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Priest responds to robbery on Mount St Benedict

By Kaelanne Jordan

Abbot John Pereira OSB has commented on the news of an armed robbery at Mount St Benedict Tuesday, January 10, 2023, where a pilgrim was robbed of her cellular phone and motor vehicle.

In a statement shared with Catholic News Thursday morning, the Abbot condemned this “most despicable” crime and prayed most sincerely for a cessation of all such heinous and heartless acts.

“All must feel the presence of God’s peace on the Mount,” Abbot Pereira said. The violence, he observed “is spilling over now into our revered sacred spaces.”

While he acknowledged that the physical location of the monastery is within a stone’s throw of a village now identified as a “hot spot” on the crime map of the nation, these pilgrims, he said, are seeking that “elusive peace” in the midst of a society immersed in an ever-increasing culture of violence behavioural patterns.

Abbot Pereira said that the Police Service has committed itself to more regular patrols on the Mount. He added that the Incorporated Trustees of Mount Saint Benedict Monastery in Trinidad is now seeking to establish a more visible security presence at the Abbey.

The monks of the Mount, the Abbot said, are recommitting themselves to offer the only alternative to violence, the Pax Benedictina, Latin for the Peace of Benedict, or the Benedictine Peace.

He said that the Incorporated Trustees of Mount Saint Benedict Monastery upholds the aim and vision of the monastic community on the Mount: to be a community and a place where God can be sought and found, both by the monks and by the countless pilgrims who visit the abbey each day. Emblazoned on the façade of the Abbey Church is the word PAX, Latin for peace.