Letters to the Friends

Progress of a Pilgrimage

2023-11-23T15:45:37-06:00November 9th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

From October 12th through October 14th, under the patronage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Most Chaste Heart of Joseph, the Three Hearts Pilgrimage made its way again this year over some 35 miles of rough terrain, through the back roads of Cherokee County, to our abbey church. His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke was here to preside over the final solemn Mass and to consecrate the Pilgrimage to those Three Hearts.

Pilgrims arrived at the starting point from every part of the United States and even from Europe (Scotland!). Since its inception, the Pilgrimage has constantly gained momentum, and the numbers have greatly increased. In 2021 there were about one thousand pilgrims; this year that number was more than […]

The Duty To Be Merry

2023-11-17T13:55:24-06:00August 13th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Friendship is unique, something like a snowflake or an angel (Saint Thomas Aquinas explains that each angel is unique in terms of personality), and yet freely shared. It differs in intensity, as do the stars (explains Saint Paul somewhere), thereby contributing to the beauty of the universe, a universe that is wonderful in its diversity and proportion. Friendship is a most precious gift in any human life. The same goes for monastic communities.

While a Benedictine prelate, Cardinal Augustine Mayer, was visiting the monks of Notre-Dame de Triors in France many years ago, one day during recreation, upon realizing that there were two Americans in the community (including me), he turned to us Yankees and asked us if we knew of the Poor Clares of Roswell, New […]

Remnant of Paradise

2023-11-02T12:36:14-05:00May 13th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey has been graced over the years with a number of friends, some of them prominent, but most of them—like you and me—famous only in the eyes of God. Who could even count the precious souls or estimate the good we have derived from the treasure of these friendships?

A few weeks ago, I wrote to you about our great mentor and friend, John Senior, the centennial of whose birth we are celebrating this year. There is another “centenarian” in that sense, Alice von Hildebrandone worthy of our loving attention: the late Dr. Alice von Hildebrand (1923-2022), who was a faithful supporter and friend of our monastery from the beginning. […]

A Joyful Chapter

2023-11-17T13:58:37-06:00March 13th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

In a sentiment of profound thanks to God and to all of you, who have helped us along the road, I wish to share with you some photos that can give you a certain sense of the joy that filled our abbey on January 22nd, when the Most Reverend David Konderla, bishop of Tulsa, came to bless the newly completed Chapter House, in the presence of all the monks and a crowd of the local faithful. These photographic images can only express a portion of the spiritual and human sentiments that moved our hearts on that special day; nevertheless, you may find in them a means of seeing the larger picture and of sharing in our thankfulness, if it is true that a picture is worth a thousand […]

Mending the Soil

2023-11-17T15:32:58-06:00January 13th, 2023|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

And [the man] said to the dresser of the vineyard: Behold, for these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down therefore: why cumbereth it the ground? But he answering, said to him: Lord, let it alone this year also, until I dig about it, and dung it (Lk. 13:7-8).

As our agricultural experts inform us and our farmers—after generations of experience—concur, the fertility of soil implies a kind of balance. The scientist will speak to us of the pH factor, a measure of the relative proportions of acidity and alkaline qualities, assuring us that soil apt for growing all sorts of useful plants […]

Light of Christmas

2023-03-26T14:01:53-05:00December 26th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

There is much discussion in the Church these days about traveling down a “common road,” synodality. Whatever may be your view on this—and views differ—one thing is clear: the road that beckons to us in this particular season is the one leading to Bethlehem. There we will find Him who would one day announce that He is the road, the way. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6). Furthermore, as we travel during Advent with the Holy Family toward the Little Town in Judea that is to be the birthplace of the Savior of mankind, the Child is already in our midst, as He rides in the womb of His Immaculate mother, perched with her upon the donkey led by Saint Joseph. What a […]

Monastic Melodies

2022-10-29T15:55:44-05:00October 13th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Some of you are aware of the recent release on September 9th of our second recording: Rorate Cœli: Marian Sounds of Advent. There are multiple reasons behind this effort: to foster devotion to Our Lady who is the patron saint of our community; to contribute in some little way to the appreciation of Gregorian chant, which must have pride of place in liturgical celebrations; and, finally, to share our monastic life with a greater number of our fellow human beings, whether Catholic or not, through the medium of the official sacred song of the Church.

It may seem odd to be promoting in September this repertory centered on certain portions of the liturgy of Advent, but […]

In the Time of the Laughing Man

2022-11-29T15:45:50-06:00August 29th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Although it is somewhat “unorthodox” in its deeper orthodoxy, I thought you might appreciate the following meditation written by one of my monks at the abbey. Here goes…

Of the four elements which the ancient Greeks considered to make up the universe (earth, air, fire and water), all except earth are seen in Holy Scripture as signifying the Holy Spirit: blowing air and fire at Pentecost (Cf. Acts 2:2-3), and water in John 7:37-39. Christian art, in portraying the Holy Spirit, seems to prefer to draw upon a different Scriptural symbol, that is, the dove, as seen at the baptism of Our Lord, when the Holy Spirit comes down “as a dove” (Cf. Matthew 3:16, John 1:32).And the Most Holy Trinity is sometimes portrayed (and […]

Days and Nights

2022-11-29T15:52:54-06:00June 29th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

Dear Friend of Clear Creek Abbey,

Ours is a life that hardly varies day-by-day in its tranquil rhythm of Ora et Labora, composed of liturgical or private prayer punctuated by work of various sorts. Seven times a day and once during the night we meet to offer praise to God in our monastic church; morning and afternoon we go out to accomplish the necessary tasks that allow us to live largely from the labor of our own hands.

God in His infinite wisdom does send our way, nevertheless, those providential exceptions, the special events, that allow the good of monastic life to radiate outward into the Church and the world for the benefit of many outside the monastery walls. I thought that you might appreciate learning of some of these events that have […]

The Latin Mass and the Problem of Poverty

2022-07-30T17:09:42-05:00May 13th, 2022|Letters to the Friends|

As we continue to bask in the warmth and after-glow of the Resurrection of the Lord, many reflections nourish our contemplation, while we meditate upon the scenes of the Gospel relating the meetings of the Risen Lord with His disciples. One page in particular reminds me of many of our friends involved with the Traditional Latin Mass, as they walk along the path of their lives like the pilgrims of Emmaus after the tragedy of Good Friday. Contemplating the new restrictions on the older liturgical usage they seem to say: “We hoped that it was this older rite that should have helped restore the life of the Church: and now besides all this, today is the third day…” (See Luke 24:21ff) […]


Go to Top