How were monasteries funded in the middle ages? Well, by labour and donations. It was considered important to have a monastery close by because it provided standards, holiness, knowledge and civilization. Not to mention the rise of healthcare, medicine and other academic faculties and welfare. So, people cherished and valued the presence of monks and nuns.
In December (2018) a Priory of the Abbey of St. Severin (Bavaria) was inaugurated in Karlskrona (Sweden). The Blessing and inauguration were performed by the Abbot of the Order of Port Royal of which the Priory adheres. And this came after several years of work and preparations.
The Priory is dedicated to one of the first martyrs and saints in Sweden, one that we know as Staffan (Stephen, Stephanus); the apostle to the North. His original name was Stenfinn and he became a Christian while traveling in Germany. He was ordained priest and was made Bishop. Then sent back up to the North to evangelise among the pagans. This was successful and therefor some looked upon him with fear and had him killed. Staffan died in 1072.
The Priory of S:t Stephanus is funded, like any Cistercian monastery, by labour. Beekeeping, production of ‘beeswax cloths’ and an herbal garden is examples hereof. Lately a web shop was set up where the locally manufactured products is for sale.
Now the Priory also launches a Fundraising campaign. The aim is to raise enough money to buy the property that is now being leased. The property consists of a church, the monastic building with cells, library, refectory, kitchen etcetera and a back yard that is being turned in to a Cloister Garden.
For those who would like to support the Priory, here is the link to the Fundraising campaign: https://gogetfunding.com/monastic-building/
Recently, much interest in the new Priory is shown. Mostly from other countries such as England, Germany, Norway and North America. Invitations have been received to go and talk about the establishing of a monastic house and to write articles for publication.
Could it be, that people in our times also have need for the values coming from and with the monastic life? Could it be, that once people learn to understand the tranquillity; the peace and pace of a monastery, they will – as in the middle ages – come to value its presence once again?