June 25, 2023 – Fr. Elias returns from a trip to Awhum

Fr. Elias gave us a slideshow illustrating his trip to Awhum, one of our Cistercian monasteries in Nigeria. He was there in the capacity of a designated visitor. Genesee, our daughter house in New York state, is the actual mother house of Awhum, but the superior there asked Fr. Elias to step in as a visitor.

Br. Evaristus, who has been staying with our community for some years now, counts the community of Awhum as his home monastery, and he is taking this opportunity for a stay there. He travelled with Fr. Elias on the journey to Nigeria.

Awhum was founded in 1970 and currently houses over 70 monks. The monks there are currently involved in a number of construction projects, the main one being their new church which is nearing completion. One of the photos below shows the painting in the interior of the cupola of the new church, depicting Mary holding her son and showing her heart. They have also completed a new refectory and are working on a large silo for corn.

They have several industries, including a poultry business, a palm and soybean oil production, and a few others.

The rainy season in Nigeria produces such torrential downpours that the monks have constructed covered walkways linking all their buildings. You can see some of those walkways in one of the photos below, painted blue and white, the same as their church.

The community is thriving, with quite a few in formation, and is remaking their physical appearance. We wish them all of God’s grace in their continued life of prayer and contemplation.