New Melleray Abbey, Dubuque, Iowa
An old friend, Neil McCarthy, has decided to enter the Trappist monastery at New Melleray Abbey, just south of Dubuque, Iowa.
Neil, currently a Professor in Urban Planning at the University of Minnesota, plans on taking Holy Orders after "time, reflection, and study." While time passes he will either make coffins, or farm. These are the two main sources of income for the Abbey.
Neil and I made several retreats together to New Melleray when we were young men, and often joked about "what it would take" to get us to sign up.
Over the years Neil and I continued to joke about it, but obviously, Neil's reasons took a serious turn and now, late in life, "the joke's on me," he says.
Neil concluded his e-mailed announcement by saying, "Okay, Danny Boy, what will it take to get you up here?-!"
Well, Neil, after long and prayerful consideration, here are my Top 10 Reasons for Entering a Monastery:
10. I can stop casting pearls and votes before swine.
9. I can cancel my subscription to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
8. Bill Clinton can stop "feeling my pain."
7. I can tell the Koch Brothers to go frack themselves and they won't be able to find me.
6. I'll never have to watch The Notebook again.
5. There are no "praise bands" in monasteries.
4. The Universe will become smaller than the Berryville Town Square--and better maintained.
3. I'll miss John Edward's announcement of "God's Plan for ME!"
2. Local Constitutional Scholars can wax on about the sacredness of the 2nd Amendment and "them other annoying suggestions" without seeing my look of stupefaction.
And the number one reason for entering a Monastery is...
1. Ann Coulter is the last woman on earth.
Neil, God bless you, and good luck!