This week Abbot Christian is at Sacred Heart (Thien Tam) Monastery in Kerens, Texas, founded in 2009 in the Diocese of Dallas and part of the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation.
Monks from Christ in the Desert were the original founders of Thien Tam Monastery, some of whom are now deceased, including the founding Prior, Father Dominic Nguyen, who died last year on Christmas Day.
The Monastery of Thien Tam is composed of fourteen monks, who live a life of prayer and work, and whose members were born in Vietnam or who grew up in Vietnamese immigrant families in the United States. The monks range in age from their mid-twenties to their eighties, and their work includes a farm of cattle, chickens and other poultry, as well as a large fruit orchard.
People come on retreat to the monastery and even large groups can be accommodated in buildings on the property.
This week the regular canonical visitation is taking place at Thien Tam. Abbot Cuthbert Brogan, OSB, of Farnborough Abbey, England, is the main visitor and Abbot Christian is the co-visitor.
The aim of a canonical visitation is to assist a community in strengthening the good and improving on whatever may be lacking in the monastery. Every Benedictine monastery has a canonical visitation every three or four years.
Today’s photo was taken by Abbot Christian in the Thien Tam Monastery’s orchard. It calls to mind what Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “It’s not what you look at that matters; it’s what you see.”
With assurance of prayers and always grateful for yours,
Abbot Christian and the monks