Sunday 1st. It is a unique feeling to see neighbours rolling in, very early in the day, for the blessing of the Easter Fire leading up to Eucharist. Everyone in assistance seems more present; more implicated then. Father Bede presided, and for the homily, read Saint John Chrysostom’s Easter Homily: “Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave.” Later in the day we celebrated Mass again, and the feeling of life and its mystery continued through the day.
Monday 2nd. In Chapter this morning, Brother Stephan asked us to look back through the just-past liturgical celebrations, and got our comments on how it went. This gave us the chance to talk about additional aspects of Easter 2018. Around the corner from the Chapter room was tacked a very nice Easter message from our neighbour, Mère Alfreda.
Tuesday 3rd. Early spring here is so nuanced that at times it seems there’s nothing in it; no spring. The crows seem to feel spring more than anyone, and they seem delighted when there is sun, as they glide among the big trees.
Wednesday 4th. This morning, there was a smell of turpentine downstairs, paint brushes being cleaned. Our technician was by and installed the new router. Brother Glic served him some coffee and a piece of Simone’s excellent Easter cake. One of our neighbours finds it striking that a new superior will be named in a few days, or should be, and none of us knows who it will be. He says it’s like something from the movies.
Thursday 5th. The new router is working great, and the guesthouse in particular now receives a much more reasonable internet signal. Brother Henry welcomed friends at Mass in Dieppe this morning. One business man friend of his goes to Mass often at the residence, where the chapel is extended in size twice a week by sliding back the wall dividing it from the TV room / living room. At the very back, the kitchen and cafeteria are visible through a long window.
Friday 6th. Today, Brother Stephan finalised the sale of our dairy quota which means, we are getting out of dairy, as had been discussed and decided over the last several months. The last cows we’ll milk here will exit the parlor, then our barn, for good, the end of the month.
Saturday 7th. A starling swooped down to a snowmelt puddle and took a bath, another starling followed, then several. Must feel good, after winter. The water filter in our refectory is now redone, and up and running. John is by, working on the fluorescent lights in the kitchen.
Sunday 8th. The ice at the edge of the long drive has more or less melted, thankfully. The drive was very smooth and slippery recently. We’ve opened the box of the 600 gram chocolate squirrel, Easter treat from Mistassini. It’s a big squirrel. And all week I’ve been thinking: that squirrel doesn’t know what’s ahead of it. On the box is a striking, digitally-drawn Trappist monk, one of a series of monks they invented to put on their boxes. Does this help sell? The happy monks each embody some of the humility and fun of being a monk.
Monday 9th. Today we celebrated the Solemnity of the Annunciation, postponed from Palm Sunday March 25th, and after Mass congratulated Bede on the 15th anniversary of his Abbatial blessing, which boasted nice guests from Coalville and beyond. Just before afternoon work, Father Innocent and Brother Stephan were discussing an exhaust upgrade for the greenhouse, whose wood stove is more-than-retro.
Tuesday 10th. In Chapter, Steve outlined the month in dairy, which he has orchestrated well. Our exit from dairy. On two successive Thursdays, auctioneers will arrive and take away cattle, the last night being April 26th.
Wednesday 11th. The milking parlour has high windows: lights on at night for milking, timered lights in the rest of the barn, it’s pretty. It’ll be strange not to see that. But it won’t be the first time lights have gone out for us…or on. The racoons were on heavy prowl a few hours before dawn, sniffing, sniffing. They seem almost like different animals when they re-appear, famished, in the spring.
Thursday 12th. Because we are making changes to the dairy, rumors have begun spreading that other changes are happening, which are not. I suppose everyone feels the same about their town, but the speed with which rumor becomes fact in Rogersville seems without compare.
Friday 13th. Steve posted the notice of the farm equipment auction which will follow the sale of the cattle. In May, equipment will be lined up along the long country road north of and parallel to the monastery. Internet bidding will be possible. Over 125 auction lots, professional auctioneer company. From Fredericton.
Saturday 14th. Steve posted the schedule for Dom Clément and Dom Raphaël’s visit, starting tomorrow. It is well-organised for a short visit / short visits. The new superior will be named by Clément in Chapter after Lauds Tuesday.
Sunday 15th. We had a nice meal together with our two visitors and heard a bit about the fire the monastery of Rougemont experienced last year. It affected their apple orchard operation especially, though they also lost for example the foundation cross; when a monastery is founded, the founders bring a cross with them. Ours is in a little reliquary in the scriptorium.