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Monks Preparing For Blue Cloud Abbey Closure

June 13, 2012, 6:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Monks Preparing For Blue Cloud Abbey Closure

A hidden KELOLAND Abbey is closing its doors.

The monks at Blue Cloud Abbey near Marvin announced this week they'll be closing for good this summer.

Since the 1950s, countless prayers have risen from the monastery walls, but the request for more monks hasn't been granted.

"We're growing older and we're not getting new prospects," Abbot Denis Quinkert said.

Only two of the monks are less than 70 years old. That's why the monks made the tough decision to close in August.

They built the monastery themselves over 17 years.

Now it's a matter of finding a new home for the remaining monks and finalizing the place's finish over the next few years.

"There are a couple monasteries I'll be looking at first of all. I'll be starting in August, one in North Dakota and one in Minnesota," Father Michael Peterson said.

Peterson is the youngest monk at Blue Cloud Abbey. He's invested 15 years on the grounds.

The monastery initially opened when monks came to complete mission work on reservations. It has most recently served as a place of retreat for people.

"It's my home and I have to find a new home. But God is providential; God is gracious and God is good so I can trust that," Peterson said.

They are also trusting Him through the closing process as they plan to sell the buildings and land. Three of the monks will remain onsite until that's done. Prayers will no doubt still rise from the monastery during that time, just fewer of them.

"Everyone has a number of years, put in a number of years here. It's like a family. It's breaking up, the family is breaking up and that's just what's happening in our lives," Quinkert said.

Each monk will decide which monastery he wants to go to.

The public is invited to a farewell gathering August 5.

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