| By Father Linus Klucsarits, O.S.B. Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman

The ‘Winding Road’ to Home

The journey of how I ended up as a Benedictine monk and priest at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman was a winding road.

I grew up in Pennsylvania, where I was active in my home parish as an altar boy and sacristan. After high school, I went directly into the seminary to study for the diocesan priesthood. After my college years, I felt some doubts and decided not to pursue theology studies. God blessed me with a wonderful career working with the deaf and hard of hearing, leading me to become a certified interpreter and professor of interpreter education. I still felt God’s call, however, and, in my late 30s, I entered a Benedictine community in Pennsylvania. While I loved the Benedictine life, the community was not the best fit for me. Once again, I left: I felt that, at that stage in my life, my hopes for becoming a monk and priest were over. But, by God’s grace, I kept my spiritual director, and he suggested I investigate St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman. I had never even been to the South, so I was able to experience several new states as I drove down for my first visit to St. Bernard. Once here, I found the home for which I had been looking. In 2015, I took my solemn vows. In 2017, at the age of 52, I was ordained a priest. I love my life here! Currently, I am the prior, admissions director, and novice master. I am also blessed to incorporate the other great blessing of my life by being able to offer Mass for the deaf community in the Archdiocese of Atlanta once a month. God has opened so many doors for me, and I now see He had His own plan for me all along.