Considering the amount of rain this month, it was nice to once again have a watertight roof, thanks to expert repairs last summer. As Dom Innocent had planned, we launched into some spring cleaning a few seasons early, on our top floor, which is nearly entirely unused. Father Roger patiently cleared out rooms which contained former monks’ memorabilia, and especially unused/unusable wardrobe items in large number. The time had also arrived to select titles we would use, from the top floor, and decommission the top-floor shelves. The monastery library is spread out over three floors’ corridors, the length of the building on two of these floors, plus sections in the Chapter room. As the monastery had little in the way of financial resources, early last century, the library was in large part put together (many notable exceptions aside) from dated books people were willing to give away, or wanted to throw away, and this shows.
Brother Henry, our librarian for many years, wanted every subject in the Dewey Decimal library system to be represented here, so there is, for example, a science section, of sorts. This month we began giving away books we won’t use, and some of the first to go were works of Charles Dickens, whose considerable output Henry read with delight.
Our guesthouse went on pause December first, for three months; the months when retreatants are the most scarce. Daily public Mass, on the other hand, continued with a nice, local attendance.
For Christmas, we decided to continue with the seven o’clock evening Mass, plus day Mass. Given our numbers, singing went well. Dom Innocent took part in a festive celebration at Brother Léo’s residence, giving him a Montreal Canadians sweater. In his time, Brother Leo saw not only the Royal Family, on their 1939 tour, but even Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard, who made a public appearance in his prime, in Shediac; humble, and an avowed lover of Acadie.