October 2017

Sunday 1st. This morning, sunlight was touching the scaffolding on the south, front side of the future repair shop. Pigeons and starlings can be seen there sometimes, other times no. Crows and pigeons seem to be more numerous now that the barn swallows have more or less disappeared.

Brother Glic says the Generalate in Rome is taking resumés for new porter, and suggests Léo go…but Léo feels Glic would be more suitable!

Our procession leaving Mass this morning was a bit more peppy, with Father Léopold Leblanc present, as well as an aspirant, arrived yesterday for a month, happy news. He is staying in the room which once belonged to Father Adrien.

Monday 2nd. A group of African Priests serving Parishes in Canada has arrived for a stay. A nice group.

Brother Glic managed to get his photos done and his Passport Renewal Application accepted this morning, in the Miramichi.

Glic gathered some apples so Nurse Maxine at the clinic can distribute them to minor hockey players in town. Her goal is to encourage healthy eating habits. The first set of apples he collected and stored disappeared, so he went back and picked another set.

Tuesday 3rd. In Dieppe, Brother Henry has done a bit of house-keeping, sending back to the monastery things he no longer needs or wants.

Wednesday 4th. Father Innocent has brought in a little trailer load of pumpkins from his garden.

Thursday 5th. On the third floor, a little cache of equipment awaits John’s return, probably this weekend. John has been re-attaching plain, white ceiling tiles which had begun fallen from the ceiling one by one, using a portable compressor to power an air stapler.

Friday 6th. The first calving of October took place. It was a small but peppy bull, whose brash mooing, surprisingly loud, did not add to everyone’s day.  With Cortlands and McIntoshes weighing down some branches, Father Clovis has decided this Monday will be the moment to begin an apple U-Pick. Up to now, folks have been buying $5 bags of apples, and lots of them.

With time the sight of the new repair shop becomes more familiar, its colors fitting in with the soft grey of the surrounding buildings. It will be interesting to see how they install the door; the entry is unusually high to allow passage of tractors.

Saturday 7th. Visitors from Gaspésie have arrived for a stay. Three and a half hour drive, they say. Dom Bede arrived at Mount Saint Bernard Abbey in England today. To judge from the forecast, weather over there will be cloudy, eternally. Mount Saint Bernard is the monastery Bede originally entered, and today was the 55th anniversary of his receiving the monastic habit there.

Sunday 8th.  Father Clovis was working around the apple juice making facility this afternoon, getting things ready for this year’s production.

For lunch there was a visitor all the way from Waltham, Massachusetts. Father Roger cooked for us and the guests this weekend, making for satisfied palettes all around. Someone even tossed a few lobster our way, which helped satisfy some, depending on how they feel about biting into crustaceans.

Monday 9th. With day after day of total humidity, wood begins to creak, and the benches, the stalls we occupy in choir are creaking more than us, for sure.

Thanksgiving Day offered soft sunlight in the morning, and visitors were enchanted by the walk out front, the trees.

Tuesday 10th. Father Innocent spoke to us of the conference he gave to the Priests from across Canada assembled here last week. He spoke to them of the Holy Spirit, and of Mercy. Parish priests are also leaders so Innocent also spoke about that and how leadership styles, each distinctive, come out in everyday life.

Wednesday 11th. Apple juice is getting made. Corn is being harvested. With a tinge of frost brightening metal roofs in the morning, work has been stepping up on the new repair shop. The owner of the construction company has been around, with his hard hat on: a nice, big fellow.

Thursday 12th. A few hours before sunset, it was warm and bright outside. One of Clovis’ friends walked slowly through the apple orchard back to the guesthouse, gazing at the trees. This year, there will be one pressing of juice only, it turns out.

Friday 13th. Father Clovis has gone North for a bit, near home. He is from Poksudie, which is both an island and a village. The Road onto the island is called ‘Chemin Mystérieux’; I’ve known local folk to head up there just to see this place they’d not heard of previously, and which is said to be distinctive. They were not disappointed. (Pokemouche, a similar-sounding place, people do know about.)

Father Roger had to go to Moncton for a chicken producers’ meeting today.

Saturday 14th. This morning the sky was dark grey, very dark. Through the window you heard wind in place of birds: the time of year some monks find best for this way of life, is at our door.

A tin of Quality Street chocolates materialised last week. Now, the worst is over for those chocolates. As has been for ever, certain flavors are all that’s let over, in modest abundance : those too sweet; and toffees. I decided to try these and let you know what I thought. Orange Cream: trying one for the first time in decades, I found it better than I remembered. More chocolatey. On to the Toffee Penny: quite good. Could it be that in this fast-paced age people just don’t have the time, for Toffee?

Sunday 15th. The shop has now been done up with the same siding inside as out.

As though to beckon back our Good Ol’ Abbot (two days more), we had ‘Cajun and country music at lunch, and a beautiful Gospel Song, “Just A Closer Walk With Thee”.

Monday 16th. One of our cooks is on her last week here, before trying something new. It is a moment that gives pause: a decade and a half passes quickly; we are blessed with fine people around us.

A friend left several 50-pound bags of potatoes for us as a gift, at the front door. He was about to leave when Father Roger saw him and said hello…this time: in the past, we could never figure out where the potatoes were coming from.

Wednesday 18th. The repair-shop door is in place and it’s nice. It even has windows. It was installed one section at a time, and will roll open using a chain. I asked Alphonse what sort of heating there would be in the shop and he said he thought it would be propane.

Dom Bede returned to us today, so now we no longer have to answer the question, “When’s Bede coming back?” All seems to have gone well on his travels, though in London some were complaining it was too warm.

Thursday 19th. In the kitchen, there are yet more boxes of this year’s tomatoes. A lovely red. On the farm, a cow has been bellowing from time to time, for no apparent reason, a very loud cry. Most often, we never hear a ‘moo’ from our cows.

Friday 20th. In Chapter, Dom Bede gave a first presentation of the recent General Chapter in Assisi. This, 2017 chapter was a success, it seems. More than is usually the case, practical solutions were found to specific problems around the world. Sensitivity and dialogue between the superiors were at a high level. Soon, we will look at the Chapter’s resumes of house reports which Bede brought back, and handed out to us, in a little dossier.

It was a poignant goodbye to Linda as we shared with her the final lunch she’ll prepare for us. She was smiling. Joline, whom Linda has been training in the kitchen, also joined in. Linda was able to share on her iPad a brief video of sunrise over the water at her home in Cap Lumière.

Saturday 21st. Our aspirant has been taking advantage of the scriptorium for reading and reflection. The scriptorium is long, relatively narrow with huge windows, nice chairs alongside them. Brother Léo can be seen there at more or less the same times each day.

Brother Henry going to visit the new garage (the building on top of the hill).


Sunday 22nd. Brother Henry joined us today, and was able to get out and see the new repair shop, close to completion. He wanted to visit the cemetery to pray, but the grass there was wet yet again, this time from the morning frost. Henry travels in sandals, year round.

September 2017

Monday 4th. Father Roger made some tomato juice from garden tomatoes today. I asked a guest how she’d enjoyed her long weekend here. ‘Not long enough’, she said. Others stopping by, or staying: gentlemen of the road; New Englanders reconnecting with Canadian roots; people from Northern NB returning to rediscover a monastery from their childhood.… Continue Reading

August 2017

Tuesday 1st. For the moment we’re fewer than usual. Brother Stephan has left the organ to sing Lauds and Vespers with us for a bit. Having him solo on hymns is a bit of a refresher course on ways to interpret a given melody, as he wrote the music to a lot of the hymns.… Continue Reading

July 2017

Saturday 1st. The mosquitoes assembled for a Canada Day fly-by as the calves were being fed this morning. Stirring. Dom Bede for his part was one province west this Canada Day, on the first leg of his journey to the Lac Saint Jean region of Québec. Sunday 2nd. This afternoon, some folks could be heard… Continue Reading

June 2017

Thursday 1st. I congratulated one of the workers on a nice job, and asked his family name: MacIssac. Our monastic guests arrived in time for Vespers. Dom Bede slid in some extra stalls. Suddenly, our common prayer received new vigor. Drinks were served with Supper (a chicken fricot) and a fellow from France was able… Continue Reading

May 2017

  Monday 1st. The new Vespers books are making a good debut over-all. With every second Psalm now in English our Office becomes more universal. As the English is a version we’ve never sung before, we also gain a new way of breaking open the Scriptures. Tuesday 2nd. The cats were seen with the ground… Continue Reading

April 2017

Saturday 1st. We discussed the final question preparatory to the house report, this time on formation. To ease the snow melt, one of the tractors plowed a path for drainage behind the guest-house. Later on, two barn cats explored the scene, and the smell of the earth. Sunday 2nd. Brother Léo’s reservation book is just… Continue Reading

March 2017

Wednesday 1st. Ash Wednesday Mass went well. Our truck got a little help from Garage Thebeau today. We presently have two vehicles for the community plus one, a second pick up, for the farm. We tried leasing our car rather than buying it this time. Next year with the end of the lease we’ll see… Continue Reading

February 2017

Wednesday 1st. Our dump truck got a new coat of paint and is now blue. One of our farm hands is preparing to drive to Nova Scotia to sell a young bull at an auction there tomorrow. Spring is a ways away, but today two of our youngest calves were gamboling about near their hutches… Continue Reading

January 2017

Sunday 1st. Dom Bede extended his best wishes at Chapter this morning, then the monks saluted each other, making their way around our round table. 2017 Calendars were distributed. Dom Bede outlined the principal dates for the year, which include trips to Italy more than once or twice, and even a trip to California. Monday… Continue Reading

Our Lady of Calvary Abbey
11505 Route 126, Rogersville NB, E4Y 2N9
Tel : 506 775 2331
E-mail : CalvaryAbbey@aol.com

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