From a Chapter Talk by Abbot Robert Barnes:
A couple of weeks ago, Soren Johnson, from the Arlington Diocese came out to see me. Bishop Loverde has appointed him as his special assistant for Evangelization and Media. Soren will travel to the parishes in the dioceses to help organize on the parish level the new evangelization that Pope John Paul called for at the celebration of the new millennium twelve years ago and which our Bishop is emphasizing in this Year of Faith.
Soren came to ask me that, as monks, we contribute to the new evangelization by our prayer for the Dioceses of Arlington. The Bishop wants this effort to be founded on prayer. As Pope Benedict said, With our own lives…witnessing to the new life…and thus showing the path. We are a “silent” voice in the desert of our society, speaking by the witness of our lives and our prayer to God. Bishop Loverde–and Pope Benedict, I might add–count on our dedication and integrity in this Year of Faith. No monastic community is too small or too old to provide this support and this witness. Perhaps our live together, our desert spirituality, equips us, better than others, to negotiate this desert, this void, that the Pope refers to; certainly we already glimpse the value of what is essential for living and the joy of believing in such a stripped down environment.
May our life of monastic profession witness this reality to one another and to our neighbors and friends. May we truly support this effort of new evangelization and those who communicate it by their engagement in our society. Let us invite our friends and our readers to begin this new endeavor in prayer and to support it with our prayers.
(See this week’s A Word From the Abbot)