A group of
students in a writing class at Saint Martinís University took on the
mission to interview and write essays about the Benedictine monks who
live at the Saint Martinís Abbey, a monastery on the university campus.
The students wanted to learn more about the men who live in the abbey
that is located yards from the main campus building. Completing all
essays in the collection became a three-year project of multiple classes
and eventually involved twenty- five monks, three faculty, and seventeen
undergraduate students of all class ranks, freshman to senior, many with
jobs and other extracurricular activities beyond their full-time
academic schedules. Two student writers led the project: Education
major Stacey Larson who shepherded the first groups in the initial
stages, and English major Katie Hawkins, leading the last group to
finish remaining essays and edit the collection for final production.
As they heard and shaped into essays the life stories of the monks, the
student writers dreamed of publication. One Rule, Many Men: The Monks
of Saint Martinís Abbey is the result of that dream and their labor.
The essay collection recounts monksí stories about families, friends,
and life events, stories that bear witness to the defining moments in
their lives, including their decision to join the monastic life. Their
journeys of discovery and spirituality, their reflections and musings,
are inspiring accounts of religious faith that uncover the wealth of
wisdom, experience, and diversity within their community and within the
Benedictine monastic spirit.