Friday, October 1st. With grace, a heron flew just over the lake’s surface, and out of sight. I don’t often see them here. 

Saturday, October 2nd. At Mass, Brother Stephan once again sang at the organ for communion; a contemporary hymn adds a different light to the whole celebration.

Sunday, October 3rd. At lunch, we listened to Handel’s Messiah, and the clouds parted a little. At dish detail, discussion went from fruit grown in Italy, to discussion of the kiwi’s merits as a food.  

Monday 4th. Brother Stephan is working on the back-up generator for the monastery. Dom Innocent sawed up a pile of wood for use in the greenhouse stove next spring.

Tuesday 5th. In Chapter, Dom Innocent shared a bit of news regarding other monastic communities, and he reviewed upcoming events, in particular the regular visitation and our annual retreat, which are close together on the calendar. He encouraged us to prepare for the visitation drawing on the vison of community expressed in the Order’s legislation, as a way of achieving objectivity and depth.

Wednesday 6th. Dom Innocent mowed some lawns today. Early this morning, we saw that the cool night had left behind a lovely mist, over the fields to the east.

Thursday 7th. After Mass, Bede made his usual way to the guesthouse, opening the front desk office, the store, and the little room used to hear confessions. This afternoon, the lake was perfectly still, and a few fallen leaves dotted the surface.

Dom Innocent and Father Bede

Friday 8th. The Solesmes monastic lectionary for Vigils has been taking us on a long excursion through Old Testament prophetic and historical books intertwined, illuminating dramatic or traumatic turning points; literary high points, quite something, at that hour of the day.

Saturday 9th. Work has been ongoing on improving the apple grinders, which soon will be in use again for juicing.

Sunday 10th. The heating system went on yesterday, and Bede went about checking the various wall units.

Monday, October 11th. The crew of four monks returned to the former milk house this morning for round two of apple juice making. The press is getting more juice out, per ground-up apple, than ever. A tight squeeze. By midday, a happy sight: Quebec license plate out front. Dom Clément was back in our neck of the woods.

Dom Cl;èment and Brother Lèo

Tuesday, October 12th. This morning, Clément, our Father Immediate, took center place in Chapter, to officially open the visitation, and share some inspiration and suggestions regarding the process. He said that although the last visitation card he left with us was in 2019, it was like going back ages, considering changes in the interim.

Wednesday, October 13th. Dom Clément brought us up to date on his community’s life, its challenges, its way of embarking on monastic life today. Mistassini was assigned paternity of Calvaire 55 years ago, Bonnecombe, which initially opened Calvaire, having closed.

Thursday, October 14th. Once again after Lauds we sat down with Dom Clément, who will finish writing the visitation card today. This morning, he offered some practical suggestions and observations, the fruit of his meetings with each of us, then opened the floor for discussion.

Friday, October 15th. In Chapter, Clément read out then signed the visitation card, giving thanks that, travel circumstances being what they’ve been, he was able to get this autumn visit in, and enjoy our welcome. He had a lovely day for the long drive home.

Saturday, October 16th. The New Brunswick highway department have been digging out the ditch which runs along the Village Plate Road (or, as the province assigned it for the road sign, ‘Villa Laplatte’.) This road is parallel to our main entrance, and car GPS’s can mistake it for the main entrance.

Villa Laplatte Road

Sunday, October 17th. After a series of thunder showers, and other weather changes, the bright colors outside are now mixed with bare trees, in an unusually humid October.