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Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy 50th to Prince of Peace Abbey

Yesterday, (Saturday), a friend and I attended a 50th celebratory Mass in honor of the founding of the Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, Ca. Fr. Stephanos, whose blog many of you read, is a member of the community. I had time for a quick hello after the Mass and before the chow down at the reception. Mass was beautiful, and a number of bishops turned out, though not from the San Diego diocese, God only knows what important date they had on their social calendars.

I also met Brother Paul, and his mother. Brother Paul is studying for the priesthood and has two more years to go. He professed as a Benedictine in 2001. I think he must have gone in when he was 11, because he looks so young. [Well, he still does have braces on his teeth!] I have decided that every Saturday, I will offer the rosary for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. [If you don't ask, you don't get. And I've decided to do every Sunday rosary for priests and their intentions, not just in May.]

Fr. Abbot had a funny story about the founding of the abbey. 5 monks had come out from St. Meinrad in Indiana in the late 50s. They'd been looking over property in the area and had driven up the top of a then rather isolated hill in Oceanside, which has a great view of the ocean (a few miles distant) and it also abuts the south end of Camp Pendleton. Here is roughly the conversation as it happened.

Monks: Hi. Would you like to sell your property? We'd like to buy it.
Owner: No, we're not planning on selling it. What were you wanting to do with it?
Monks: Build a monastery.
Owner: Are you guys Catholic?
Monks: Yes.
Owner: Well, NO, I wouldn't sell it to Catholics. And if I did sell it it would be $2,000 bucks an acre.
Monks: Oh.

They left, and one of the monks had managed to hide a medal of St. Benedict in the bushes.

A few days later the monks are still out looking and the real estate agent says:
"Why don't you guys go back to the place on the hill?" So they drive up there. The following conversation takes place.

Monks: Hi.
Owner: Hi. I see you're back. The Mrs. and I were talking and we're thinking of moving up to Santa Barbara. We'll sell the place to you for $1,000 bucks an acre.

Okay, we all know about St. Joseph and upside down buried statues for SELLING a house. [Ask Fr. Pacwa's mother if you don't believe me.] Who knew to hide a medal of St. Benedict in the bushes if you want to BUY a property? [Well, besides the monks....]

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