July 25 – Strategic Planning Process Kickoff

 Dan Ebener has agreed to facilitate our community’s development of a 3-5 year strategic plan. Today he kicked off our Strategic Planning Process in earnest with an interactive meeting of the community to lay out the process that we will use, establish key milestone dates, identify the key next steps, solicit feedback, and answer questions.

Following the meeting three brothers were named to help identify and invite participants in focus groups that will supply us with outside perspectives and baseline input for use in our formal planning sessions. The focus groups will meet in the coming months. Our community strategy sessions will begin the last week of October.

from Constitutions and Statutes: of the Monks and Nuns of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance
C. 3 – The Spirit of the Order

4 The monastery is an expression of the mystery of the Church, where nothing is preferred to the praise of the Father’s glory. Every effort is made to ensure that the common life in its entirety conforms to the Gospel, which is the supreme law. In this way the community will not be lacking in any spiritual gift. The monks strive to remain in harmony with all the people of God and share their active desire for the unity of all Christians. By fidelity to their monastic way of life, which has its own hidden mode of apostolic fruitfulness, monks perform a service to God’s people and the whole human race. Each community of the Order and all the monks are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Symbol of the Church in the order of faith, love and perfect union with Christ.

C. 30 – Reception of Guests

ST 30.B In God’s providence monasteries are holy places not only for those who are of the household of the faith but for all persons of good will.

C. 31 – Apostolate of Monks

Fidelity to the monastic way of life is closely related to zeal for the Kingdom of God and for the salvation of the whole human race. Monks bear this apostolic concern in their hearts. It is the contemplative life itself that is their way of participating in the mission of Christ and his Church and of being part of the local church.

C. 70 – Adaptation to Local Culture

Wherever monasteries are established, the [monks] are to become lovers of that place. Monastic life is not to be bound to any particular form of culture nor to any political, economic or social system but, as far as possible, what is rightly valued in the local culture should be welcomed as new means of expressing and enriching the treasure of the Cistercian patrimony.