Friday, August 31, 2012

Monastic Guests

Of all the rotten luck!  I was out of town last Friday when two monks from the Monastery of the Holy Spirit visited Andalusia: Rt. Rev. Francis Michael Stiteler, abbot of the monastery, and Br. Cassian Russell.  As many of you who read this blog already know, Flannery O'Connor and her mother had a close relationship with the monastery in Conyers and occasionally would visit Our Lady of the Holy Spirit.  On occasion, Dom Augustine Moore, Fr. Paul Bourne, and other monks would also come to Andalusia.  However, the visit by Fr. Francis Michael and Br. Cassian last week marks the first time in about a half century that the Cistercians have set foot in the O'Connor farm house.  According to Craig, the monks from Holy Spirit spent about an hour here before heading off to visit the O'Connor Room at GCSU.  Speaking of the school, before becoming a monk, Br. Cassian was an associate professor of early childhood education at GCSU and is thus familiar with Milledgeville and the college.  Fr. Francis Michael is a committed naturalist/conservationist who has identified many, many species of butterflies and dragonflies during his 38 years at the monastery.  It's not surprising, therefore, that he came equipped with binoculars and camera to see what he could find amongst the fields and trees of Andalusia.  I was so disappointed that I couldn't be here but hope our monastic guests will consider visiting us again.
- Mark

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