My former student Philip Wilmeth is now Brother Augustine.
He made his simple profession as a Benedictine monk with the newly re-established community at Norcia last week.
The picture to the right shows me with Brother Augustine when we visited last June.
The monks have started what is turning out to be a successful brewery, and Brother Augustine gave me and my traveling companion–Sid Tate a tour of the brewery.
Their recording of their Gregorian Chant has hit the top of the classical music charts.
I wrote a review of the music here and Sid Tate got a copy and give his opinion here.
Several months ago I had an opportunity to visit Norcia, Italy. We worshiped with the Brothers at the monastery, and had the opportunity to get to know several of them. It was a marvelously spiritual and educational experience…. speaking to both ones head and heart.
Listening to their recently released CD of chants carried me back to the actual visit. That is to say, the musical quality of this CD is truly authentic to actually being there worshiping with them.
The first time I listened to the CD, I did just that…. really listened. Aside from conveying the outstanding musical quality of the recording it is very difficult to describe the “heart” side of these chants. I’ll simply say that there’s a spiritual connectedness which spans the here-and-now of today back to literally centuries of devout worship, and forward to where we are headed Eternally.
Next I listened to the Chants reading the lyrics of each one and then listening to the Chant while meditating on the meaning of the words being sung. I continued for each chant throughout the entire CD. This experience simply and powerfully took me deeper into the essence of monastic worship. I found it to be more peaceful than words can describe.
In summary, I can heartily recommend this CD. The Brothers of Norcia have given us an amazing gift.
You can learn more about the monks of Norcia and to get there CD check out their impressive website here.