February 2023

Wednesday 1st. Our small, commercial dishwasher is showing signs of age, and making a plethora of unusual sounds. But, it still gets the job done. 

Thursday 2nd. With winter sunshine a-plenty outside, we had a nice Mass of the Presentation of Our Lord. As Brother Leo heads towards his 70th anniversary of entry he reflects on the kind of life he’s had: not much of a life, in terms of the work, or getting the sort of youth he would have liked; and an exceptionally beautiful life, from knowing and loving Jesus. 

Friday 3rd. The area braced for conditions of extreme cold, and by late afternoon, birds flitted out of view, reacting to the  winds.   

Saturday 4th. Cold it was, minus thirty out before Vigils, without adding in the wind chill. Our main generator helped us through a loss of electricity, while two other generators of ours failed, then were set right.

Sunday 5th. By mid-morning, the eagle glided easily over the lake, as temperatures began to slowly climb. Some new laundry equipment is showing up, to help Bede with his work downstairs.

Monday 6th. A fox crossed the snow-covered lake this morning. The new dryer was hooked up in the laundry room, and works well. Space-age features are included, but Father Bede passes on these.

Tuesday 7th.  Dom Innocent drew our attention to the recent letter for the February 2nd Day of Consecrated Life, from the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. The letter references Vita Consecrata, and Pope Francis.  

Wednesday 8th. One of our pickup trucks broke down in our outback, and today got towed nearer to home.

Thursday 9th. Our Sisters in Syria asked prayers for the people of Turkey and Syria; their monastery was not damaged by the recent earthquake there.

Brother Paul in the kitchen

Friday 10th. Informally, we’ve been comparing notes on monasteries’ musical gifts, in different countries. Nearly twenty years after his death, organist Dom Francis Kline’s memory is fresh, and especially vibrant.

Saturday 11th. Guests got out on the lake, including on snowshoes.

Sunday 12th. Brother Paul worked more pizza magic for us, this afternoon.

Monday 13th. Between storms, Brother Paul has been edging away snow, broadening the  drive. In the cemetery, snow is now almost above the Crosses.

Tuesday 14th. Our refectory reading has been offering USA  religious history state by state, offering some insights on how our neighbouring nation’s identity and values came to be.

Wednesday 15th. The year’s first poultry cycle wrapped up successfully.   

Thursday 16th. Brother Leo feels by moments that hitting 100 years of age won’t be much of a reach for him. This afternoon, with unseasonably warm temperatures outside, a pair of fawns emerged from the woods, and tentatively explored the white lake surface, as they made their way west.  

Friday 17th. We got down to the very last Christmas candy: a toffee. 

Saturday 18th. Snow returned yesterday, and Brother Paul was out early to tidy it up.

Sunday 19th. Mass numbers remain small, in our small Chapel, but when weather permits, there can be just a few more faithful present, as was the case today.

Monday 20th. A fresh community agenda was posted, sketching out comings and goings, for 2023; looks, so far, to be a fairly tranquil year. The first week of July, Dom Steele Hartmann, Abbot of Tarrawarra Abbey in Australia will be here to preach our annual retreat.

Tuesday 21st. Monks were comparing notes on pre-Lent meals, and Lent as lived here and there in the monastic world. For our mardi gras, our cook prepared potato râpé, a main course ‘treat’, eaten with a sprinkle of sugar by venerable Acadians such as Brother Leo.

Wednesday 22rd. New faces appeared for Mass for Ash Wednesday, a moment which always carries a feeling of freshness.

Thursday 23rd. A Priest retreatant brought us a lovely gift basket.

Friday 24th. Work continues on readying the poultry barn for the next flock. A resource person whom we were awaiting today had to cancel, due to snow in their area.

Saturday 25th. Bede’s honey crew arrived this week and carried in box after box to sell.

Sunday 26th. Brother Paul looked in our library, which is spread over several floors, for his Lenten book for this year and brought it with him as did all this morning for Chapter, as we heard Saint Benedict’s instructions for Lent, including reading.

Monday 27th. Dom Innocent lent a hand, as the poultry barn got prepared for the next flock. Lenten reading got underway in the scriptorium after Lauds. For this, each monk chooses the place they prefer, along the window or along the library wall.

Tuesday 28th. Our dumpster got dumped out, but the cold this winter has frozen in place a pile of garbage inside it. Chapter this morning was on the Rule of Saint Benedict chapter six, on restraint of speech.