Monks' Marketplace passes one-year mark

Tina Bridenstine
The Shawnee News-Star
Brother Damian Whalen, O.S.B., holds a knotted rosary the marketplace is selling. He and Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen, O.S.B., have recently started making the rosaries.

In January, The Monks' Marketplace at St. Gregory's Abbey celebrated one year of being in business.

The shop originally opened on Jan. 15, 2020, located just under the clock tower at the abbey, 1900 W. MacArthur.

Brother Damian Whalen, O.S.B., said despite having to close around March and April of 2020, and then a couple other times due to COVID-19, they've done well in their first year.

“In spite of that, we've had really good success,” he said.

Jan Pasienski, one of two oblates who works at the Monks Marketplace – the other being Alma Sleeper – credited dedicated customers who have contributed to their success in the first year.

“We have people who keep coming back,” she said.

The shop continues to sell a variety of items, including products from about a dozen different religious communities.

At the beginning of February, Whalen said, they started selling truffles made by Brigittine Monks in Oregon.

“I try to add new stuff all the time,” he said.

They have also added some religious articles, though he said they don't sell many, since people tend to look for those at specific times of the year.

Whalen and Abbot Lawrence Stasyszen, O.S.B. had been making knotted rosaries to sell, and Brother George Hubl, O.S.B., has been making soaps.

In the fall of 2020, they also added honey and honey dispensers.

They abbey has about 400 bee hives, which they are hoping to gradually increase. Right now, the hives are in California helping pollinate the almond groves, but honey is still in stock at the marketplace, and Whalen said there should be a new batch around August.

There are also farm fresh eggs for sale from the abbey's chickens, and in the summer they plan to add blackberry jam made at the abbey.

The Monks' Marketplace is open from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday. It is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Truffles made by Brigittine Monks in Oregon are among some items new to The Monks' Marketplace at St. Gregory's Abbey.

Tina Bridenstine is a reporter for The Shawnee News-Star. She can be reached by email at tina.bridenstine@news-star.com.