On Monday, May 20, the American region begins a seminar for Juniors, those monks and nuns who have made profession for a limited time. On that day our juniors will gather at Mount St. Mary Abbey in Wrentham, MA.
The first week will feature conferences by Mother Maureen McCabe, the abbess of Mount St. Mary. She will "work with several themes dear to the Cistercian heart by means of the commentary on the Song of Songs begun by Bernard of Clairvaux, continued by Gilbert of Hoyland and completed by John of Forde." Some of these themes include love of God and neighbor, monastic observances as a means to contemplative prayer and perfect love, continual mindfulness, and the alternation of experience.
The second week will feature conferences by Dom Augustine Roberts, formerly abbot at Spencer, on Cistercian Profession today, background, content and meaning. He will speak of new life under the law of grace, conversatio morum, poverty, chastity, dimensions of obedience and stability, among other topics.
The visiting juniors will be able to participate in the liturgical life of Mount St. Mary; they will have time to get to know other monks and nuns from other houses in the region. One day they will journey to St. Joseph's Abbey in near-by Spencer, MA. A volleyball tournament is likely!