Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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June 5, 2011

Monastery to celebrate chapel, pavilion

Corsicana — In July 2009, the Benedictine Monastery of Thien Tam (Heavenly Heart) moved to Kerens. Over the past two years, the Benedictine Monks have been busy preparing the Monastery grounds, remodeling and adding wings to the main Monastery house, and building a small guesthouse for private self-directed retreats where guests can stay and share in the Benedictine way of life.

On Thursday, June 9 at 6 p.m., the Monastery will be celebrating the Blessing and opening of the newly constructed Holy Relics Chapel and pavilion.  All are welcome to share in this monumental event. The Holy Relics Chapel will hold over 100 relics of Saints such as St. Benedict, St. Scholastica, St. Gregory the Great, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ambrose and many more. These relics are kept in custom made frames.

The Monks follow the Rule of St. Benedict, prayer, work and study. The 300 acres is a perfect place for people to get away from their busy way of life in an environment of tranquility and peace. The Monastery’s doors are open not only to Catholics but also to people of all walks of life, regardless of religion, age, national origin or background, who are seeking to enhance and renew their spirituality.

Sunday Mass is celebrated at 11 a.m. and the public is welcome. After Mass, the Monks get together with attendees for coffee and socializing.

“It’s a way to stay in touch with our membership and guests and interact with guests and visitors,” said Father Dominic, the Prior of Thien Tam.

The new pavilion accommodates up to 1,000 people and can be utilized for conventions, seminars, and hosting guest speakers. In the future, the Monastery plans on various organizations’ utilization of the pavilion for seminars and conventions.

Immediately following the Blessing of the Holy Relics Chapel and pavilion, all are invited to stay for the Second Annual Blessed Sacrament Day Weekend which runs from June 9 through June 12. There will be Masses, perpetual Adoration to the Blessed Sacrament, youth seminars (in English), conferences, music, sports, authentic Vietnamese Cuisine, Station of the Cross, Eucharistic Procession, etc. Overnight camping will be available with full bathroom and shower facilities. There is no registration or entrance fee.

Last year, nearly 1,000 attended the Blessed Sacrament Day Weekend, many of which were Vietnamese, from various parts of Texas and nearby states. Many of the conferences will be held in the Vietnamese language but in the future, Father Dominic will incorporate more conferences and seminars in English. The youth seminars will be conducted by Father Joseph Lam Nguyen, in the English language. The Schedule of Events reflects which events will be bilingual.

For more information, call (903)396-3201 or visit the Monastery’s website at www.thientamosb.org for a complete listing of events.

The Monastery is located at 13055 SECR 4271 in Kerens. Directions to the Monastery are available on the website.    

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