Friday, July 13, 2012

Longing to Belong - Mount St. Benedict Centenary

Published on the occasion of the Centenary of the Mount St. Benedict Monastery in Trinidad and Tobago, "Longing to Belong" is the fascinating story of the founder of this, the first Benedictine Monastery in the Caribbean and Central America. It is a compelling and at times tragic story of a man, a human being, with all his virtues and imperfections. Peter De Caigny (Dom Mayeul De Caigny) was first and foremost an "unwavering general" in all the battles he fought for the Church and for the Benedictines. Born in Belgium in 1862, his relentless search for a place to belong brought him to several countries in Europe and to Latin America, the Caribbean and North America. He was always "Longing to Belong" somewhere else. His innate restlessness led to a constant questioning of his current position. His life was punctuated by a series of successes and accomplishments, often to see them taken away by, what some would suggest, his own making. Saddled with a headstrong personality and a lack of diplomacy, Peter De Caigny was nevertheless highly intelligent with an analytical mind. His brilliance as a scholar is attested by the publication of several books and an unpublished three-volume work on his life, which is the basis for this biography. This book, "Longing to Belong" is an attempt to understand and explain his ambition and passion as well as his actions which were often controversial and misunderstood. His extreme sensitivity led him to react strongly to anything and anyone who criticised his good intentions or attacked his honour. Peter sought the solitude of being in harmony with nature. His mind was in a constant state of flux between solitude and activity. He was a leader who took on challenges as they presented themselves, while his soul, his inner being, longed for solitude... Painstakingly researched, beautifully written, fully illustrated, this book is a treasure for everybody interested in Caribbean history, Catholic religious history, or just looking for inspiration in the successful lives of those who have gone before us ...

Photograph: Fr. John Pereira, the Abbot of Mt. St. Benedict, with the first copy of "Longing to Belong"

ISBN: 978-9768242013
6 x 9", softcover, fully illustrated

Available online at Amazon and Barnes&Noble