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National Catholic Reporter,  July 16, 2004

Trappist priest as instructor of Zen in Massachusetts

Trappist priest Kevin Hunt (70), on his knees, is installed by his master
Jesuit Fr. Robert Kennedy, as the first American Trappist instructor of Zen.

The ceremony took place at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, on April 17, 2004.  Under the "protection" of Buddha (statue in the back)  and filing in to the cadence of a Japanese drum, the procession reached the Abbey's Chapter Room.  There the installment was made: after the imposition of hands (picture above) whereby Kennedy made Hunt his successor, the latter received the "Robe of Liberation" - a black Japanese kimono - and his teaching staff.

Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, General Superior of the Jesuits, wrote a letter praising Hunt's achievement as "one that we can all celebrate in thanksgiving to God." According to Kolvenbach, it is through Zen meditation that Catholics can become aware of the loving presence of God.

Hunt predicts that Buddhism will change Catholicism.


Posted December 26, 2004


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