The next monastic experience weekend for men at St Mary’s Benedictine Monastery in Petersham, Massachusetts will take place at the end of the month, May 31 - June 2. It is open to men aged 18-40 years. This is now the third year that they have put this on and each time the response has been positive. The hope is to attract vocations, which has happened in the past, but there are great benefits to both attendees and the community alike, regardless of any ever come back again.
There is a poster with contact details at the bottom and as before, Fr Dunstan has recorded one of his slightly off-the-monastic-perimeter-wall videos.
There rule for discerning vocation is interesting: listen twice, act once. This is very similar to what my icon painting teacher Aidan Hart always says in regard to artistic inspiration: think twice, paint once. The discernment of vocation is, in one sense, looking for inspiration on how to paint the picture of our life for which each of us the artist, so it is not surprising that the two contemplatives, artist and monk might adopt a similar approach.
In his video and in the poster, there is a request for prayers for the community, as they say, people often forget to pray for the pray-ers!