Whole Parenting Family

Monks of Norcia: a book, a party, and I want to become a monk

fr cassian

We were able to host the most incredible party before Christmas of last year for a very special monastery: the Monks of Norcia, Italy.

This place is mystical and magical. My husband, dad, and brother had all visited (before they knew each other, that is) and been so impressed by Prior Cassian Folsom and his monks. Their way of life is simple but difficult, following the Benedictine Monastic Life.

Norcia was his birthplace and thus the location selected by Father Cassian when he founded this abbey. The story behind it is fascinating and hilarious, so please, do go read more here or on wiki, too.

When a dear friend said that Father Cassian was coming to the Twin Cities and discussions were in play about where he could share more about the order and the abbey, we were all:: OH YA RIGHT HERE DON’TCHA KNOW?! Party chez nous, 100 folks, monk beer + Father Cassian and his amazing development officer: Bryan G + sweet wife (who was amazing pregnant but a total trooper).

The house was teaming with people such that the windows were literally sweating. Father spoke on the history of the order and eloquently shared about the monks life. Bryan poured the very special beer the monks brew themselves. Everyone laughed and talked and ate desserts. A truly festive night honoring a wonderful group of monks!

If you want to follow along on social media, find them on Facebook & the web. Their work is fantastic. I can’t tell how I just completely fell in love with Father Cassian. I think he had that effect on everyone.


The kids were elated. We talked about them and listened to their podcast and looked at their photos so when the evening actually arrived and he arrived, they about passed out//were hyper spastic he was actually in our house. We had an opportunity to chat briefly before the party kicked off.

Father Cassian has a twinkle in his eye and a sweetness in his heart and I instantly wanted to become a monk at his monastery. No joke. Like really truly. AA agreed I should def go. Just leave breastmilk for the baby.

He was a giant among men, a saint among sinners, and a fantastic conversationalist. We spoke about vocations, being at home with babies, my ministry work with Blessed is She, monastic life, and his beard. Almost everything under the sun. Never enough time, though, and we are dying for him to come back!!

Come back, Father! The kids want to have you bless their pretend monastic cave upstairs! And we tell them to make you proud and finish their broccoli, all the time. #bribesformonkapproval

whole parenting

The children have been entranced by this book written by one of his fellow monks, Brother John McKenzie.

monks of norcia

In this densely written and beautifully illustrated book, Brother John covers a great deal of Saint Benedict’s life and his relationship with his sister. This isn’t a kid book, rather a book written for children old enough to understand stories and lessons. SuperBoy (4.7) tracked with most of the stories and SweetPea (almost 3) was all about the pictures. The baby wanted to eat it. No surprise.

monks of norcia

monks of norcia

Support the work of a great order & a great literary press and buy a copy for you & yours, or . . . WIN one here today! The sweet publishing house was kind enough to provide me with a copy to review and a copy to gift to you.

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  1. giedre on March 16, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Too cool! I love that your kids get to grow up meeting awesome role models like that. I grew up in the South (bible belt, baby), so I never felt like I got much exposure to nuns and monks.

  2. […] holy days. The kids looked at their 2015 one every single (no joke) day since we were lucky enough to host them here last […]