Most people come to Mount Saviour for private retreat; they enjoy the natural setting and the quiet atmosphere of the country. At times, we accommodate groups for a few days. This month, we received the diaconate class of the New York diocese; they were here when Cardinal O'Connor died. Fr. Bede from St. Paul's Abbey, New Jersey, brought some foreign monks ( Korean, African) as part of a training program for the St. Ottilian congregation. A group of Capuchin candidates shared our prayers for a few days. Pastors from various denominations bring some of their congregation for a few days; this month, we received Lutherans from York, PA and Methodists from Batavia NY. More families request our hospitality; the Casas and St. Peter's have kitchen facilities to feed the children who might be too noisy in a retreat house. Dr. Bruno Benfey and his family from Montreal have been coming since the 60s; now their grand children came from Ontario and New Brunswick to see them at Mount Saviour. Many colleges and universities arrange retreats for the students to share our common life for a week-end.
The Fall Festival of the past used to bring children and onlookers for a festive occasion. On May 26th, the shearing operation had similar features and the farm became almost a pet zoo. Children and even grown-ups marveled at the lively lambs, the frightened ewes, the braying donkeys and the dogs. The skillful shearer is surrounded by many teams that enable him to "shave" 160 animals in 8 hours: medical team to vaccinate the lambs, the "wrestlers" who bring the ewes to the shearing site, the wool handlers who sort the wool for cleanliness and the "paramedics" who will brush some pine tar on the wounds.
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