It is a sad realization for me to learn that 13 monks of St. John’s Abbey have been guilty of sexual abuse of one kind or another.
I have no answers about how to deal with the perpetrators, but I do know that these revelations have made me no less fond of the place. Boy and man, I spent 33 semesters as a student and professor at its university, and I am encouraged to think that St. John’s is still home to nearly 200 monks, including several friends of mine, who continue to live the monastic life as set forth by St. Benedict over 1,500 years ago. They work and pray for the rest of us.
In my latest book, “Good People . . . from an Author’s Life,” published in 2001, I concluded that St. John’s was one of three geographical locations that “have become sacred to me because of the good people I have known there.”
That still holds true today.
Jon Hassler, Minneapolis
23 June, 2002
Letter to the editor: Still fond of the abbey, Minneapolis Star Tribune