From Sr. Ann Hoffman
I participated in the AIM Council meeting November 28-29, 2023, in my role as Director of AIM USA. The meeting was in Subiaco, Italy, where Benedictine monasticism began.
Twenty-three council members attended the meeting and gave reports on the Benedictine monasteries throughout the world. We received a truly global picture. Many monasteries seek formation (learning about monastic life and living it well) and education to gain skills. This formation is vital to monastic life.
Some monasteries struggle due to diminishing numbers or lack of resources but strive to be creative and hopeful as they seek to move forward.
Others have faced violence. One monastery suffered the kidnapping of three monks; two were freed, one was killed.
Another monastery is providing hospitality on their property to 20,000 to 25,000 people due to the armed conflict in their area. They respond to St. Benedict’s call for hospitality and welcome.
Many monasteries are feeling the impact of the climate crisis. They are responding by becoming climate friendly. They seek funds for items such as solar panels, reforestation projects, agricultural projects.
When is Subiaco, we had the opportunity to visit St. Benedict’s cave, where Benedictine monasticism began. We also toured St. Scholastica’s Monastery, the first Benedictine Monastery.
I reflected: What would be St. Benedict’s challenge?
He would call is to Listen! Listen with the ear of the heart! (RB Prol)