by J.D. Benning
Special to The Leaven
ATCHISON — The monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey here recently announced their 2018 art auction — an event to support the ministries of the monastic community. It features a piece by Brother Karel Soukup, OSB, a monk of the abbey.
This Advent-themed painting, called “Noli Timere” — Latin for “Be not afraid” — depicts the angel visiting St. Joseph in a dream (Mt 1:20).
Brother Karel credits his parents’ encouragement for inspiring his craft.
“My parents always encouraged us growing up to try different things,” he said, “and my father inspired my interest in woodworking.
“I’ve always been interested in language and music, bringing beauty into the world. But it wasn’t until becoming a monk in 2014 that I started painting.”
As Brother Karel was considering what to paint, a conversation with his spiritual director inspired him.
“My spiritual director encouraged me to contemplate my relationship with Mary through the other men in the Gospel,” he said, “and this led me to St. Joseph.
“He embraced his role and trusted in God with no expectation of return or reward.”
Brother Karel comes to the monastery from Lakin and is currently furthering his studies in art and music.
Funds from the Abbey Art Auction will go to support the prayer and work of the monks. The auction runs until Dec. 18.
For more information or to place a bid, visit the website at: Kansas monks.org/auction.