Br. Cassian

I was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, in a Methodist family. From my maternal grandfather I learned to love scripture and I saw what a deep loving relationship with Jesus Christ was like. I often say that beginning as a Hoosier Methodist I came to a Trappist monastery in Georgia as directly as I could. Most would say it was not especially direct.

I studied anthropology, French, and comparative literature at Indiana University; I learned the Montessori method and worked in Montessori classrooms for a number of years; I also learned to teach young children to play piano with the Suzuki method; I completed a doctorate in early childhood education at the University of Georgia; I taught in the Department of Early Childhood Education at Georgia College where I met many wonderful people who learned constructive ways to teach young children.

Clearly, along the way I became Roman Catholic. I served as a music minister (playing piano) in my parish in Macon, Georgia, for many years. All these activities I loved.  But there was something else going on in my life.

In my twenties I had been introduced to the work of Thomas Merton by a good friend of mine. He also introduced me to the Liturgy of the Hours. So, for much of my subsequent life I prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, usually getting up early to pray the Office of Readings before the sun rose. Prayer was a thread that bound my life together.

Slowly, after many side paths, I realized I was definitely drawn to give my life more completely to God. And so I came here.