July 14 – The Man in Black

The man in black in choir with us is not Johnny Cash but Br. Cassian, a Benedictine monk of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN.  Br. Cassian is visiting us to experience contemplative monastic life more fully. During his three weeks with us, he will participate fully in our liturgy, work, and all other aspects of our life at New Melleray.

from The Rule of St. Benedict 
Chapter 61 – The Reception of Visiting Monks

A visiting monk from far away will perhaps present himself and wish to stay as a guest in the monastery.  Provided that he is content with the life as he finds it, and does not make excessive demands that upset the monastery, but is simply content with what he finds, he should be received for as long a time as he wishes.