News of The Monks of Adoration
The Monks of Adoration
Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament offered in a spirit of Reparation for the outrages toward and the abandonment of Jesus. This Reparation is offered to console the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Contemplative Monastic Life following the Rule of St. Augustine.
“The Church and the world have great need of Eucharistic Adoration.” Blessed John Paul II
Craig Edward Driscoll was born in Boston in 1958 and grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Edward (a professor at Fitchburg State College) and Catherine Driscoll raised their son Craig with a love for Jesus, His Mother, the Church and the poor, the hungry and needy. Several children in need were taken into the home. One remained ten years. Collections of clothes were done when a need was made known. Missionaries were helped. Strict frugality was practiced so that more people in need could be helped often through the Catholic Medical Mission Board and the Catholic Relief Services. Social Justice, helping poor Native Americans and supporting the rights of migrant workers by boycotting grapes was done.
At fourteen Craig spent the summer with Father Gilbert Stack, O.S.B. volunteering at Bethlehem, South Dakota. It was there, in a log cabin, that when asked by two Christians if he wanted to “accept Jesus as his personal Savor” Craig prayed the Our Father and had a profound Born Again experience. This was 1973. Craig read Religious books and was a Born Again Catholic teenager with an enthusiastic love for Jesus and great devotion to St. Francis.
Craig was active at St. Bernard’s Central Catholic High School in the Theater and Speech program with his friends Danny and Tommy (both now priests for many years) and very active in the school’s Christian Life Community group and their retreats throughout New England.
Just before graduating from High School in 1976 Craig made a Teen Encounter retreat and it was there during the quiet of a Saturday night prayer vigil he heard the call of Jesus to Religious Life. What community, he did not know. Following college in Connecticut, a year at St. Kieran’s Seminary as a guest student in Ireland and then after a year and a half he graduated from the (Catholic) University of Albuquerque where he took many philosophy classes and majored in Religious Studies then attended the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (The Angelicum) as a lay student and after four years there he received his S.T.L. in Theology with a specialization in Spiritual Theology studying under his mentor, Father Jordan Aumann, O.P. Through these years Craig pondered which Religious Order to join. Something he could not decide.
On August 4, the Feast of the Cure of Ars, 1983 while making a vocational visit to the Benedictine Abbey of Nortre Dame de Fontgambault, France Craig was called by Jesus to found The Monks of Adoration. The call was very clear. He had never considered founding a community. Craig returned to the Angelicum for one more year, finishing his studies in 1984. He spoke of his call to Father Jordan Aumman, O.P who was encouraging and gave Craig wise advice.
During that last year in Rome Craig learned that Bishop Jerome Hastrich of the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico was visiting. He had heard of this Bishop who lived very simply and was beloved by his very poor flock. After speaking with the Bishop about his call Craig was told “this is a work of Providence” and was accepted into the Diocese of Gallup.
Later that year Craig met with (then archbishop later Cardinal) Augustin Mayer, who for many years had been the secretary of the Sacred Congretion for Consecrated Life and Secular Institutes and earlier in his life a Benedictine Abbot. Archbishop Mayer was very enthusiastic and encouraged Craig to found The Monks of Adoration and hoped it would encourage other Monasteries to have times of Eucharistic Adoration. He gave Craig a hand-written note of recommendation and as he said goodbye told him, “You will have much to suffer.”
Craig had a chance to speak with Blessed Teresa of Calcutta when she was in Rome in the spring of 1084. He had meet her very briefly with his friends Danny and Tommy in 1976 at the International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia and shortly after arriving in Rome had joined with other students to spend several days helping Blessed Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity Sisters open a house for Mothers and babies. During their short conversion Craig told Blessed Teresa about The Monks of Adoration and she told him that this vocation is “very important, very important.” Quickly, Craig bowed his head and Blessed Teresa placed her hands on it as she did in blessing her Sisters.
On the way back to the U.S. Craig stayed in London at the “Little Way Association” a great mission aid society in honor of St. Therese. Craig had met the foundress, Mary Doohan, later given the title Dame by Blessed John Paul II, in Lourdes. While there Craig met with Bishop Gerald Mahon, one of the auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Westminster. After having Craig interviewed by the Benedictine Abbot of Ealing Abbey, London, Bishop Mahon accepted Craig and his plan into the Archdiocese of Westminter.
Back in Massachusetts in the Autumn of 1984 Craig met with Bishop Timothy Harrington (who had confirmed him) of his home Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts and after a couple of meetings and great encouragement of the canon lawyer, Father Lawrence Deery, Craig and The Monks of Adoration were accepted into the Diocese of Worcester. So although all alone, only twenty-four and without having been a Religious Craig now had three Bishops. He chose Bishop Harrington of Worcester as it was his home Diocese where he had family and friends who would be a help to the new community.
Having chosen the Diocese of Worcester the Monks began by renting a large farmhouse built in 1740 in the lovely town of Petersham, Massachusetts. In 1988 a house was bought on the same street and a chapel was added onto it. There the Monks lived their life of Eucharistic Adoration and in time began to write for Catholic publications and writing books. Some of the writings brought much media interest, a unique experience for a Monastic community.
Then in 2001 the Monks transferred and were enthusiastically welcomed into the Diocese of Venice in Florida by Bishop John J. Nevins. The good Bishop often expressed his love and kindness to the Monks. Several Sunday nights and each Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter the Monks were guests for supper at the Bishops house. After five years of planning, fund-raising and permits the Monks moved into the Monastery they had had built in Englewood next to the city of Venice in 2005 and by spring of 2006 it was ready to be open to the public. After Bishop Nevins retirement in January of 2007 his successor decided the Monks should leave this Diocese as there were only two members. The Vicar General of the Diocese of Venice in Florida stated to Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, “They have done nothing wrong.”
Then only Craig remained. He moved to Sarasota living with and caring for his elderly and sickly Mother. Craig and his plan were welcomed into the Diocese of Great Falls, Montana but for various reasons he decided not to transfer there. He continues to pray and correspond with Bishops. At this time (March 2013) he is awaiting the response from a Bishop who has shown some interest and corresponding with several interested candidates. Craig, has found not living in a Monastery very difficult. After so many years the words of Archbishop Mayer have come true. “You will have much to suffer.” But Craig has used these years of hermit-like living to think and pray and plan the future of The Monks of Adoration. He is totally determined not to abandon the call he received from Jesus and in is encouraged by kind written recommendations from Father Augustine, O.C.S.O. of the Trapppist Monastery of Azul, Argentina formerly the Abbot of Saint Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts and the advisor to The Monks of Adoration when they were in the Diocese of Worcester and Father Anslem, O.S.B. formerly superior (now Abbot of the Abbey of Plucarden, Scotland) of the Benedictines of St. Mary’s Priory in Petersham, Massachusetts a community whose kindness and friendship the Monks have always appreciated.
Prayers are asked that soon the re-founding of The Monks of Adoration will happen! Prayers are need for interested candidates. True, at this moment they would be candidates of a hope, dream and determination. But they are need more now than they ever have been. Those who are interested in reviving a community that along with their prayers and Adoration through their writings, mega-website, talks on video and their much loved humble little publication, “The Tabernacle” touched many people’s lives should email (see below) to learn about the future of The Monks of Adoration. A future Craig’s friends look on with hope telling him that all things are possible with Jesus!
For information and to send prayer requests please contact:
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“From the very beginning I fell in love with the Blessed Sacrament and by the mercy of God have never fallen out.”
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