Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Hobbies: What monks do besides pray and work

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Read the full transcript of Episode 4 

Brewing beer. Knitting. Beekeeping. Running. Collecting stamps.

What do all of these have in common? They are hobbies. More specifically, they're among the many hobbies enjoyed by Saint Meinrad monks.

In our fourth episode of the "Echoes from the Bell Tower" podcast, several monks discuss their hobbies with hosts Br. Joel Blaize, OSB, and Novice Tony Wolniakowski, OSB.

You'll hear from a model train aficionado, a junior monk who volunteered (!) to care for bees and harvest honey, and a singing monk-psychologist who plays the cello, bakes bread and throws pottery. 

On this page, we've added some podcast extras. Novice Joshua Leeuw is the voice you hear describing his work with the chickens, which provide fresh eggs for Sunday morning's breakfast.

Brothers Jean Fish and Nathaniel Szidik talk about some of the fun names they've given their home-brewed beers, and Br. John Mark Falkenhain reflects on how hobbies have taught him a specific life lesson. (Remember what I said about throwing pottery?)

Photos on this blog depict some of the monks enjoying their hobbies. The photos of stamp collecting and beer brewing were taken by Sam Oldenburg. The other photos are by Krista Hall.

Remember, you can subscribe to "Echoes" on iTunes, Stitcher or SoundCloud. And let us know what you think by your rating or review. Thanks for listening!

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Listen to Novice Joshua talk about the personalites of our chickens.

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Br. Nathaniel and Br. Jean talk about the creative names for their beers.

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Br. John Mark talks about revisiting life lessons through hobbies

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Fr. Augustine's hobby is collecting stamps.

Fr. Augustine's hobby is collecting stamps.

Fr. Augustine collects all the stamps he can get. In some cases he may have more than a thousand replicas of the same stamp.

Fr. Augustine collects all the stamps he can get. In some cases he may have more than a thousand replicas of the same stamp.

Fr. Augustine collects all his stamps in a room designated as "the stamp room".

Fr. Augustine collects all his stamps in a room designated as "the stamp room".

Fr. Julian has enjoyed cooking since he was a boy.

Fr. Julian has enjoyed cooking since he was a boy.

Fr. Julian also teaches a cooking class for seminarians during J-term.

Fr. Julian also teaches a cooking class for seminarians during J-term.

Br. William and Br. James are two of the junior monks who brew beer in the monastery.

Br. William and Br. James are two of the junior monks who brew beer in the monastery.

Br. Jean and Br. Nathaniel have been working on brewing a new mead for Novice Tony's first profession in August.

Br. Jean and Br. Nathaniel have been working on brewing a new mead for Novice Tony's first profession in August.

Many monks enjoy running and other kinds of physical fitness activities. Br. Nathaniel is currently training to run a marathon.

Many monks enjoy running and other kinds of physical fitness activities. Br. Nathaniel is currently training to run a marathon.

Br. Simon has recently taken up beekeeping as his hobby.

Br. Simon has recently taken up beekeeping as his hobby.

Br. Simon has recently set up two more hives after Easter, bringing our total to three.

Br. Simon has recently set up two more hives after Easter, bringing our total to three.

Now that Br. Simon has gotten used to working with our bees and finds it to be an excellent way to learn patience.

Now that Br. Simon has gotten used to working with our bees and finds it to be an excellent way to learn patience.

One of Br. John Mark's main hobbies, or disciplines, is playing the cello.

One of Br. John Mark's main hobbies, or disciplines, is playing the cello.

Br. John Mark has also been baking bread for the community every day, except Sunday, for the last three years.

Br. John Mark has also been baking bread for the community every day, except Sunday, for the last three years.

Novice Joshua enjoys taking care of the monastery's chickens.

Novice Joshua enjoys taking care of the monastery's chickens.

Saint Meinrad's chickens free range during the day. It is not uncommon to see them crossing the roads near the coop.

Saint Meinrad's chickens free range during the day. It is not uncommon to see them crossing the roads near the coop.

Novice Joshua collects fresh eggs for Sunday morning's breakfast.

Novice Joshua collects fresh eggs for Sunday morning's breakfast.

Do you have a reflection on Christian faith or spirituality you would like to share? Click here to learn how to become a contributor to Echoes from the Bell Tower.

Echoes from the Bell Tower is a blog devoted to observations on Christian faith, spirituality and everyday events, by authors with a connection to the Benedictine values found at Saint Meinrad Archabbey and its Seminary and School of Theology. Contributors include students, permanent deacons, Benedictine oblates and Saint Meinrad monks. Their stories, thoughts and ideas highlight the mission and vision that ring out from the bell towers on this Hill in southern Indiana.


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