MONCKS CORNER — Father Stan Gumula, Abbot of Mepkin Abbey, announced Dec. 19, 2007, that the monastery will phase out their egg production business over the next year and a half.
While the monks are sad to give up work that has sustained them for many years, a hard and honorable work of which they are proud, the pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has made it difficult for them to live their quiet life of prayer, work and sacred reading, according to a press release from the abbey. The monks also have found it difficult to extend hospitality, which is their hallmark, under such conditions.
“We will be looking for a new industry to help us meet our daily expenses,” Abbot Stan said. “In fact, under Abbot Francis Kline, discussion began on our economy with the hope of finding a new industry, but this effort was cut short because of his prolonged illness and untimely death.”
The monks at Mepkin live under the rule of St. Benedict, which calls for monks to provide for their daily needs by the work of their hands. Work is a basic component of the monastic life and is central to a monk’s growth as a contemplative. For centuries, monasteries relied on some type of agricultural work because it is the kind of work that can foster prayer and contemplation.
“We hope to find a source of income that will respect this tradition of work on the land and care for the environment,” Abbot Stan said.
“The monks and I thank all the people in the Charleston area who have so faithfully supported us by buying our eggs,” Abbot Stan said. “We are especially grateful to the folks at Piggly Wiggly and the Charleston Air Force Base who have carried our eggs for over 40 years. We hope to have a product that they will be proud to feature as they have our eggs.
“We wish you all a blessed Christmas season and may your New Year be filled with joy and grace,” he said.