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For Good Friday

As we lift high the wood of the adorable Cross on this Good Friday, we present Father Prior’s sermon on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14, 2011):


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More of Father Prior’s sermon podcasts can be found here (see the right hand side for archives by month and by topic).

We hope to resume podcasting sometime this Paschaltide!

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For the Annunciation of Our Blessed Lady

For the Feast of the Annunciation of the Mother of God, we present Father Prior’s sermon given on the Feast of the Translation of the Holy House of Loreto.


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More of Father Prior’s sermon podcasts can be found here (see the right hand side for archives by month and by topic).

We hope to resume podcasting sometime this Paschaltide!

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For Passiontide

On the occasion of the beginning of the Season of Passiontide, we present Father Prior’s sermon, preached last August during a Votive Mass of the Mystery of the Lord’s Passion:


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More of Father Prior’s sermon podcasts can be found here (see the right hand side for archives by month and by topic).

We hope to resume podcasting sometime this Paschaltide!

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New name: “Silverstream Priory”

Dear Oblates, friends, and benefactors,

When we first accepted the invitation to relocate to Stamullen in County Meath, we chose to follow Irish custom and call our monastery by the name of the place. Not knowing much about the history of our future monastery, we opted for Stamullen Priory. Since that time, other considerations — important ones — have come to light.

Yesterday, while helping us clean out an old press, Patrick Cullen, one of our volunteers found a map of the property dating from 1910. On the map, the house is designated Silverstream House. It is so called after the little stream that runs through the property. Read about the history of Silverstream House here.

The unanimous opinion of the local people, our new neighbours in Stamullen, is that our monastery should be called Silverstream Priory, in continuity with the traditional name of the property. We have decided, then, to follow the advice of our friends here, and call our monastery Silverstream Priory.

The dedication of the monastery to Our Lady of the Cenacle and to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face remains unchanged.

Silverstream has lovely biblical and liturgical resonances. Among them would be these:

The stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful: the most High hath sanctified his own tabernacle. (Psalm 45:5)

And they from the west, shall fear the name of the Lord: and they from the rising of the sun, his glory: when he shall come as a violent stream, which the spirit of the Lord driveth on. (Isaias 59:19)

And he shewed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street thereof, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding its fruits every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no curse any more; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him. And they shall see his Face: and his name shall be on their foreheads. And night shall be no more: and they shall not need the light of the lamp, nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall enlighten them, and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Apocalypse 22:1-5)

May it please the Holy Ghost to make Silverstream Priory a place of living water, of spiritual refreshment, of purification, and of supernatural fruitfulness for the joy of Ireland and of the whole Church.

In lumine vultus Iesu,

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, Prior
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The Passing of Our Holy Patriarch Benedict

Father Prior, last September, preached the following sermon during a Votive Mass of St Benedict, our blessed Patriarch and Lawgiver.  We present it here for the Feast of the Passing (Transitur) of this our holy Father.


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More of Father Prior’s sermon podcasts can be found here (see the right hand side for archives by month and by topic).

We hope to resume podcasting sometime this Paschaltide!

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Saint Joseph, “Earthly Icon of God the Father”

Father Prior, last October, preached the following sermon during a Votive Mass of St Joseph, most chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of Jesus:


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More of Father Prior’s sermon podcasts can be found here (see the right hand side for archives by month and by topic).

We hope to resume podcasting sometime this Paschaltide!

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A St Patrick’s Day Appeal

Dear Friends of Vultus Christi and of Father Mark Daniel Kirby, OSB:

SAINT Patrick, all the great Irish saints, the thousands of contemplative monks of ancient Ireland, and the tens of thousands of Irish missionary priests and religious who left Ireland must be well pleased today, Saint Patrick’s Day. They know a new monastery under the Rule of Saint Benedict has begun this month at Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. And, the founding is by a small group of Americans! Love is being returned to Ireland. My name is David Craig and I am writing to ask you to financially help this new priory and new community.

In addition to publishing the popular Catholic blog, Vultus Christi, Dom Mark Daniel Kirby has brought his monastic vision to Ireland: a life of liturgical prayer, adoration, reparation, and intercession for priests. In continuity with the age-old Benedictine tradition of hospitality, the new monastery will welcome priests in search of silence and spiritual refreshment for days of recollection and retreats.

Just prior to his move from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Stamullen, Co, Meath, Ireland I spent two days with Father Prior Dom Mark at his former monastery in Tulsa. I have volunteered to take an unpaid position to help find supporters for this new monastery. Dom Mark needs our support for this vital work of adoration, reparation, and intercession for all priests, but especially for those wounded in spiritual combat or tempted to lose hope.

I knew Dom Mark and his community were dedicated to prayer for priests and I knew priests were coming to spend time at the little monastery in Tulsa; however I wanted to see for myself so I could tell the story clearly. When Dom Mark asked me to visit him in Tulsa prior to the move to Ireland I gladly accepted the invitation.

In addition to celebrating Holy Mass, Dom Mark’s community chants the Hours of the Divine Office seven times daily. After chanting Vespers the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Dom Mark then turns over a large ancient looking hourglass. It is about a foot or more tall and looks like something right out of The Lord of the Rings. As the hour glass was slowly turned over I knew I was going to be there for a good while. I watched Dom Mark sitting at a 45 degree angle to the monstrance with his journal in his lap. I knew it was at this point he was praying for priests who had asked for prayers and for the countless priests wounded spiritually in our culture. I also knew he was praying for priests who had given up praying themselves. Though I could not make out the soft words from where I was sitting I knew I was witnessing a deep Union and I knew, Jesus, upon that altar, was listening. To say I was moved would not give justice. Let me simply say I also began to pray and found myself praying for priests who have stopped praying.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma priory was a large house in a nice area. The house in Stamullen, Co. Meath, Ireland is a real monastery of stone, surrounded by a wall, with a chapel, and out buildings. It has land, in the country about a half hour north of Dublin Airport. Dom Mark is leasing the monastery from the former occupants, the Visitation Sisters of Drogheda. The lease with option to purchase has an escalation clause. The purchase price of the 15 acre monastery property without the adjoining 180 acres is presently 600,000 Euro and will increase yearly until purchased.

Renovations of chapel to the monastic life, with one high altar, a Eucharistic Throne for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and two lateral altars, along with a new floor, choir stalls, accommodations for the faithful, and renovations to other buildings is also estimated at 600,000 Euro. I have asked Father to have the gratis architect he is working with to break out the chapel costs separately as a benefactor may be found who will donate the chapel cost in memory of a departed loved one. I do not have this figure yet.

Three additional American men and a new vocation from Ireland want to join Father Prior and Brother Benedict when the new monastery is ready.

In addition to purchase and renovations yearly expenses are estimated to be $156,000 or around $13,000 per month. Moving the monastery to Ireland and its large library of books and furnishings took a considerable amount of the money Father had saved.

I ask you to help Dom Mark and Silverstream Priory with the largest one time donation you can afford now and a monthly donation on or around the 1st of each month.

If God has blessed you abundantly and you wish to donate the new chapel or purchase the monastery please contact me and we will arrange a tour and a meeting with Father in Ireland.

I do not have all the answers to fundraising however I do know it is our job not Father’s. I need not tell you why our priests need the type of prayers that will be offered at Silverstream Priory and have a holy place they can go if they need help.

Click here to learn how you can help the Priory financially.

May Our Lady of the Cenacle bless you,

David Craig

E-mail David Craig | 860-739-4607 (Connecticut, USA)

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An Appeal from Deacon Keith Fournier of “Catholic Online”

Moving their entire community to Ireland is not only a prophetic action, it is an expensive endeavor.

THEY seek to bring healing to a wounded Irish Church. I believe they are a first fruit of her restoration and a sign of her future contribution in a new missionary age. God has not abandoned the Church in Ireland. The Purification of the Church always precedes her healing, strengthening and renewal. So it will be in Ireland.

In January I wrote a story entitled “Benedictine Monks from Oklahoma Become Missionaries to the Irish Church.” In it I told the inspiring story of a group of Benedictine Monks at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle.

These contemporary sons of St. Benedict show that the Holy Spirit is powerfully at work in the Church today. The same Holy Spirit which has used monks and monasteries throughout Church history is bringing about a monastic renewal in our day – for the sake of the whole Church. As they did in the first and the second millenniums, monks and monasteries are serving a significant role in the mission of the Church of the Third millennium.

The Benedictine Prior, the Very Reverend Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, and the brothers who have gathered with him, represent the best of the monastic life. Clearly, they have heard the Lord. He called these monks from Oklahoma to a special vocational response in this new missionary age. They have moved their entire community to Ireland, a land which once gave the world monks, missionaries, and martyrs.

They seek to bring healing to a wounded Irish Church. I believe they are a first fruit of her restoration and a sign of her future contribution in a new missionary age. God has not abandoned the Church in Ireland. The Purification of the Church always precedes her healing, strengthening and renewal. So it will be in Ireland.

The monks at Silverstream Priory, Our Lady of the Cenacle, need our prayer. They also need our financial contributions. Moving their entire community to Ireland is not only a prophetic action, it is an expensive endeavor.

Click here to learn how you can help the Priory financially.

I just received an update on the progress of their missionary work which I am happy to share with all of our readers on this weekend when we commemorate the great Irish Saint Patrick. Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is the Prior of Silverstream Priory, under the patronage of Our Lady of the Cenacle, in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland.

He is also a wonderful blogger whose writings can be read at Vultus Christi In one of several postings currently available he wrote these words:

A faith that is not passed on grows dim and, like a dying flame, becomes no more than a flicker offering little in the way of light and warmth. The transmission of the faith assures its vitality. Faith is inseparable from tradition, tradition being the transmission of what we ourselves have received from the saints: whole, unchanged, and intact.

Here is an update on this wonderful project from this dear Monk, Priest and Prior:

Dear Deacon Keith,

Greetings from Ireland just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day!  I am writing to you from Rathkenny Parochial House in County Meath, where I have been the guest of Father John Hogan since my arrival in Ireland.

Things are progressing slowly but surely, and I should soon be able to take up residence – however primitively – in our new monastery, Silverstream Priory.

The monastery building needs a great deal of work before it will be suitable for community life.  For this reason I have come ahead to supervise the transformations and improvements that are necessary.

Partitions and walls will be knocked down, flooring will be taken up, wiring and plumbing will be brought up to code, the leakage around the foundations of the house will be addressed and, most importantly of all, the little monastic church will be entirely restored and renovated.

Even as the work is being done, I will be doing everything possible to collect the funds needed to pay for it by soliciting donations. Several promising men are waiting for the monastery to be made ready so that will be able to come for a time of discernment, in view of joining our community.

If you haven’t visited our monastery website yet – the fruit of Brother Benedict’s labours – do so right away.  It will give you a treasury of information on the Work that Our Lord has undertaken among us.

I beg for your prayers and, if you know of anyone who would be able to  help us financially, I would ask you to contact Mr. David Craig my representative for fundraising at gifts@cenacleosb.org.

With my blessing.

In lumine vultus Iesu,

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, Prior
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American monastic group moves to Ireland

16 Feb 2012

Mags Gargan, The Irish Catholic

An American community of men living according to the monastic Rule of Saint Benedict is moving to Ireland this month to ”return the love” given by the Irish priests and religious who served the Church in the United States.

The Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle was established by Dom Mark Daniel Kirby four years ago in the Diocese of Tulsa at the invitation of Bishop Edward J. Slattery. Since then, a number of men have joined the community, and the prior felt a larger house in a rural setting was needed ”both for the accommodation of men trying their vocations and for hospitality to priests in search of silence, rest, and spiritual refreshment”.

Bishop Michael Smith has offered them a five year lease on the empty Visitation Monastery in Stamullen in County Meath, and they are expected to move in at the end of this month. In a newsletter explaining the move to Ireland, Prior Kirby said it was time for the American Church to give something back to Ireland.

”Given the immense number of priests and religious who left their native Ireland to establish and serve the Church in the United States, it seems to me that the hour has now come for some Americans to return love for love by leaving the United States to serve the Church in Ireland,” he said.

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More Oblate Novices

On 12 February 2012, Sexagesima Sunday, Dom Mark Daniel Kirby, Prior, received into the monastic family of Our Lady of the Cenacle nine new Oblate Novices.  You can listen to an audio recording of Father Prior’s address here.

This brings our current number to 19, including our two “elder Oblates”, Br Paul and Sr Thérèse (Shiela and Mick Michie), six novices received in January, and two other novices, Brothet Hieronymus (Eric Ellis, entrusted to St Jerome) and Sister Immaculata (Robin Pudewa, entrusted to Our Lady of Lourdes), received individually.

Our good friend, Jon Kabel, will be received soon as an oblate novice at his home parish in Pennsylvania, thus bringing our number to 20.

Congratulations, and ad multos annos (many years) to our new Oblate brothers and sisters!

Left to right: Katie Kane, received as Sister Columba (Bl. Abbot Columba Marmion); Alexander Carroll, received as Brother Oliver (St Oliver Plunkett, archbishop & martyr); Laura Riley, received as Sister Scholastica (St Scholastica, sister of St Benedict); Paula Cole, received as Sister Lioba (St Lioba, apostle to Germany); Father Prior; Sandy Pickett, received as Sister Julian (St Peter Julian Eymard, apostle of the Eucharist); Rosie Klassen, received as Sister Bethany (Ss. Mary & Martha of Bethany); Dan Pickett, received as Brother Ephrem (St Ephrem the Syrian, deacon & doctor of the Church); Joseph Klassen, received as Brother Moses (St Moses, prophet & lawgiver); Peggy, received as Sister Luca (St Luke, evangelist & iconographer), and in her arms, grandson Raymond Klassen.
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