Sunday, October 29, 2006

From Mepkin: A New Beginning

Gratefully, the Trappist premium on silence doesn't apply to e.mails....

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum -- earlier today, the Trappist community of Mepkin Abbey elected yet another Philadelphian as its abbot. Dom Stanislaus Gumula, OCSO, takes the reins of the South Carolina community in succession to Abbot Francis Kline, who succumbed to a lengthy battle with leukemia in late August, aged 57.

The new abbot, 65, served until today's election as Mepkin's "Cellarer," or bursar. He entered the community of Gethsemani in 1959, made his solemn profession in 1980 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2003 by the retired bishop of Charleston, David Thompson (yet another Philadelphian who found his way to the Palmetto State).

Shortly after his selection by Mepkin's Conventual Chapter, Dom Stanislaus was installed as abbot by Dom Damien Thompson, the abbot of Gethsemani and Mepkin's Father Immediate.

The inauguration of Mepkin's new head will conclude with his abbatial blessing by the local ordinary, Bishop Robert Baker of Charleston, at a date yet to be determined.