Royal Visit to Glenstal

On Thursday 18th May, Glenstal was visited by His Royal Highness, Rasak Ojeifo Isesele II,  Onjie of the Kingdom of Ewu, Nigeria.

Situated 100 kilometres north of Benin City, Ewu is the capital of Nigeria’s Edo State. Glenstal’s links with Ewu stem from the foundation by three monks of Glenstal of the monastery now known as St Benedict’s Priory in Ewu, in 1979. Many members of the Glenstal community have served in Ewu over the years, including two who died and were buried there.The monastery in Ewu became independent in 2006, but strong links continue between the two communities. At the present time, Br Justin Osih from Ewu is living in Glenstal, while completing postgraduate studies at the University of Limerick. The Onijie wanted to honour those links by visiting Glenstal during his visit to Ireland.

In the absence of Fr Abbot, His Royal Highness was welcomed to Glenstal by the Prior and Sub-Prior, Fr Senan and Fr Christopher, along with Ewu’s own Br Justin. Fr Christopher was a member of the Ewu community for a time in the early 1990s, and as Abbot of Glenstal was also the superior of Ewu between 1992 and 2006. The Onojie was particularly happy to renew his acquaintance with Fr Christopher during his short visit to Glenstal.

After lunch in the monastery refectory, His Royal Highness signed the Visitors’ Book before being brought on a guided tour of the monastery buildings, including the school, guesthouse, gardens, icon chapel and church. Following afternoon tea in the monastery it was time for the Onojie to depart for Dublin, but not before Fr Christopher took the opportunity to make a small presentation to His Royal Highness to commemorate his visit to Glenstal.