November 26, 2005

Faithful investigator One Priest’s Journey

Times Leader

By CHRIS KNAP Knight Ridder Newspapers

SANTA ANA, Calif. — In bright sunlight, Patrick Wall walked in darkness.

Lost in the secular world.

After 11 years as a Benedictine monk — six as a priest — he had renounced his vows and left St. John’s Abbey.

Disheartened by sexually abusive monks, restricted by rigid superiors and convinced his vow of celibacy would fail, Wall finally won his freedom from the Rule of Benedict.

It was the scariest possible outcome for a man who once considered the abbey his life.

At St. John’s, everything was provided: food, clothing, health care, cars. Now he had none of those.

His training was in Latin and Italian, in divine texts and church history. Now it seemed of little use.

“When you leave the monastery you are completely disconnected,” Wall says. “You have no idea where you are going to go, what you are going to do, or even if you can fit in.”

Posted by kshaw at November 26, 2005 07:48 AM