Monday 1st. Some funny looking cheeses appeared on a cheese board in the refectory for breakfast: a treat -we must be into a new year! In Chapter, we each greete

d all the other monks for the first time this year, and out came the calendars. The Abbot shows us the different calendars we’ve received, after which we choose the one(s) we wish. The Missions Étrangères calendar, this year like last, was done with great care, and is striking. Glic was unable to resist the Oratoire Saint Joseph calendar; very nice, everything seems well done at that shrine in Montreal. Brother Léo got a huge calendar showing the twelve months together, for the guest house office. Bede himself got ‘Nottinghamshire 2018’, with lovely shots including Sherwood Forest.

At lunch, we listened to Andrea Bocelli’s Christmas. I was regretting Father Clovis wasn’t there to hear it. (He is free to eat on either side: with the guests or with us.) Christmas tree must have been feeling proud to hear Bocelli feelingly intone in three languages: “O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Your branches green delight us!”

Tuesday 2nd. Edmundo has arrived from Ontario for a one month trial run of our life. He duly took a place in choir, between Brother Léo and Brother Glic.


Wednesday 3rd. Dom Bede has been commenting the Rule in Chapter with reference to the Season; Advent, Christmas.

Thursday 4th. A jolly Grand-Dad was by to the guesthouse with his constantly-smiling grandson at his side: five years old and equipped with toy handcuffs: ‘pour poigner les méchants’, which seemed to exclude us.

The eve of this propitious day, Brother Henry had dreams of extreme weather. Today, under ominous grey-white skies we set out for the sisters, where the welcome was wonderful. Two turkeys had been cooked, and a log was burning on the video fireplace. Dom Bede received the surprise of a combination birthday and anniversary of Abbacy cake, with dual candle sets.

We made our way back in separate waves, then the snow and wind picked up, eventually turning to rain then back to snow.

Friday 5th. To get out to the barn to milk in the night, Steve walked away from the barn, around a drift, then on. Considerable drifts bordered smooth ice and even rain puddles along our drive.

Saturday 6th. The John Adams biography is bringing to light the involvement of various European countries in American independence. I think it would be safe to say a lot us in NB were not taught much of this history; I bet it was mentioned in passing, in school.

Sunday 7th. In his homily for the Epiphany today, Dom Bede spoke of joy, adoration and generosity as being touchstones of Christian living. Extreme cold lingered on this week, but our little bull first-born of the year was not impressed by it. He is strong and pretty.

Monday 8th. Today was Dom Bede’s birthday, and we wished him a happy one. 

Tuesday 9th. A farm technician has been by to check how well the vacuum pipes for milking are functioning.

Brother Stephan has gone to the lakeside hermitage for a few days’ retreat. People have been asking: what does he eat while he is out there? I am not certain, but in years past, cans of fish, along with bread and cheese were staples for us there.

Wednesday 10th. Five years have nearly passed since we leased the Kia Optima; seems like yesterday. We’ve had many blessings during that time, and soon we’ll have something new. Previous to the Kia, we’d had a full-size car which the then-Abbot might not have bought if not that a monk had fallen in love with the car. Turned out to be the right car for us, so love’s not always blind.

Thursday 11th. Ordinary time is very welcome territory to Brother Léo when we return to it. Today, looking at the snow outside, Léo was telling me that for fun as children in Memramcook they would see who could run the furthest barefoot over the snow, afterwards dashing back to the house delighted. He says twenty feet barefoot is pretty good.

Friday 12th. There has been a bit more activity than usual this time of year in our guest house, with guests arriving from near and far, including someone preparing for Ordination as an Anglican Priest.

Saturday 13th. A variety of precipitation types yesterday and today left the pin oak coated with an ice that highlights the tree’s fine branch structure.

Sunday 14th. There were propane problems today, affecting especially the kitchen and the laundry. After supper, a technician found the problem: the drastic, repeated changes in the temperature outside have made condensation gather in the regulator; we await a new part and for now, he’s got the old one working.

December 2017

Friday 1st. This afternoon, mild and very humid out, it smelled like spring. The humidity was hurting our youngest full-time farmer’s arthritis. Our refectory book is getting into the nitty gritty of proceedings just before the fourth of July 1776 in the USA. It’s been said, and not as a criticism, that Americans differ from… Continue Reading

November 2017

Wednesday 1st. Feast of All Saints – 115th anniversary of our foundation. Dom Bede gave a nice homily at Mass which, with only a few attending, had an intimate feel. During Mass, you could just hear the skid steer moving about on the farm; leaves having fallen, farm life acoustics are better than ever! Thursday 2nd.… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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

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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