The Pluscarden Community Retreat was preached during October this year by Fr. Martin McLaughlin, monk of Prinknash Abbey.
In his youth, Fr. Martin had lived some years with his family just on the other side of the Vale of Pluscarden. He often came to Mass and other services at the Abbey. While still a teenager he clearly heard the call of God to become a monk. The monastic authorities at the time felt it would be inappropriate for him to enter at Pluscarden, with his family always so close by. So he was recommended to try instead at Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire: the monastery from which Pluscarden was founded in 1948.
He did enter Prinknash, and he persevered; making solemn profession of monastic vows, and being ordained Priest. Now Fr. Martin acts as bursar at Prinknash, as well as performing the countless other tasks that typically fall to the lot of a useful member of any monastic community.
Divine Providence so arranged it that Fr. Martin was with us, and preaching at our Sunday Mass, on very anniversary of his departure from here to enter the Prinknash Community, 32 years ago.
He was able, during his retreat talks, to mention many items of history and experience which are held in common by our two communities.This chance to reconnect with old friends was much appreciated by all.