Flood at the abbey

Word has been received from Abbot Michael-John of the Abbey of St. Benedict and the Companions of St. Luke, Donnelson, IA, that they have quite a bit of damage from flooding in the Mid-west. Many from Province VI have attended retreats there over the years:

I want to inform you that the Abbey sustained considerable damage last night when Sugar Creek over-flowed its banks. The three new buildings have water damage on the first floor. St. Aelred where I live and have the offices for the Abbey took a direct hit and will probably have to have all insulation removed from the underside of the building to prevent mold. The Hospitality Center (dining room, kitchen and gift shop is a total loss. The Chapel and main house are fine.

I have been in touch with ServiceMaster this morning. They will return about noon to begin their work and reduce as much as possible the damage to the first floors of the new buildings.

I have been in contact with our insurance company. Our representative says that we are not covered for water damage, but will come out to access overall damage and come up with a figure. I have asked that the Hospitality Center be taken off of our insurance policy.

I called B&B propane last night asking for emergency help as the 1500 gallon tank broke loose from its foundation and was spilling gas into the air. They never returned my call. ServiceMaster turned off the tank this morning.

Our cars (the truck and especially my car which was a gift sustained considerable damage) are covered by the insurance company, but there is a deductible of $500.00.

I have been in contact with the Diocese asking for prayers.

I have called our heating and air-condition company as the new unit to St. Aelred was dislodged from the house and I don’t know of its condition at the moment.

The question has been raised whether or not we should have our Trustees Meeting on the 11th. I can’t think of a better time to have a meeting. Please know that ‘not all things’ will be as I had hoped for you.

ServiceMaster is estimating that it will cost thousands to safe the buildings, not including the Hospitality Center.

I will ask my community to make a contribution, but my guess is that many of them are already at their max-contribution level.

I ask two things. One that those who have accepted Trustee positions be approved immediately so that we have the most participation possible. This may be done by email. Extraordinary circumstances require of us extraordinary measures. The only ones able to agree to my suggestion are current board members. Two, that I be allowed to move forward with necessary repairs, reducing our overall costs, knowing that we may need to take out a loan in the near future.

Your immediate response is requested.

Please keep Sister Mary Catherine and myself in your prayers, as we are the only ones on site at this moment.

With holy affection….. Abbot Michael-John

Photos and more information here.

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