Azaleas abloom in front of the Abbey Church. 2004
I'm in Charleston for the wedding of a good friend, and this morning drove up US52 to Moncks Corner, to one of my absolute favorite places in the world: the Trappist Monastery at Our Lady of Mepkin. (I've put a brief YouTube video of the gardens below.)
I've been to Mepkin on many an occasion (the last time being about two years ago), but this was my first visit since the passing into eternity of Abbot Francis Kline, a truly holy man, and one who had no mean influence on my own vocation. I wanted to go pray at his grave. The powers that be were kind enough to let me in to the cloistered area, after mid-day prayers, where his grave is located. I am deeply grateful.
What a blessing he was, and what a blessing the monks continue to be. Please keep them in your prayers.
Their vocations page, with bios of new discerners and observers. I'm not entirely certain, but I think I saw the guy at the far right of the picture dressed in the white robes of a postulant at the prayers today.
Tribute to Fr. Francis at the Mepkin website.
After the disgusting "protest" by PETA, and the Abbey's decision to shut down its egg production plant, they are now discerning what industry to pursue.
Posts about Mepkin Abbey on this blog, including several with photos. My tribute to Father Kline. Below: brief video of the gardens at the Abbey.