Meal with employees

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 will be staying with us as he takes part in the regular visitation of our Sisters’ Abbey.

Monday 3rd. The New Brunswick Archives Advisor was by to assess our archives: past work done on them; future work which could be done. In next to no time, she had done her work. The documents are almost in order. The photos are not. Certainly not. She said we have an unusually large number of photographs compared to religious communities similar to our own, with many early twentieth-century photographs. Glass negatives are in good condition. There is also in an uncatalogued cassette audio history; separate interviews with older monks.

Tuesday 4th. Snow comes crashing off the roof now and then.  This morning for breakfast we had spinach toast left from supper. Today Simone our cook explained to the visiting Dom Mark her secret for making fish burgers.

Wednesday 5th. Steve had business in Rexton, New Brunswick today. It is a little-seen corner of the province. The way there led through villages and forests; and past the abandoned house where one of our monks, the late Brother Gerard Bordage was born.

Dom Mark Scott with Br. Leo

Thursday 6th. The visitation finished at the Sisters, Dom Mark made his way back to Moncton today, in preparation for an early-morning flight tomorrow: he will be back in Iowa before lunch Friday.

Friday 7th. This afternoon, I rolled up the blind after my nap to find a very cold squirrel outside on my window sill. Given the distance from the ground it seemed an out of the way and less-than-convenient spot for him to be, and to judge from his look he agreed.

Saturday 8th. Simone made Danishes for us for breakfast this solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

Sunday 9th. Father Bede has been working this week on a new printing of the liturgical books for Mass, the Gradual. Brother Stephan has found a used Korg Midi Sound Module for keyboards, which will give him a new palette of hundreds of sounds. He said it even has a Chisholm reverberator.

Monday 10th. A few Christmas cards from guests and friends have arrived. Each card’s written message reveals something of the sensitivity to Christ of the person who sent it.

Tuesday 11th. Bede finds that the new French translation of the Our Father is smoother in its verbal rhythm than the old one was. One realises the word ‘soumets’ stuck out, in the old translation, he said; hard not to agree.

Wednesday 12th. Slowly I’ve realized someone has spilled some Tim Horton’s coffee on the tile, ground floor, near the bulletin board. The distinctive smell helps give our corridor a festive feel.   

Thursday 13th. Brother Stephan has been clearing snow on the dirt roads east of the monastery, leading through and out of our property. This is the circuit Brother Henry’s hermitage is on. It also leads past a big (for here) lake. It leads past old logging trails, and it is the loggers of today who hired him. We hear them sometimes, it is a faint and unusual sound. They are doing thinning, rather than clear-cutting.

Friday 14th. After some unscheduled hijinks with it, our farm truck is temporarily taking it easy. Meanwhile, our regular pick-up has gained a certain machismo, thanks to extensive service at the auto dealer’s shop.

Brother Leo and Brother Stephan in the chapter room.

Saturday 15th. The main message on the phone, giving access to different extensions, was changed this week with a little help from a technician. Brother Henry was in to the dentist this week. As she worked away, the hygienist was sharing her views on life, quite interesting. She wanted to know what it was like to be out of dairy farming. As has happened before, the person asking already has a detailed idea in her mind of what it would it be like, and whatever one says in reply plays off that.

Sunday 16th. At Eucharistic Adoration Advent Sunday evenings, we sing the long, lovely Rorate Caeli. ‘Heavens, Open.’


  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

MARCH 2018

Thursday 1st. In the night, clouds slightly obscured the moon which, this night, will be full. On a clear night, the full moon can provide quite a lovely vista here, a little like in a storybook. Medical wrappings were removed from the cows’ treated hooves this afternoon. ‘Sede vacante’ went into effect today, and we… Continue Reading

Our Lady of Calvary Abbey
11505 Route 126, Rogersville NB, E4Y 2N9
Tel : 506 775 2331
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