January 2016

New Melleray Belltower in Winter 

New Melleray Orchard in Winter

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.  

- J. K. Rowling

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.  

- Elie Wiesel 


 For more than half an hour 37 respectable, law-abiding citizens in Queens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks in Kew Gardens – New York Times.

Some of us may remember that incident. The victim was Kitty Genovese. The language of the report, “respectable, law-abiding citizens,” dates it. Newspapers don’t use that kind of language any more. The year was 1967. It was back then the kind of off-the-radar thing that would have consumed days of talk show programs and NPR investigations, like the killing on live camera of journalists Parker and Ward by ex-colleague Flanagan last August. Shocked people talked about the Genovese killing, but especially about the failure of the bystanders to intervene at all. It was the beginning of something; rather, it revealed to the US population something about us that we had failed to notice had already settled in: indifference for whatever reason to another’s suffering and misfortune. Thirty-seven people. What was shocking to us was to realize that those thirty-seven citizens were all of us. It seems that by 2016, indifference is an established cultural trait. We have gotten numb to others’ pain. It’s not my business. Fear has paralyzed us.

Who said, “Love your neighbor as yourself?”

Fr Mark



The Total Starwatcher’s Manual, Astronomical Society of the Pacific (Weldon Owen, 2015).

For stargazers, comet-spotters and planet-seekers looking to enhance your deep sky knowledge and observations - this is your quintessential guide.This book will help you choose the best telescope, identify constellations and objects in the night sky, search for extraterrestrial phenomena, plan star parties, capture beautiful space imagery and much more. The book features high-quality design, intricate detail, and a durable flexicover. With fully illustrated star charts, gorgeous astrophotography, and step-by-step project instruction, this family-friendly book is the only guide you’ll ever need to navigate the night sky. Learn about the phases of the moon, how to conduct your own deep-sky observations, how the universe is expanding, our search for life on other planets, meteors vs. meteorites, sunspots and solar flares, best eclipse-viewing techniques—everything you need to know to appreciate the wonder of our universe.


New Melleray Winterscape

Author: Fr. Mark Scott

Tags: Indifference, J.K. Rowling, Elie Wiesel, The Total Starwatchers Manual

This simple communication is one way for me as abbot of New Melleray Abbey to communicate with the abbey’s employees and volunteers. My intention is to give our stakeholders some idea of the values and lifestyle of the monks and to share things that I have found worthwhile, thoughtful, and/or humorous. It is hoped that this sharing from the abbot will strengthen the bonds of partnership and collaboration between the monastic community and our extended community of employees and volunteers.

Fr. Mark