A school much like ours…


I am visiting Woodside Priory in Portola Valley, CA, founded by the Benedictine monks from Saint Anslem in New Hampshire and as we are German, they are quite Hungarian. About 50 years ago, their founder staked out a remote area of this region and bought it for a mere $80,000. Today, their community and its school sit on some of the most longed for pieces of real estate in the Bay Area. The monastic community is down to its last five monks and they won’t be sending anymore so now the school, under the leadership of Mr. Tim Molak must make sense of that reality as they face the future. He and his staff are deeply dedicated to keeping the Benedictine spirit of the school alive and strong. Once again, it is good to find the spirit of Benedict a hot commodity in this world of ours. We use the word “community” quite a bit in places like ours but forget its most elemental meaning – caring for each other. Of course, this does NOT mean “keeping each other happy at all costs.” Nor does it mean giving everyone what they want. Sometimes what we want is not what’s best for us. Sometimes, in fact MANY times, the wisdom of the community can see that better than we can ourselves. Woodside has a bright future and so does Saint John’s Prep because we both understand the nature of true community.

Fr. Tim Backous
A school much like ours…
Wednesday, September 2, 2009

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