Monk Profiles: Br. Samuel Springuel
I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area, even coming to our school for grades 7 thru 12. I've also known that I had a religious vocation since I was 4, basically as long as I have a continuous memory.
I always hated the Washington weather though, too hot in the summer and not cold enough in the winter, and so headed to Vermont for college and Maine for graduate school. The weather in New England was much more to my liking. My plan was to stay well north of the Mason-Dixon line and so I applied to join the community at St. Anselm in Manchester, NH. (I also had family connections there, so the place seemed like a natural fit.) God, however, had other plans, and the community there turned me down. Shocked, and a little depressed, I ended up back home where I reconnected with my high school alma mater and the community here while working at the University of Maryland. I ended up joining the community in May of 2012, when my contract with UMD was up, and while I still hate the Washington weather, I also feel that this community is where I belong. God knew what he was doing, even when I didn't.
Much of my time these days is taken up with studying for ordination, but I relish the opportunities to get my hands dirty and do something constructive around the monastery. It may just be a token gesture, but the physical labor makes me feel like I'm living "by the labor of [my] hands" (RB 48:8).