MAY 2023

Monday 1st. The recent winds which accompanied rain, have blown buds off the trees, and these are now scattered across the pave.

Tuesday 2nd. Brother Paul has drawn our attention to pronunciations of the word ‘leisure’, American and British. I guess Canadians use both.

Wednesday 3rd. Father Bede has been successfully navigating cataract surgeries, thanks to a friendly and capable doctor.

Thursday 4th. The close-set decorative trees lining the front drive, have only a few fallen soldiers since this time last year.

Friday 5th. Our history of religion in America, arriving at our own days, offers a fresh take on the ongoing polarization of society.

Saturday 6th. Brother Leo glimpsed a bit of the coronation in England today, and says that King Charles is a good-looking monarch. Dom Innocent set out for a few days’ visit to Newfoundland.

Sunday 7th. The guest-hammock stayed up through winter, and would have been pleasant today, with temperatures rising, and birds and little beasts a-wing and a-foot.

Monday 8th. Brother Paul finds that Canadians don’t seem to add the expression ‘eh’, here and there to their phrases, as they are reputed to. We explained to him that they do, eh?

Tuesday 9th. Dom Innocent got back from ‘the rock’, Newfoundland, as Father Roger set out for Ontario.

Wednesday 10th. In chapter, Dom Innocent described his experience of Newfoundland, a province which gets less sunshine but also less snow than us.

Thursday 11th. Brother Paul and Dom Innocent got to firing up the lawn care equipment today, and the grounds are looking better already.

Friday 12th. Father Bede had his second eye looked to, in the Miramichi.

Saturday 13th. Our new refectory audiobook is “Indian” in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power, by Jody Wilson-Raybould, as read by the author herself.

Sunday 14th. In his homily this morning, Father Bede spoke in a striking way of the nature of Jesus’ prayer.

Brother Leo


Monday 15th. There was some activity in our apple orchard today, tending the trees. Our orchard is small by commercial standards, tucked away, and fairly lovely.

Tuesday 16th. Father Graham set out to Saint John to help at the Priests’ retreat there. Saint John recently had its first Priestly Ordinations in nine years, two. At table in the evening, a senior Priest was recalling the 1983 visit of royals Charles and Diana to Saint John, an evening which was not without its gaffes.

Wednesday 17th. Some folks from South Carolina stopped by, to take part in midday prayer.

Thursday 18th. Late in the day, Dom Gerard and Mother Eleanor arrived to complete the visitation, the first part of which began November 4 2022, with Mass of the Holy Spirit.

Entrance to the Reading Room

Friday 19th. In Chapter, our visitation team greeted us warmly,  set the course of visitation, part two, and we each took turns meeting with them.

Saturday 20th. A new hand is having a go at our several lawns. The swallows have returned, and, when winds are high, parts of our greenhouse rattle.

Sunday 21st. Dom Gerard presided Mass, as our Father Immediate Dom Clément joined us, too; a great few days of Cistercian family life.

Monday, May 22nd. This evening, the visitation drew to a close with the reading of the Visitation Card. As always, the ‘carte de visite’ is a considered reflection on many aspects, and levels, of the life we’ve chosen.    

Tuesday, May 23rd. Having breakfasted good and early, Dom Gérard set out with a smile before Lauds, with Dom Innocent driving him to the Moncton Airport.

Wednesday, May 24th. We’ve received bread to sample, from Brother Paul’s home monastery, Genesee Abbey; white, cranberry, raisin cinnamon, sunflower, whole grain wheat. Sampling the slices gives an idea of the joy the monks’ bakery brings to tables in the States.  

Thursday, May 25th. Our outdoor bells are having a hard time ringing,  since the Ascension.

Friday, May 26th. Today it was Mother Eleanor’s turn to set out again. Originally from County Waterford, Ireland, Eleanor is now serving the Order in Rome.

Saturday, May 27th. The heating system was switched off for the season.

Sunday, May 28th.  At our festive Pentecost lunch, we tucked into salmon and fiddleheads.

Monday 29th. The apple trees are in blossom, full of little flowers this year.

Tuesday 30th. Brother Paul has an ear for a good hymn, and hearing his reactions to what we sing gets us talking about hymns for the first time.

Wednesday 31st. Dom Innocent and Brother Paul visited our wood-ensconced gravel pit, got some gravel, and warded off many mosquitoes.