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Full Version: Is this really tacky, or am I just being a snooty Trad?
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http://www.ajc.com/lifestyle/georgia-mon...26516.html

Georgia monastery strives to become self-sufficient

By Shelia M. Poole
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

3:22 p.m. Thursday, May 13, 2010

.....
Recently, the monastery broke ground on a new 17,000-square foot visitors center that will include a central garden, a cafe, an expanded Abbey store, a bonsai garden and a Monastic Center.

"The more people who come, the better for our economy," said Father Methodius, 82, who is in charge of the stained glass operations and well as being the monastery's prior.  It will also "introduce more people to monastery life and the life of prayer."

.......
Brother Callistus Crichlow, fundraising and development director...."We want to try to take it up a notch," he said. The idea is that the enhancements will bring more visitors to the site and that they will spend more time, which results in spending more money. "You can't escape some elements of being commercial," he said.

I understand that monasteries need money to run.  And I understand that even historically, monasteries have been places of pilgrimage, driving local commerce and markets.

When I read this article, though, I couldn't help feeling that the brothers sound like they are a little overly concerned with temporal matters.

Now - my assessment may not be too honest, because in other places on this forum, it's been mentioned that this monastery is modernist, so I am probably not charitably disposed.

What's your opinion?
I'm on the fence with this one; monasteries do need money to operate, but.... maybe I'm just being snooty, too  ;D

Bake some bread, make some cheese, sell some crafts, and live in poverty, eh?

In any case, the idea of Trappists being modern is sad...  anyone know how the Carthusian order has fared over the past 40 years?  Any "reforms"?  I certainly hope not (and would think they are withdrawn enough to not care about the spirit of the times...)

Pax,
Jesse
(05-17-2010, 09:14 AM)Jesse Wrote: [ -> ]In any case, the idea of Trappists being modern is sad...  anyone know how the Carthusian order has fared over the past 40 years?  Any "reforms"?  I certainly hope not (and would think they are withdrawn enough to not care about the spirit of the times...)

Their Rule is completely unchanged, but they have reformed their missal, unfortunately. They use their 1981 missal, which hasn't actually been approved by Rome yet.

On the website for the charterhouse of Parkminster, England, it says they say the psalms and the readings in English. There's also this picture:

[Image: eucharistcirle.jpeg]

Although there are pictures on 'The New Liturgical' movement of being done somewhat better.
I think it is neither tacky nor grounds for cranky traddiness. Rather, I think it is a good idea.

Maybe you have an ill-informed view of monastic self-sufficiency?

The bonsai thing is absurd though.
(05-17-2010, 09:42 AM)WhollyRoaminCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]Maybe you have an ill-informed view of monastic self-sufficiency?

Perhaps I do, and that's why I asked for opinions.

I guess a monk who's titled "fundraising and development director" just throws me off.
Next we'll have CEO monks and God knows what else.
You're not bein' snooty. Today it takes a ton of money just to break even. Let's say they're 20 monks there. Guessing I'd say it would be say $35,000 per year to support each one. Let's say they sell cheese only as their support. Twenty time 35 thousand is 1.4 million for their support. If we consider their 1.4 million as the direct labor part and using a rough rule of thumb they would need to sell 4.5 million in cheese to break even. That's a lot of cheeses. If it was $4.50 per lb. which is cheap then it's a million lbs. per year. I'm seeing a cheese factory, with a marketing dept. several refrigerated trucks to deliver to distribution centers. You get the picture.( I used to do life cycle costs for proposed projects,cost estimating, and other stuff )
tim
(05-17-2010, 10:34 AM)timoose Wrote: [ -> ]You're not bein' snooty. Today it takes a ton of money just to break even. Let's say they're 20 monks there. Guessing I'd say it would be say $35,000 per year to support each one. Let's say they sell cheese only as their support. Twenty time 35 thousand is 1.4 million for their support. If we consider their 1.4 million as the direct labor part and using a rough rule of thumb they would need to sell 4.5 million in cheese to break even. That's a lot of cheeses. If it was $4.50 per lb. which is cheap then it's a million lbs. per year. I'm seeing a cheese factory, with a marketing dept. several refrigerated trucks to deliver to distribution centers. You get the picture.( I used to do life cycle costs for proposed projects,cost estimating, and other stuff )
tim

"The monastery currently receives the bulk of its income from sales at the gift store, the bonsai nursery and stained glass operation. Monks there also make fruitcake, fudge and cookies. The stained glass operation supplies products primarily for churches, even non Catholic."

I imagine they are struggling a bit.  all the religious orders have elderly members who cannot contribute but must be cared for.



(05-17-2010, 09:42 AM)WhollyRoaminCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]I think it is neither tacky nor grounds for cranky traddiness. Rather, I think it is a good idea.

Maybe you have an ill-informed view of monastic self-sufficiency?

The bonsai thing is absurd though.

what's wrong with bonsai?  there was a monk there who did bonsai for many years.  i think it was a hobby of his that grew into something to help support the monastery.  he's been dead a long time but others have carried on the tradition, presumably because people buy their bonsai plants and pots, expect them to have them.



As long as it is moral income, I don't see what the problem is.  It's not like making booze is a great contribution to society and monasteries have done that for forever.  Bonsai may not be "quaint" and fit our 1950's movie mentality of monks, but it certainly is in line with their purposes as is a visitor's center if done properly.

As far as "CEO monks" I hope they do have them if they need them.  Some religious orders are in charge of hospitals, etc.  Those are multi-million dollar entities and need that type of person with those skills to run them.

Or would we rather such institutions be run by Prots, Jews,  and atheists who aren't so "snooty" and allow people to do more than make fruitcakes?
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