The Church requires that monasteries be visited by some higher authority every four years. In our situation, the Abbot Primate delegates Abbot Brian Clark osb, to interview each monk and get the "pulse" of the community. This time, he was assisted by Br. John and Br. Richard from Weston Priory. At the end of the visit, they write a report to present their observations and recommendations. The picture shows them with Br. Raphael.
The new year arrived without fanfare or fear. Our computers accepted the new calendar without objection. Some of us felt a "malaise" at the publicity surrounding the Y2K problems. The weather turned cold at night but we were spared of the storms that afflicted many states south of us. Maureen Cadley is the official "guest mistress" at St. Gertrude's since she received her papers from the Immigration Service. She served us "High Tea" at St. Gertrude's after a British tradition on the feast of the Epiphany. On January 9th, Br. James Cronen attended the funeral of Abbot Charles Coriston of St. Paul's Abbey with Br. John. On January 13, Clement Hofbauer, who was raised on our property, died in his 80s. He helped us acquire the first cows and was very helpful during the years of our dairy farm.
From January 19-23, Fr. Eugene Hensell osb, monk of St. Meinrad's Archabbey, commented on the gospel of Mark. The gospel invites us to a life of listening. So often, we fail because we live out of fear rather than out of faith. In the parable of the sower, we learn that the ground we have (or are) will indicate the type of fruit we bear. The picture shows Fr. Ken Shaw, observer, Br. Sebastian, Fr. Timothy Brennen, Br. Stephen and Fr. Eugene
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