JULY 2023

Saturday 1st. A fine Canada Day Mass was celebrated this morning. This evening, Dom Steele Hartmann of Tarrawarra Abbey in Australia arrived at Moncton Airport, and Dom Innocent was there to greet him.

Sunday 2nd. Our vintage Viking dehumidifier from Eaton’s chugs away in the refectory between meals. We look forward to our first conference from Dom Steele tomorrow morning.

Monday 3rd. Dom Steele offered Mass, and a homily, then at 10 gave the first of his daily conferences, on the theme of obedience in the Rule of Saint Benedict.

Tuesday 4th. The audiobook offering a personal look into Canadian politics, as well as a note of hope, has drawn to its conclusion, so now it is on to ‘Nurse Come you Here! More True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle’, where startling tales, even nurse/ghost encounters, abound.

Wednesday 5th. We had the first of two informal gatherings to talk with our monastic guest, and learn about his milieu, and community.

Dom Innocent and Dom Steele

Thursday 6th. Dom Steele’s considered talks on obedience in the rule, focusing especially on chapters three and five, evoke the spiritual power written into our way of life, and accessed interpersonally.

Friday 7th. At our second conversation with Dom Steele, we heard a bit about his way of doing lectio divina, also his experience of taking up the role of Abbot; as well, we gained knowledge about life in Australia, today, from his point of view.

Saturday 8th. This afternoon, Dom Steele dropped by to say hello to our Sisters on the other side of the track. We learned today that our Archdiocese of Moncton has a new Archbishop-Elect, Guy Desrochers.

Sunday 9th. Having received our thanks for giving us an excellent retreat, Dom Steele set out for points west and south of here.

Monday 10th. Some fresh help was found for the poultry, and he has been cheerfully learning the ropes.

Tuesday 11th. We celebrated Saint Benedict today, with passages from his Holy Rule integrated into the night office, including these final verses of the rule: “Are you hastening toward your heavenly home? Then with Christ’s help, keep this little rule that we have written for beginners. After that, you can set out for the loftier summits we mentioned above, and under God’s protection you will reach them. Amen.”

Wednesday 12th. The eco-depot took place in front of the arena today. This is an annual chance to drop off irregular recycling materials such as broken heaters, printers, coffee machines. Folks were lined up, and away went the ‘treasures’ formerly stored in a corner of our barber shop.

Thursday 13th. A vaguely anticipated thunderstorm fails to materialize, day by day.

Friday 14th. Our Honda got nicked by a closing garage door.

Saturday 15th. Our chair lift at the front stairs is now in motion once more, making things more accessible.

Sunday 16th. Brother Paul picked up our weekend with some more of his great pizzas.

Monday 17th. Father Graham’s brother, Father Jason stopped by, soon to be joined by the family’s eldest, Colin.  

Tuesday 18th. Brother Paul’s cousins from Connecticut dropped by, happily. Our Honda was put right. The chair lift was repaired yet again.  

Wednesday 19th. Father Jason, an Oratorian, says that Saint Philip Neri, when he noticed Mass-goers departing ahead of time, as sometimes happens in our area, would send altar servers after them, bearing candles, the point being, Christ’s real presence in them.

Thursday 20th. Our app for listening to audiobooks in the refectory started failing, so Father Bede found a simpler way. It seems that listening to audiobooks on a laptop, as we do, is less popular now than using other forms of technology for listening is.

Friday 21st. As the monks march along through days and nights of humidity, temperatures, at least, have dropped some. This morning,    mist covering the horizon was floating into the second floor corridor, through the window. This afternoon, we had a brief thundershower.

Saturday 22nd. For the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene, instituted as such in 2016, we use pages Father Bede put together, drawing on Easter antiphons, the Office for the Apostles, and new material.

Sunday 23rd. Due to technical problems, our Dodge pick-up truck has shed its faux organ pipe dual exhaust, and now has a regular dual exhaust.

Monday 24th. Brother Paul was taken to see ‘hermitage number two’, now unused, and quite well hidden in the woods. As he pointed out, it is ensconced so well that even from not far away, it is not easy to see. It is near a little stream and boasts a large wooden Cross on the lawn, and a lean-to, to store firewood in.  

Tuesday 25th. Dom Innocent celebrated his 25th anniversary of Priestly Ordination today, and Brother Leo and three of our Sisters joined us for a lovely lunch. At Mass, Dom Innocent expressed thanks for support, and providential challenges, received year after year. He drew on Mass prayers for the Priest’s anniversary, words we do not often hear: “I have joyfully celebrated…so that I may be in truth what I have handled mystically in this sacrifice.”   

Wednesday 26th. The raspberry u-pick opened up, and raspberry fans seemed to catch on to this fact quickly enough. 

Thursday 27th. A biker took a summer pause in solitude at our  picnic table above the grotto.

Friday 28th. We learned this week of the death of Sister Yvette Quévillon, member of the former Québec Trappistine community Bon Conseil; member (from a distance) of Bonneval, France, after Bon Conseil’s suppression last year. Sister Yvette embodied the content fidelity, simplicity, finesse, which characterized Bon Conseil.

Saturday 29th. A photographer pulled up in front of our statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and quickly took a series of photos; also of the plants surrounding the statue.

Sunday 30th. Happy voices outside told us that still more raspberry pickers were by, this weekend.

Monday 31st. Brother Paul was surprised by a friendly visitor familiar with, and at home on, our grounds. Briefly working for us as a youth, the fellow certainly carries the monastery in his heart; and this is true of quite a few locals. Paul heard tales of the glory days of the Brussels Sprout here, and tales of our late Brother Urban’s feats of strength. Could Urban really lift 630 pounds, and more? Each must decide for themselves where to draw the line with such tales, given that Urban was remarkably powerful.