 year old Sean told me that he wants to own a pet shop and train dogs when he grows up.

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Hilda Joins the Fun

Colin and Sean joined us in the kitchen for a cup of tea. Hilda provided the craich. Young Sean Whelan took to Hilda instantly, and she to him.

Ora et Labora

The work in the priory is moving forward. I am amazed at how much has been done since we moved in on Monday of Holy Week. We have a brilliant team of workers. Project Manager Frank Brennan (and his wife Mary, an interior designer) fell right out of heaven to take charge of the work and get the job done. "Sparky" (electrician) Peter Sammon from Dublin is keeping our wiring safe and simple. All-around construction worker John Kelly can do just about anything. Now returned to the U.S. is J.B. Kelly, the heroic worker of the first hour. We miss J.B. very much, and look forward to his return. Also from the U.S. came the Pudewa family: Robin, Andrew, Christopher, and Elizabeth. The Pudewas helped us in hundreds of ways; Robin worked culinary wonders in our rather primitive kitchen. Friend Patrick Cullen from Rathkenny continues to come by several times a week.

In addition to the volunteer workers, we are happy to have three men here for a "come and see" experience of monastic life: Mark, an Irishman from the Cooley Peninsula, Kevin from South Carolina, and David from Oklahoma. Each man, with his unique gifts, contributes to the day-to-day life of the monastery.

As things now stand, we are having Matins early in the morning, followed by a time of adoration; Lauds and Prime at 8:00; Tierce and Holy Mass at 11:00; Sext after Mass; None at 3:30; Vespers, Rosary, and adoration at 5:00; and Compline at about 8:00. Brother Benedict has been preparing the main meal (at 1:00) and, as of last Wednesday, we are eating in silence in the refectory, with reading.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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