The Abbey’s Kool-Aid

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According to a July 8, 2011 article in the St. Cloud Visitor, Brother Eric Pohlman, a 29-year-old junior monk at the abbey…

1. … felt called to Benedictine living and sought out St. John’s
2. … because it was a larger community
3. … with various employment opportunities
4. … interesting architecture
5. … a reputable history in liturgy renewal and ecumenical dialogue
6. … feels good about the way St. John’s has addressed and handled sexual abuse allegations when they have been made against monks.

Really? Let’s take a closer look:

1. … felt called to Benedictine living and sought out St. John’s

At best, this statement is misleading. More likely, it is a fabrication of the truth produced by the abbey’s PR machine.

When Pohlman “felt called to Benedictine living”, he sought out St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois. (See 2005, below)

According to the Saint John’s Abbey web site, Pohlman left St. Procopius Abbey after two-and-a-half years with “a need for greater worldly experience.”

To fulfill his worldly experience cravings, Pohlman “found work in a food production plant in his hometown” and studied at Ohio State University, a hundred miles away.

2005  [ Link ]

On October 15, 2005, Eric Pohlman, Class of 2000, professed temporary vows as a Benedictine monk in the abbey church of St. Procopius in Lisle, Illinois.  His parents are Charlie and Janice Pohlman and his home parish is St. John’s in Delphos.  A monk in temporary vows makes a commitment for three years and professes vows of obedience, stability in the community, and conversion to a monastic way of life as lived at St. Procopius Abbey.

 2011  [ Link ]

Brother Eric Pohlman, a 29-year-old junior monk at the abbey, first heard about St. John’s through seeing the abbey church in a book about architecture. A native of Delphos, Ohio, he felt called to Benedictine living and sought out St. John’s because it was a larger community with various employment opportunities, interesting architecture and a reputable history in liturgy renewal and ecumenical dialogue. He also feels good about the way St. John’s has addressed and handled sexual abuse allegations when they have been made against monks.

2. … because it was a larger community

Coming November 11, 2011

3. … with various employment opportunities

Coming November 18, 2011

4. … interesting architecture

Coming November 25, 2011

5. … a reputable history in liturgy renewal and ecumenical dialogue

Coming December 2, 2011

6. He also feels good about the way St. John’s has addressed and handled sexual abuse allegations when they have been made against monks.

Coming December 9, 2011

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Topics: Eric Pohlman, Paul Richards, Paul-Vincent Niebauer

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