Tuesday 1st. Calendars were distributed in Chapter, after we exchanged New Year’s greetings. As you go around the room, and encounter such a nice variety of people, we seem more than seven. A quiet and dramatic and solemn and relaxed day.

Wednesday 2nd. The geothermal pipes sprung another small leak. Late at night, our friend Father Patrick Ngwenya arrived from Zimbabwe for a week’s visit. Patrick is secretary of the Archbishop of Harare.

Thursday 3rd. Suddenly, there we were at the Sisters for lunch, which was nice. These outings are also about the only time of the year we stand together with them in choir and chant the Psalms. Some incense was burning. Next we moved down their neat corridor, with colorful tiles of yesteryear, into their refectory. Their refectory is above ground, ours in our basement, with high windows. As we ate and talked, laughter was not infrequent. Conversation topics at the corner I was sitting at included Liberace, and death, and age of first experiencing being called to religious life: 13, for the Sister I was talking with.

Friday 4th. We have our own gas station, diesel and regular, but the supplier has not been by, we’re empty and go to town.

Saturday 5th. In the woods far behind the monastery, cut wood lays in impressively neat piles, some of them quite high. Once-densely-packed sections of the forest which have gone through selective cutting, look the better for having gotten a trim.

Sunday 6th. There were some people at mass for Sunday, not a lot. It is as though life is just beginning to stir again after the holidays. 

Monday 7th. The monks continue to receive the odd Christmas card from Auld Acquaintance. The three-story chicken barn is being prepared for the next flock. Last week’s chronicle, with its mention of Liberace, has elicited some unexpected responses. I guess that, like Elvis after him, Liberace meant very different things to different people.

Tuesday 8th. Dom Bede celebrated his birthday today, with a four layer cake. Brother Leo made his way to the Miramichi for some tests. When it was time to go, a man older still than Leo, who was talking with him for the first time, did not want to end the conversation so we could go. He told me: “All my life! I’ve relished talking to Priests: you can ask them anything, they are frank, they will tell you what they think.”

Wednesday 9th. Brother Stephan picked up a rental truck as we wait for insurance to come through for the one written off through no fault of our own. He had to choose between a Dodge and a Chevrolet, and chose Dodge.

Thursday 10th. Snow is affecting, when the snow is as bountiful as it has been this week. Today in Dieppe, Brother Henry got out to see a cardiologist for a check-up, and on the way out of the Dumont hospital we saw there had been an accident; people hoping to careen through life and up off-ramps. Amid real health challenges, Henry is patient, open-minded; interested in how people are doing. 

Friday 11th. Brother Leo is reporting dreams, not bad, not good, but incomprehensible. Today was the funeral of Eloi, a brother of our late Father Adrien Bordage. It was in Acadieville, a short ways east of here. Eloi was, among his other gifts, a particularly good grand-dad, with always something to do, a story to tell, a game to play; the written tribute to him listed off games they would play, including “kick the can”; I’ve never seen adult grand-children so grieved and so obviously thankful. An impressive stranger came up to me after the funeral and expressed thanks for the recent French translations of the chronicle, which he never misses.  

Saturday 12th. The fox crossed the lake this morning.  The fox is an animal I like to see, but as happens when creatures cross the winter lake, he looked a little hard done by.

Sunday 13th. Just before Eucharistic adoration after Vespers, a wisp of candle smoke was made vivid near the ceiling, by the powerful light directly over the altar, which bulb we had to get from Asia. At lunch, we listened to Gustav Leonhardt on You Tube. He plays so well, as though he were setting the world to rights. Bede didn’t fare so badly himself with his homily this morning. I remembered how our procurator general would smile to hear Bede preach, when he was here; a revealing, and mysterious smile.  






Saturday 1st. The extra chairs from last night’s feast were put back in place. Father Bede has distributed cards detailing the change to the French-language Our Father which is to take effect in Canada as of Mass tomorrow.  Sunday 2nd. Dom Mark Scott, Abbot of New Melleray Abbey in Iowa, arrived last night. Happily, he… Continue Reading


  Thursday 1st. The eagle cried this morning, such a pure sound, as though from elsewhere altogether. Today is our monastery’s 116th anniversary. Will there be a special cake for 120, or perhaps the 125? Today was nice, we had the chance to talk to Mother Benedict during lunch. Bede filled us in on how… Continue Reading


                  Monday1st. We sang page 202 for Sainte Therese of Lisieux, at Lauds. The words, are by an anonymous monk in French-speaking Europe; the music is by someone here, one of us, and after we finished singing it I thought, that’s incredible, that music came from here.… Continue Reading


            Saturday 1st. In front of the guesthouse, there are only two cars, Prince Edward Island licenses. It is always a good feeling to see that plate. Brother Glic and Father Innocent have taken some wire once used to enclose a field to use for the grapevines, which support themselves… Continue Reading


Wednesday 1st. An older couple from town asked where our raspberry canes are and went picking. Their own canes did not render much this year. Léo has been suggesting people pay what they think the berries are worth. We have also been selling tomatoes from the garden, at six dollars per five- pound bag. Thursday… Continue Reading

JULY 2018

Sunday 1st. Canada Day.  Father Clovis’ eightieth birthday.  Someone was walking around the entrance, they were parked, and walking around in little circles. I thought, maybe they don’t want to come in. Maybe they’re upset. But rather, they were musing on and looking at a new sinkhole in our driveway pavement.       Danger: Monks… Continue Reading

JUNE 2018

Friday 1st. Record-breaking heat had our friends the swallows slowing down a lot. It was striking to see them standing almost still, on the wire and notice again how different their shape is from that of other birds. Saturday 2nd. Some neighbours agree that birdsong before dawn has grown to sounding a bit as though… Continue Reading

MAY 2018

Tuesday 1st. Brother Stephan, now freed from morning milking, is able to attend Vigils at 3:40 for the first time in many years. Dom Innocent made a friendly visit to the Trappistines today, sharing Mass and lunch and a good part of the day with them. We had the tires changed on the Ford truck.… Continue Reading

APRIL 2018

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… Continue Reading

Our Lady of Calvary Abbey
11505 Route 126, Rogersville NB, E4Y 2N9
Tel : 506 775 2331
E-mail : calvary1902@gmail.com

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