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.

Glic on the Aventine
Glic at Subiaco

Sunday 2nd. Brother Léo’s reservation book is just a little fuller with the approach of Easter. Jolene has taken on Glic’s cleaning duties in the Chapel, so this week we could hear her happily working away there, and smell the lemon polish scent which evokes the memory of the promise of an orderly tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday 3rd. Evenings here are quiet, as you might imagine. After the dishes are done, the house takes on the mood which will last until daybreak. Brother Léo will read a bit in the scriptorium. Monks might pick up their personal wash from the drying machine. Steve visits the barn to check on things (animals, machines). Then it’s Compline. At night the feeling is like a mixture of waiting beginning and waiting at its end.

Tuesday 4th. Mornings these days are, Lenten reading together. When this breaks up at 7:10, each makes their way into the day and its activities. The renewed activity changes the feel of things.

Rogersville has its own three-bay car wash. A quick scrub of the Kia has revealed a little more damage, some plastic trim broken.

Wednesday 5th. The lake is of swamp water, its high acidity making it dark brown. This time of the year—end of the freeze—is the only time we see blue in it. It’s water from snow and ice forming shallow ponds of surface-melt on the ice. A bit like the patterns of a sandbar when the sea goes out.

In preparation for the busy planting season, farm machinery is tuning up and rolling around. The biggest tractor is a striking sight as it rolls by. The corn and hay harvested last year have proven plentiful enough, even with the bigger dairy herd.

Thursday 6th. Today, a guest wandered dreamily along the drive between the monastery and the lake, the area marked as reserved for monks. There is not much but a muddy farm road past the pavement, so this person turned around.

The rip of the chainsaw can once again be heard, as trees in the apple orchard get a bit of a trim.  Inside the monastery, the upbeat voice of our accountant could be heard in the corridors. His draft financial statement is in the hands of those in charge as they review it, ask questions, and work together towards a final draft for us to see.

Friday 7th. A strange cat appeared on the lawn today, it was running around nervously the way intruding cats do. You’d think that with the extremely varied crew of cats we have already, some cat else could just slip in but it seems as though it didn’t stay.

The first geese are back to our lake. When you have not heard it in a while, that honk is kind of lovely. The geese do not need a lot of open water to start out, and that’s a good thing because from the second floor no open water is visible.

Saturday 8th. A few flies have begun emerging from inside the walls of the monastery. They make their way out especially through the casings of windows. The first of our Easter season singing practices took place this morning. For this, instead of filing out after Lauds, we sat down again as Steve took us through some of the singing for Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

Sunday 9th. A quiet day indeed, and as always Palm Sunday’s one of the most striking liturgical celebrations of the year.

Glic at Saint Peter’s on Palm Sunday
Glic at Saint Paul’s
Glic’s view of the Pope on Palm Sunday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday 10th. The first guests who will be staying on through Easter checked in this afternoon. Simone our cook was on duty, serving up her mighty good bean loaf. Josh our geothermal guy was in today, and sorted out various small issues with the system. People are happily taking note of how spring seems to be actually springing.

Tuesday 11th. A few hours before dawn, a lone racoon walked to and fro around our back door. Ground hogs were spotted this week too: ever furtive. An eagle manoeuvered the air over some road kill on the 126. And one of barn cats was digging in Innocent’s garden.

Wednesday 12th. A guest, who is a maritimer, surprised me when he told me that as a teenager in the early sixties he spent summers at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky. Walks with Thomas Merton and so on. He said the Abbot at the time, James Fox, having served on US submarines, knew a thing or two about the pressures of life in seclusion. The impression one gets listening to his account is of a community that was not only vibrant but caring.

Thursday 13th. About an hour before sunrise, the first bird sings. The song starts as though it had never stopped, not so much picking up where it had left off as rendering audible what had been ongoing silently.

Glic at the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum on Good Friday

Friday 14th. The photos from the Osservatore Romano of Bede meeting Pope Francis have at last arrived by mail. They are really good. The light is nice. Dom Jacques Brière the Abbot of Tre Fontane (who along with Guerric of La Trappe accompanied Bede) is a Parisian and once told me that in spite of everything he had to admit that the light in Italy is lovelier than the light in France.

Saturday 15th. We had three singing classes this week, two of them lasting a half an hour. These are also an occasion for Dom Bede to run through the upcoming ceremony with us. There were a few differences to the celebrations this year—guests having their feet washed at the mandatum, for one—the big celebrations having a different feel each year anyway.

Sunday 16th. Milder weather than in recent Easters changed the feel of the Easter Vigil, with its open doors for lighting the fire outside. A case of bringing in some spring, not some winter! Overall, celebrations had a peaceful feel, helped by a nice few guests. One guest is in contact with Dr. Ruben, the retired cancer specialist who helped our Maurice and Henry: he took a picture of Henry in order to be able to show him. Father Doris Laplante joined us for lunch and spoke about his plans for a cross-Canada bike ride this summer: already in training, he will begin his ride in Vancouver because heading east the winds should be more favorable over-all.

Pope Francis entering Saint Peter’s for the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, snapped by Glic
Glic with the Abbot Primate
Glic at supper in the refectory at Sant’Anselmo
Glic’s view of the Urbi et Orbi on Easter Sunday

 

Monday 17th. Brother Stephan played a Handel piece at the Mass offertory. You can never have too much Handel. The brand new candles for Mass, along with the Paschal Candle, are striking alongside the colorful flowers that John gave us.

Tuesday 18th. Here and there, picking up tree debris from last winter’s ice storm was the order of the day, with people transporting branches, burning branches, running into the road to collect branches that fell off their truck.

Bede had a stress test on his heart today in the Miramichi and tested well.

Wednesday 19th. The travel book we have been listening to visited England during Lent, Scotland after the Resurrection. Mere coincidence? Readers, you decide.  A guest left us a thank-you note written and drawn on a piece of bark she collected. Another guest e-mailed a nice thank-you note along with several pictures he took here.  In Chapter this morning we discussed the draft version of the house report, which will be sent to the Generalate quite soon.

A friend called looking for a copy of the late Brother Anthony’s book Revelation of the Son of Man. Anthony was a hermit and third-order Carmelite, who lived and worked alongside the monastery for decades. A website (eliyyahu.com) gives details on him, and promises an expanded re-edition of the above-mentioned book some day soon.

Thursday 20th. Monks like us, baby we were born to read and now it seems we were also born to hear Bruce Springsteen’s story in his own words as we begin a new refectory audio book, Born to Run. The book has been praised by everyone, including novelist Richard Ford.

Friday 21st. With Bruce Springsteen ably taking us back in time to his childhood, the memory of his haunting father and son song Independence Day reawakens.

Saturday, April 22nd. Morning, all was quiet in the basement corridor. The employees’ digital time cards were in their rack next to the clock. The bucket for catching drops from the small leak in the ceiling was in place, a warning sign next to it. The kitchen door was open and everything was ready for the cook to begin his new day. It is a real country kitchen. As morning began, heavy white snow fell, a snow with no future, but beautiful.

Sunday, April 23rd. The lake broadens and narrows more than once but there is one point in particular where animals like to make their dash from one side to the other. This week a little animal did so, a long animal not built for speed whose determination to disappear into the forest on the other side was striking: it ran then slid on its belly a ways; ran, slid. It looked too big to be a weasel. What was it? As is often the case, no threat to it was visible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

December 2016

Thursday 1st. More snow—more complaining in town. This evening: the sound of the winter wind. Does it sound different because of the snow? Sort of a faint whistle. Friday 2nd. On the farm, it has been necessary to spread liquid manure on the fields in the snow. Otherwise the sewage lagoon would be too full… Continue Reading

November 2016

Tuesday 1st. The same two gentlemen are back to the second floor archives. This time instead of scanning our old photos, they are taking pictures of them with a camera that is fixed in place. The website they are creating with all the Rogersville history they manage to gather is www.rvnb.ca . They are inspired… Continue Reading

October 2016

Photos show: A container acquired for storing scrap metal.  Farmers measuring the height of the corn. Geese on one of our fields.  Fall colours. Saturday 1st. We have had some problems with our well. At times this week the water was a little murky. At other times, you could smell a bit of bleach. For… Continue Reading

September 2016

Installation of the New Sign Thursday 1st. We’ve received a summer newsletter from the Dominican contemplative nuns in British Columbia, who started up in Canada in 1999.  They have the one thing we don’t: dogs, visible in the photos. Friday 2nd. Plans are in the offing to convert poultry barn #3, currently unused, for use… Continue Reading

August 2016

Monday 1st. Our computer technician Brett was due to visit us this morning, but then it did not take place. Today was New Brunswick Day, so I guess it’s normal he would not be at work. New Brunswick Day is a subtle feeling and event, aside from things being closed. Father Jason Touchie, Graham’s younger… Continue Reading

July 2016

Friday 1st – Canada Day.  We started listening to audio books during lunch, bought from Amazon.  The start book is: The Deep South, Four Seasons on Back Roads by Paul Theroux, published by Penguin in 2016.  At one point during the day the outside bells ceased to ring.  It would be confusing to say: “They… 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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