October 22, 2017

Positivity: England’s Buckfast Abbey to celebrate 1,000 years of foundation

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Plymouth, England:

Oct 18, 2017 / 06:01 am

In 2018 one of England’s historic monasteries will celebrate the millennium year of its foundation, offering a prime example of the contribution of monastic life to society amid an increasingly fast-paced world.

For the Benedictine monks who inhabit Buckfast Abbey in Devon, reaching such a significant anniversary means “we are the inheritors of a great tradition,” Abbot David Charlesworth told CNA.

“Place matters for Benedictines, so the fact that we are in a place that has been established for many centuries before we came is important.”

Not only to Benedictine monks take the traditional vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, they also make an additional vow of stability, meaning that when they are assigned to a monastery, they stay there. While they might travel or even spend time in other monasteries, they will always be attached to the original, as an individual would be to their family home.

Charlesworth, who served as Abbot at Buckfast from 1992-1999, and was re-elected in 2009, said that in general, human beings “like the idea of roots.”

The concept of monasticism is ultimately rooted in the Gospel and expressed through the Rule of St Benedict, he said, but it is also rooted “in place, in a place, and it is from there, out of that place, that we then live our Baptismal vocation expressed through our monastic vocation.”

When it comes to living this vocation in modern times, the millennium landmark “helps to sort of galvanize our approach as to what we’re doing for the future,” Charlesworth said. This, he added, encompasses “what we’re doing personally, what we’re doing as a community, and what we’re doing as members of the Church of the Southwest of England.”

The abbot spoke to CNA about the millennium anniversary during a sit-down interview inside one of the two main guest houses at Buckfast Abbey, located in Buckfastleigh, about 25 miles northeast of Plymouth.

The abbey was founded in 1018 during the reign of King Cnut and entrusted to care of the Benedictines. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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