SILVER CITY, New Mexico, February 21, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Religious brothers in a small southwest mining town dubbed “The Pro-Life Monks” import, roast, grind, package and sell premium grade specialty coffee so good it’s become the “Official Coffee” of the Washington D.C. annual March for Life.
Brother Bernard Marino entered Our Lady of Guadalupe Benedictine Monastery 24 years ago. He is Guest Master of the monastery, as well as its quality control “Dean of Coffee.”
Forty monks in Silver City — plus many young postulants and a hundred men on a waiting list to visit — follow St. Benedict's spirituality of work and prayer. And to keep their monastery financially afloat, they make coffee – Delicious whole bean or fresh ground gourmet Arabica coffee.
“Since Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Unborn,” Br. Bernard told LifeSiteNews, “we are honored when our coffee customers call us ‘The Pro-Life Monks!’”
Br. Bernard explained that the monastery prays fervently for the world to respect the sanctity of innocent human life. “In hidden cloisters throughout the world, Religious Brothers and Sisters are praying and sacrificing themselves in reparation for the sins of abortion which continually cry to heaven for vengeance,” he said.
Added to the brothers’ prayer is also public witness.
“In 2009, I asked my Superior, Father Cyprian, if he would consider sending some of our brothers to the Washington D.C. March for Life,” he recalled. “I said that we could help offer the Mass for the many heroic pilgrims who brave the bad weather every year and give witness to the atrocities of abortion.”
The experience was so positive for all that Fr. Cyprian decided to send brothers to the March every year. And, of course, the brothers could not go without bringing their coffee. They have now become the coffee provider for all official March for Life events, including the famous Rose Dinner.
Saving babies with 'Cafe4Life'
The brothers are now offering pro-life advocates a fundraising opportunity in a ministry they call “Cafe4Life.”
A priest at the March came up with the idea to make a “Pro-Life Coffee” in which part of the proceeds could go to support crisis pregnancy centers. Brother Bernard submitted the vision to his superior, and the idea took off.
“The concept is simple,” the Brother explained. “Parishes throughout the country have millions of coffee drinkers. Each parish can take orders for Cafe4Life after Mass and sell it at a reasonable profit for their own pro-life ministry.”
“Since our coffee is exceptionally good we are certain that little by little, weekly parish orders will increase,” he added. “With the increased sales, the pro-life funding will also increase!”
Brother Bernard said the market for coffee is huge. “According to my own rough calculations from statistics I researched online, eleven billion dollars are spent by pro-lifers every year on coffee!”
Right now, much of that market goes to abortion-supporting businesses.
“If we assume that half of coffee drinkers are pro-life, then companies like Starbuck’s — which made 22 billion dollars last year alone — are making much of their revenues from pro-lifers!” he said.
“Let’s try to funnel some of that money away from anti-life and anti-family coffee companies like Starbuck’s, and let’s put it where lives can be saved and mothers in need can be encouraged to keep their precious gifts from heaven!”
The motto of Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Cafe4Life Pro-Life Coffee is, “Saving the Unborn & Helping Mothers in Need with Your Coffee Dollars.”
A dedicated prolifer, Br. Bernard worked for five years as a New York Crisis Pregnancy Center counselor. As a sidewalk counselor Br. Bernard remembers vividly how he had the honor of being a part of a team of counselors who encouraged a young mother away from an impending abortion decision.
“It was the first of many babies to be saved!” the Brother delightedly told LifeSiteNews. “I was even blessed to be at this beautiful little girl’s first birthday party and to witness the closing down of that Abortion Center!”
A video tells the story of coffee roasting at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery. It was on a trip to a sister monastery in Brazil where Brother Bernard first learned about coffee. That Brazilian monastery had a coffee plantation surrounding it, and Brother Bernard enjoyed the full flavored coffee before praying matins with his Brazilian brothers at 3 a.m.!
Br. Bernard stayed at the monastery in Brazil for a month, and the monks there taught him the basics of roasting coffee. Upon his return, with the blessing of his superior he sought out an experienced Master Roaster, Bernie Digman, Owner and Operator of Milagro Coffee y Espresso in Las Cruces.
For eight months, Digman taught the brothers the fine art and “nuanced” skill. “Roasting is like any culinary pursuit, it’s a life-long endeavor,” Digman explained.
The monks in Brazil connected the brothers in New Mexico with a small family plantation to import the highest grade coffee beans. That particular plantation won first prize in the Rio de Janeiro Specialty Coffee Competition. “That’s like winning first prize for T-Bone steaks in Texas,” Brother Bernard shared.
The devoted Brother explained that the high altitude of the monastery helps the beans develop faster, for amazing, smooth flavor. The men devote themselves to quickly filling orders so as to keep the coffee ultra fresh. Orders are roasted and delivered within just a few days.
Brother Bernard says Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Cafe4Life Pro-Life Coffee is one of the best you will ever taste. Individual customers order online, and parishes set up wholesale pro-life fundraising accounts by email ([email protected]).
The coffee business is helping the monks, pro-lifers, and even the town where the monastery is located.
“The Rule of St. Benedict is slowly but surely transforming this once one-horse town into a little City of God, the way the Benedictine Monks of old transformed all of Europe!” Br. Bernard told LifeSiteNews.
He says that the monastery is perhaps one of the fastest growing religious communities of men in the U.S., with the average age of the monks in their mid-twenties, and more men considering joining all the time. “We are obliged to keep building new rooms for all of our new vocations arriving continually!”