Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Br. Mathew-Joseph works to remove downed trees and limbs, which fell a few weeks back during the severe ice storm that hit the Abbey. He is one monk of many who has joined in the Abbey's major clean-up project. Although much initial progress has been made, the project will undoubtedly continue well into the spring and summer as further winter weather conditions have put certain limits on what more can be done at this time.

Friday, December 26, 2008

"Behold peace no longer promised but conferred; no longer delayed but given; no longer predicted but bestowed. Behold God the Father has sent down to earth a scrip which shall be rent in the Passion, so that the treasure it contains and conceals shall be poured out for our ransom; a scrip small indeed, but full of preciousness. For it is a Little One that is given to us, yet in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead." - St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Framed by snow-covered pines and the "cold" cloister beneath it, the bell tower looms high above the hills of Spencer. After several months of inactivity, due to major structural repair, the bells of the Abbey are ringing once again ... and just in time to accompany the monks singing of the O Antiphons and Magnificat during the special Vespers of Advent.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Last week marked the arrival of four new Vietnamese monks to Spencer. They will be the Abbey's special guests for the next two years and will immerse themselves fully into the daily life and rhythm of the community in order to be enriched by Trappist life in America. In this picture, Br. Peter Tu from Our Lady of Grace Monastery stands front and center in the Abbey's wardrobe on the day Fr. Luke (in black scapular) led them to try on their new cowls.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Along with many of its neighboring towns and cities, the Abbey was recently hit by one of the worst ice storms of the century. Fortunately for the monks, the Abbey's back-up generator kept them from losing power and the damage to the property, although extensive, was limited mostly to its trees. To look and walk about the transformed landscape in the aftermath of the storm was an experience of both wonder and sadness ... Wonder at the beauty and power of nature, yet sadness for the destruction which it brought.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Abbot's ceremonial blessing of the Cistercian cowl, the garment that replaces the monk's cloak on the occasion of his solemn profession, recieved by Br. Daniel on the Feast of All Saints - Nov. 1, 2008.