Greetings in this Christmas Season and in the New Year!

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In this season of hope, we once again prepare ourselves to show hospitality to Jesus, who is born into our world as the Christ and the Prince of Peace. “Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!” In a world that continues to be filled with the joys and sorrows of the human condition, God invites us to rise above the noise of life and to make a place in our hearts for this powerful message. Then we will find in the new year a greater realization of the promise of that holy night.

One of Saint Benedict’s marks of genius is his ability to sum up theology and practice in a succinct, compelling manner. Benedict begins chapter fifty-three, “On the reception of guests,” with the words, “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” With these simple words the foundation of Benedictine hospitality is laid.

The monastic community and I rejoice in the gratifying progress toward funding the construction of the new Abbey Guest House. This is one inn that will always be open to receive those who are searching for a place to rest, for a place for spiritual renewal. Recent issues of the Abbey Banner have noted the generous gifts by Barb and Steve Slaggie, Julia and Frank Ladner, Lois and John Rogers and Diane and Ron Liemandt-Reimann. We are grateful for these and other generous gifts, and we yearn for the time when guests will be able to experience the peace of Christ in this facility.

During the year, the community and I have continued to extend hospitality to those who have been injured by sexual misconduct. Some were seeking assistance from us to speed the healing of their wounds. Others came to share their story with us so that we might understand better both the path of the trauma and the path toward healing. Still others came to speak of their experience and to seek counsel because of the hospitality that so many have experienced here at Saint John’s.

We are humbly grateful for the hospitality that you have shown to us through your support and constant encouragement. I have listened to the determination of my confreres to learn and grow from what we have all heard. We will find in healing, reconciliation and renewal, increased energy to move forward with the good work for which Saint John’s is known.

Blessings and peace,

Abbot John Klassen, OSB

Greetings in this Christmas Season and in the New Year!’, 0, ‘In this season of hope, we once again prepare ourselves to show hospitality to Jesus, who is born into our world as the Christ and the Prince of Peace. “Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!” In a world that continues to be filled with the joys and sorrows of the human condition, God invites us to rise above the noise of life and to make a place in our hearts for this powerful message. Then we will find in the new year a greater realization of the promise of that holy night.

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Topics: BS, John Klassen

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