"So even living in…more physically poor conditions, cold conditions due to winter, has really made us rely upon Him [God] even more," Fr. Martin continued.
"There's been a lot of graces for the monks of the monastery. There's actually a great peace and joy among the monks despite the great trials and hardships."
The monks started brewing beer in 2012 and sold "Birra Nursia" to support the monastery, and sales expanded into the U.S. in 2016. The monks brew two types of Belgian-style ales, "Blonde" and "Extra."
While the brewery suffered little damage from the earthquake, the poor condition of the buildings surrounding it mean that the monks cannot yet use it for brewing. Beer is still available for purchase online, however, with proceeds going to the monastery rebuilding effort and 15 percent going to the needs of local residents "who lost their livelihood because of the earthquake."
"We're anxious to get back in there," Fr. Martin said, noting that the monks hope to start small-batch brewing again soon. The beer is a pride of the town, he added.
"It's very important for us, not only for financial reasons," he said, "but also because of the sign and the symbol that it gives to the town and to the community." Local restaurant owners who sell the beer have been asking the monks when they will start brewing again.
If the monks could come back to the town, that "gives a very tangible sign of hope to the town and to the people," he added.
The community's needs are both material and spiritual, he noted.
"I would say the town needs continued hope and faith, that is, the challenge for them now is to not lose that patience, perseverance, and endurance and to really trust in God and to move forward and trust that He has a bigger plan for, really, the care of their souls."
In addition to the clean-up and rebuilding efforts, the town also needs "tourism," he said, an important source of revenue for businesses before last year's disasters but one that has been put on hold as many businesses have not yet re-opened.
Those interested in donating to the monastery's rebuilding efforts can either do so at the website www.nursia.org or through the purchase of Birra Nursia.
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"We live in a Western world that has many struggles and trials, and in many ways is collapsing, at least perhaps morally. Now around us, very physically, it has collapsed," Fr. Martin noted.
"And we now have an opportunity to renew our faith and to rebuild with that spirit of centering everything around the worship of God, the most important thing for us."