March: Lion or Lamb

Death of Br. Thomas: Br. Thomas (George) Imhoff died on the evening of March 23rd at the Stonehill Care Facility in Dubuque at the age of 94. He was transferred from the monastery to this nursing home on February 2nd of this year. His health had deteriorated to that point that he needed constant assistance for the most basic activities, more than we could provide at the monastery. This was not a happy move for him, and he much preferred to be back in the monastery. He entered New Melleray in 1950, but, still in simple vows, was sent down to the beginning foundation of Assumption Abbey in Ava, Missouri. When that monastery closed, he chose to return to New Melleray. He lived a life of austere and simple prayerfulness, one uncomplicated by changes and adaptations. His funeral and burial were celebrated Monday the 27th, at an 11: a.m. liturgy, attended by his sister and her family as well as guests and friends.

Our monthly Information Forum was held on the morning of March 23rd. The time for our Easter Vigil was set at 4:30 a.m. Since we are unable to provide a celebrant for our Trappestine Sisters of OLM, they will be joining us for this service. The service is open to the public, but it is at an inconvenient time for most schedules. A Day Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m.

The new windows have been installed in basement areas, giving a greater sense of light and simple beauty to this functional living space. The work on modifying and ventilating the guest house kitchen area is still in process. The weather has permitted more work to be invested in pruning in the orchard for a more bountiful harvest next fall. Fr. Jonah had accumulated an extensive personal library from his studies and work in counselling in the Guest House. We have been incorporating some of them into the monastery library, the novitiate library, and the Guest House collection. Others we have made available for free in the Gift Shop.

Br. John O’Driscoll has asked to move to Stonehill Care Facility and made that move on March 30th. Br. John is legally blind and feels that his eyesight is deteriorating. A more serious problem is his Parkinson’s disease which makes movement very slow. Although his vision is impaired, he was able to maintain a level of independence since, with familiarity, he had memorized spaces and distances in the monastery. He thinks that he will be needing more and more assistance as time goes on and has asked to make this transition now. Our prayers are with him in his new home.