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The monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey have announced their 2018 art auction to support the ministries of the monastic community. Br. Karel Soukup OSB, a monk of St. Benedict’s Abbey, offers this Advent themed painting; titled Noli Timere (do not be afraid). The work depicts the angel visiting St. Joseph in his dream (Matthew 1:20).
Br. Karel comes to the monastery from Lakin, Kansas, and is currently furthering his studies in art and music. Funds from the Abbey Art Auction will go to support the prayer and work of the monks.
We interviewed Brother Karel about his painting.
How long have you been painting, and how often do you paint?
I’ve been painting since 2014. My parents always encouraged us growing up to try different things, and my father inspired my interest in woodworking. I’ve always been interested in language and music, bringing beauty into the world. In 2014, after joining the monastery, I attended an iconography workshop, that spurred my interest and I’ve been painting ever since.
What appeals to you most about St. Joseph and why did you choose to capture this moment?
My spiritual director encouraged me to contemplate my relationship with Mary through the other men in the Gospel, and this led me to St. Joseph. He embraced his role and trusted in God with no expectation of return or reward.
What is your favorite thing about Christmas at St. Benedict’s Abbey?
My favorite thing about Christmas is that all the monks are home for the holiday. Even though our assignments sometimes take us away from common prayers and life together, you can always count on everyone to be around for Christmas and Easter.
I’m in charge of decorating the Church for holidays, and it’s a big job. The help from the brothers always reminds me that I’m not in it alone, that I have support to live up to what’s asked of me in this life.