Information Meeting

Our monthly Information Forum was held on Thursday, January 28th.  These community meetings give everyone the opportunity to learn what is happening in the various departments of the abbey and to ask relevant questions.  It is helpful for everyone to know what and why changes have been initiated or to hear how departments have been functioning.  It is too easy to lose sight of what others are doing to contribute to the services of the monastery.

In spite of the fact that this Forum had been canceled in November and December in deference to Thanksgiving Day and Christmas, there was not a backlog of news to share.  With the guest house closed because of the virus, thorough cleaning and painting continues there.  The monastery itself is beneficiary of extra time and labor for cleaning.  Some areas of neglect (e.g., shelves in the library) are being surprised by vigorous attention.  A pile of discarded and unneeded clothes was donated to the local St. Vincent DePaul Society.  Lighting fixtures are being replaced by LED outlets and lights.  This is an expensive initial investment of time and money, but it is energy efficient and more economical in the long-run.  

This past fall, there were some major repairs to culverts draining water from the monastery.  Another malfunctioning culvert has been discovered which drains water from the north wing of the monastery (including the church) and goes under the road in front of the monastery.  Once the spring melts the mountains of snow and thaws the ground, we can dig up the blocked areas and replace the culverts.  But at least this affords the opportunity to share earth-shaking news.

Fr. Stephen reports that he has been getting a few more  vocational inquiries. We have been able to host several men seriously discerning a vocation.  We do have them quarantined for ten days in the otherwise empty guest house.  They eat dinner and supper with the community at separate tables in the refectory.  We want to offer them as much of an experience of the monastic life as we can to aid them in their discernment.  A Benedictine monk from Subiaco, Arkansas, is with us as a guest for six months as he discerns a possible Cistercian vocation.




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