Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

This past Monday, Yanick Savain, Br. Aidan and I harvested honey from two of our four beehives. We harvested about 30 pounds of honey which will serve in the Guest House kitchen and as gifts to donors, staff and contractors that make the monastery hum day by day.
Before uncapping and spinning the honey frames
After extraction and bottling. Et voilà!
From Tuesday to Thursday, we had about 35 teachers and staff of the Mustard Seed School in Hoboken, NJ staying at the Monastery. They come every year. This is their once-in-the-year occasion to be all together without their students and to share and grow together. They do this as their preparation to welcome their students for the academic year. They are an enthusiastic and dedicated group. The school is a faith-based school for PK3 to Eighth graders.

As it happened, we were visited by three four-year olds this week. Ken and Leone, long-time visitors from Manhattan came to visit for lunch with their twin sons. They used to come to the monastery on retreat often before they became parents. Now it is harder to arrange for a retreat. I told them that we often "lose" retreatants for 10 to 15 years while they raise their kids and that it is a treat when they can pop in to come say hello. They were on their way back to the city from a family camp. If it becomes a tradition that they stop on their way home, we may get to see their sons grow.

This weekend, we had a couple of young parents from Philadelphia here with their son. Dad is a priest, so the little one knows to whisper when silence prevails. He is adorable too.
Leone and Ken, long-time visitors to the Monastery and their four-year old twins Frederic and Samuel, See you all soon, we hope!
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One of the benefits of our expanded number of able-bodied monks at home is that we can more easily afford to have a few of them out for a few days at a time. This enables more men to conduct missions, visit family or take outside retreat time concurrently.

This week, Br. Josép came back from a visit with his mom in Florida. On the day he returned, Br. Joseph left for Sewanee, Tennessee to officiate at a friend's wedding and Br. Robert James left to officiate at a friend's wedding in Kentucky! Br. Robert James officiated at the wedding of a young man who was a YASC missioner at our monastery in South Africa a few years back where he met his future wife who was also a YASC'er in SA (Young Adult Service Corp). Holy Cross connections will bring you all sorts of good in life... ;-)

Br. Lary suffered ill-health and had to be hospitalized for a few days. He is now recuperating and will soon return to Hudson Valley Rehabilitation and Extended Care Center in Highland where he now lives. Your prayers for his prompt and full recovery would be appreciated.

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Now that our driveways and parking lots are repaved, some new landscaping is called for. On Saturday, a few monks and a guest helped Br. Aidan, our Grounds steward. We planted junipers and ivy to reclaim the soil behind a new retaining wall in the Sacristy parking lot before the weeds take over.
Br. Aidan, Peter Pearson, guest Giovanni and Br. Bob planting away

Br. Bob Pierson, our Novice Master demonstrating the value of manual labor

Postulant Enrique Yepes following a good example
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As the beginning of the academic year approaches, many of our guests are getting ready for it. This weekend, we had frequent guest Patti Blaine visiting with her husband Evan. They settled their daughter in a new dorm at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie and then smartly took quiet time for themselves. Patti, an Episcopal deacon, will soon start a new job as a hospital chaplain. Evan, a statistics teacher will soon meet new classes for the year.
Patti (frequent guest) and her husband Evan (first-timer)
Why not take their example, and come spend quality time with God at the Monastery, or introduce someone you love to the Monastery. We always love to see you visit us.

All the best to those who are starting new jobs or returning to school.

1 comment:

Patti Blaine said...

Thank you, Br. Bernard, for your warm welcome... for Evan, me and all who come through the monastery!