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Assumption Abbey seeks donations for mechanical repairs

The Assumption Abbey in Richardton is calling on Catholics and community members.

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The Assumption Abbey in Richardton, N.D.
Contributed / Assumption Abbey
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RICHARDTON, N.D. — The Order of Bennedictine Monks at the Assumption Abbey are seeking assistance from Western Edge residents as Advent unfolds.

“As we prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas, may your hearts and eyes be opened to the many graces and gifts that our good God offers. Here at Assumption Abbey, we are very much aware of the blessings Christ bestows on us through your goodness, thoughtfulness, generosity and support,” Abbot Daniel Maloney stated in a letter. “We hope to repay your kindness by a life well-lived and a Benedictine witness to God's abiding presence in our world.”

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The water tank at the Abbey needs replaced.
Contributed / Assumption Abbey

Maloney noted that Advent is the special season in which believers prepare for the coming of Christ into their lives. An often helpful exercise during this season of preparation is to regularly give thanks for all of the blessings received over the past year, both large and small. An often overlooked piece for many is the simple fact of having adequate heat in the winter along with some hot water. The monks who work in the Abbey’s maintenance facilities ensure they have these basic elements of heat and water as needed, but repairs are needed.

The Abbey’s maintenance building is just to the north of the main monastery structure. It was built in 1904 when the Abbey was generating electricity for both the monastery and the town of Richardton. Over the past century plus, the building has been the central area for generating heat for the monastery (now fueled by natural gas). It also heats workshops for welding, carpentry and other types of manual craftwork.

Maloney said they’re immensely grateful to have such wonderful resources.

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Historic early 20th century landmarks do require substantial upkeep, especially when still serving the originally intended function. With that in mind, the monks’ 2022 Christmas goal is raising the funds to keep this building in decent shape. They seek to replace 27 windows in the shop, all of which have the original wooden framing. These have been repainted and repaired multiple times. Replacing the windows would conserve energy, and hopefully last for a hundred more years.

Another item that needs to be replaced is the return water tank for the boilers. This was installed in the 1930s and is leaking. Usually they just pound a wooden dowel into the tank to stop the leaks, which works because the tank is not under pressure. However, this is just a temporary fix. Hence, this tank eventually must be replaced.

Assumption Abbey
Courtyard at the Assumption Abbey
Contributed / Assumption Abbey

The third item needing attention are some water return lines running between the power-house and the main monastery building. These pipes are lying on the soil in a tunnel between the buildings and are starting to leak. Therefore, they ought to be replaced to keep the boilers efficient.

Replacing windows and water infrastructure will enable the monks to continue serving God in stewardship of all his beautiful creations for many years to come. Maloney said that in a way the physical structure of the Abbey is like a body — church as the heart and the power-house like the brain or nerve center. Every part contributes to proper functioning of the whole monastery.

“At this time, we turn to you, our friends, to ask you to continue to support us with your generosity and to assist us in our daily living of monastic life. If you are unable to assist with a financial gift, your prayers are always welcome and appreciated,” Maloney stated. “Thank you for your past support and for your continued encouragement. Be assured of our prayers and may this holy time of year and the coming of Christ help to sustain you in all the changes and difficulties that you may face.”

Donations can be made on the monastery's website at assumptionabbey.com. For more information call 701-974-3315, or visit their Facebook page.

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Br. Placid, 86, and Br. Stephen recently took advantage of our snow to go sledding.
Contributed / Assumption Abbey

Related Topics: DICKINSONRICHARDTONFAITH
Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge. His reporting focuses on Stark County government and surrounding rural communities.
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