tithing barn at the monastery.jpgThe Dominican nuns at Our Lady of Grace Monastery (North Guilford, CT) lost their barn this past winter with the constant snow fall. The old barn collapsed under the weight of lots of snow –it’s poor, old legs couldn’t bear the torment of heavy snow and ice. But the monastery needs a barn.

Since the nuns have no sustained interaction with the outside world due to being papally enclosed, the ever competent grounds keeper and building supervisor, Ryan, decided to build an old fashion tithe barn that’s expected to last 600 years. No nails will be used to keep the building together. And, all the wood was harvested from the monastery property and trimmed to need by Ryan and a local friend who’s graciously sharing his equipment and time.

Imagine a true hand-made building lasting 600 years! Human wisdom guided by Divine inspiration supported by the strength of friendship builds things to last.
What is a tithe barn? Just was it sounds like: a place to hold tithes. The Church collected a voluntary 10th of the village’s produced in a barn and reserved for those in need and for the clergy upkeep. Giving a voluntary sacrifice of a 10th of the agriculture to God is spoken of in the Torah and again in the Book of Acts and 1 & 2 Corinthians. Lest you think tithing is only for Jews and Christians, tithing is practiced by the ancient Babylonians, the Muslims and Sikhs. The tithing barn was the medieval way of providing for the poor or for those who faced personal tragedy plus churchmen. However, the monastery doesn’t collect a neighbors tithes it does, however, need a place to store stuff for the monastery’s agriculture work and building projects.
More pictures of the monastery.