NOVEMBER 2021

 

Monday 1st. At All Saints Mass offertory, Brother Stephan played Leonard Cohen’s Alleluia on the organ. As Stephan observed at lunch, this day next year, the community will be celebrating its 120th anniversary. Nothing is planned yet for marking the milestone. When we turned a hundred, the year was peppered with special events, including the international publication of our history, Il est heureux que nous soyons ici, and an amical visit from the Consul General of France in the Atlantic Provinces, and his family.

Tuesday 2nd. The annual Mass for All the Faithful Departed brings us closer in prayer to those who join us here. Dom Innocent gave Chapter today preparatory to his trip to see family, later this week. A plumber friend of ours today removed some washroom plumbing items which have seen better days.

Wednesday 3rd. Our apple U-pick closed for the year, and the apple road sign was taken down. Our two-story poultry barn has been topped up for heating during the winter. Father Bede is working on the production of concelebrants’ booklets to go with the new French language Missal.

Thursday 4th. A friend gave us some apple pies she made with our apples.

Friday 5th. As we left Mass, some cats were waiting outside the kitchen door for breakfast. It is the moment of the day when these wary hunters seem a bit more relaxed.

Saturday 6th. Our new refectory audiobook is Empire of the Summer Moon. It recounts the rise and fall of the Comanche empire, quite a turning, and yet another chance to consider the human story.

Sunday 7th. With the internet down just as we sat down for lunch, there was nothing for it, musically, but Flanders and Swann on CD.

Brother Leo in the Scriptorium

Brotheer Leo in the Scriptorium

Monday 8th. The front door is quiet indeed, Bede is not even moving much honey.

Tuesday 9th. The farmer who rents fields and buildings from us has been busy, at times we hear machines working before dawn, partly I guess because of his extremely abundant hay harvest this year. All sounds good for Dom Innocent’s family time abroad.

Wednesday 10th. Production delays have limited our store’s votive candle supply, but there is light on the horizon.

Thursday 11th. Brother Leo and I were remembering the late Arthur Beaudry, monk of Spencer, World War II veteran, who lived many years in our monastery and passed away back in the US, as he was fishing; his favorite pastime. I once asked Arthur if his combat experience played a part in his entering monastic life so soon after the war. He answered, ‘it wasn’t what I saw physically, it was what I saw in the human heart.’

Friday 12th. Father Bede was able to get some cycling in, and have a look around out front.

Saturday 13th. Today, we celebrated All Saints of the Benedictine Family, taking up for Vigils the Canticle from Tobit 13.

Sunday 14th. With temperatures still slightly above normal, a last rose next to the statue of Our Lady facing the guest house, has finally faded.

Monday 15th. Our friendly accountant dropped by. Brother Stephan has been preparing the tractor for another season of snow removal. It has a plow on the front and a big snow-blower on the back. Dom Innocent arrived back in Canada today, safe and sound in Moncton.

Tuesday 16th. The new chicken barn is gradually approaching the one-year mark of operation. Brother Stephan replaced a wall heating un

The Sacristy

it in one of the monk’s rooms today. Dom Innocent was back at table here for lunch, having managed to fit his voyage home in in just under two weeks.

Wednesday 17th. The community calendar is now all quiet for a while. The next big moment would be the General Chapter for Superiors in Assisi, September 1, 2022. Our cook served up some nice onion soup with lunch. A visitor arrived by train this evening; Rogersville’s new train station café seems to be appreciated by travellers.

Thursday 18th. We had our first snow, soon fading back to mostly green lawns. Winter is one of the seemingly few things that are not really to our elder, Brother Leo’s tastes. We received a gift of various seafoods in a basket today, including cans of chicken haddie.

Friday 19th. Father Roger has been taking turns making the rounds of the chicken barn in the morning and evening, to see that all is well.

Saturday 20th. Geese were relaxing on the lake today, with their heads curled onto their backs. One or two familiar faces were able to make it back to visit the monastery, from just outside the province, as NB continues to seek the winning formula for public health.

Sunday 21st. At lunch, we talked of travel, and possible beatifications, and changes in Church life in the province.

The Monks’ Cemetery