The role of Brother Pachomius Alvarado, O.S.B. at St. Bernard Abbey in Cullman, Alabama, is to bake classic cinnamon raisin monk's bread—a recipe that has been passed down from many monks before him. “From the very beginning, the monks have baked bread,” Alvarado says. “Our life—the work that I do here—these things are not my will; they’re the will of our superior. It’s important in the community, in this moment, for me to do this; to bake this bread,” Crux reports.
Cuban-born Brother Alvarado had a career in marketing and public relations before entering the monastery. He did not know before about Ora et Labora, the Benedictine Latin motto "prayer and work," but now he fully embraces the Rule of St. Benedict and counts prayer as the secret ingredient in his popular bread.