Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When the winter storms just keep on coming, and the landscapes continue to be blanketed by snow, the monks daily rhythm is often slightly altered. Nature beckons crews of monks to assemble and begin the large task of snow removal oftentimes well before dawn. After the early morning Office of Vigils comes to a close, shovels, snow blowers and plows commence to move into action. It's a team effort to get the roads, walking paths, and doorways cleared, but the monks pitch in with great fervor to offer this form of hospitality to one another, and to their retreatants, pilgrims, and faithful guests who make the drive up to attend the Offices or Mass in the visitors side chapels.

Friday, January 23, 2009

In addition to participating in the regular daily Mass, the monks gather seven times each day to chant the sacred liturgical Offices - offering praise and thanksgiving on behalf of the entire Church.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The first Sunday of every month, referred to as "Retreat Sunday", is a day when the monks participate in and appreciate a heightened climate of silence and prayer. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed upon the altar from the office of None until the Benediction service at the end of Vespers. On these days monks kneel in pairs before the sacramental presence of the Lord and the whole community is called to pray in a special way for vocations to the monastic life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Christmas season wouldn't have been complete without the monks annual visit to their Trappistine sisters at Wrentham. After beginning their day by joining together for the celebration of Mass, the communities sat down to enjoy an atmosphere of fine food and conversation. Later on came the warm and always fun-filled exchanging of gifts between the Abbot and Abbess, afternoon prayer, and a chance to taste samples of Wrentham's own best-selling chocolate. Perhaps the gift that was most enjoyed this year came when a small group of talented nuns put on an original theatrical show for all to watch. Presented in four parts, the performance portrayed the life, death, and resurrection of the Apostle Paul through dance in a most creative way.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Their Christmas joy was still in abundance when the monks came together for their annual New Years celebration to give thanks for 2008 and to welcome in 2009. The brothers capped off the night's festive meal by sharing with one another their many diverse musical talents. Highlighted by a very special perfomance from their Vietnamese brothers - the harmonious singing of three lovely Vietnamese Christmas songs - the evening was one the monks will remember for a long time to come.