Mount Saviour Chronicle

Christmas 2003                                           No: 90


Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!   When we sing these words from the Gospel of St Luke, are we giving expression to what is true or is it wishful thinking?  How can we tell the difference so that we can move into the future with confidence?

It seems that many people think the Scriptures are directed to professionals:  the     clergy and those in religious life.  Whereas, from the earliest times, they were read and commented on at worship services in private homes to a wide variety of people.  This is what we read in the Book of Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of St. Paul.  Then, in the course of time, the Gospels and Epistles were written and collected as we know them now.  They are included in our worship services for the instruction and consolation of the ordinary lay person.  Unfortunately they have become the prerogative of scholars and religious so most Catholics are scared away from them.  “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” according to St. Jerome.  That means the Risen Christ is unable to encounter us as God intends and we remain unaware and unconvinced of the depth of God’s love for us.  Jesus’ reproach of the Sadducees in Mt. 2,29: "You do not know the scriptures” wasn’t with reference to the words - they had them memorized!  They  had neither grasped the meaning God intended by the words nor allowed the change of heart the words were to bring about.

I think all of us can identify with the Ethiopian whom the Deacon Philip asked if he understood what he was reading. (Acts of the Apostles 8, 27-40).  The man replied: “How can I unless someone explains it to me.”   All of us do need some help from competent specialists in Scripture.  Two recent books by Fr. Demetrius Dumm OSB are a great help towards an encounter with Christ through knowledge of the scriptures.  His most recent book:  Praying the Scriptures is 182 pages and less than ten dollars.  His earlier: Flowers in the Desert: A Spirituality of the Bible is 168 pages and four dollars more.  Remember that having read a book, we are in a better position to understand it when we read it the second or third or fourth time.

What better gift at Christmas than the gift of ourselves and our time pondering the scriptures and relating them to our present life as did Mary “keeping all these things and reflecting them in her heart.” (Lk 2,19).            

                                                                                           In Xto,
                                                                                          Fr. martin

News Notes:

Marco Rojas a young lawyer from Columbia spent a month with us from 17 June until 18 July.  We didn’t have the Summer Program this year in order to give more time to the Novices.  Marco wanted to deepen his Catholic faith and commitment through study and work and it turned out splendidly for all of us.  The size and quality of the apples was due to a number of secondary causes under God.  Marco was close to the first of the secondary causes and we are very grateful for his presence among us. 
Br. Elias Ippolito of New Skete Monastery in Cambridge NY visited us from 25 June until  23 July.  We have known the New Skete Community since way back in Fr. Damasus’ time.  Br Elias did wonders in the kitchen.  He also hit a bear at the Hendy Creek Market.  I’m not clear whether it was in the check out line or in the parking lot.  It has been a great topic of conversation so accuracy has gone all to pieces.  Br Elias and the bear are both in one piece - or two pieces.
Fr. Matthew Regan died June 7th in California and was buried here June 27th. It occasioned a wonderful family reunion and at the Mass his nieces carried the music to new heights.  The Chapel was full of his friends and it was very fitting that he rest here where he began his monastic life.  Fr. Hilary Hayden OSB of St. Anselm’s Abbey in Washington DC where Fr. Matthew was finally professed and ordained represented that community.
Emmaus Conference on small communities was held here with great success 1-6 July.  A fuller report is in this Chronicle and also news of the next gathering.
Power outage 21-23 July.  Even our generator gave out so things were really quiet.  This local power failure was three weeks before the international one.  We were only without power for three hours in that one.

Br. Luke died on 26 July at the age of 93 and five months.  He was quite chipper that morning and was talking in Latin.  Fr. Basil De Pinto expressed the sentiments of so many:  “…this incredibly kind, loving man.  Who of us who knew him were not touched by his generosity of spirit and his unfailing willingness to extend a helping hand, give a gentle word.  We certainly cannot doubt that he has heard the word of the Saviour:  ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Lord.”’  Because of his work in the Book Shop, Br. Luke was usually to be found at the front desk when people arrived.  So he gave the first and lasting impression of the community and our life.  It was one of his many gifts to us and to the guests and visitors that can hardly be replaced.                  On October 18th, the Feast of St. Luke, a Memorial Mass was celebrated for Br. Luke in Toronto.  Br. Pierre and Fr. Martin were warmly received by Br. Luke’s family and a host of friends.  We are so grateful to be included in the richness of the Pape family life. 
Br. Luke (July 4th, 2003
Br. Luke & Br. Pierre on July 4th, 2003
Weston Priory 50th Anniversary of acceptance into the Diocese of Burlington was wonderfully celebrated on August 12th.  Fr. Martin represented Mount Saviour.  The relationship of our communities is grounded in that of our founders, Damasus Winzen and Leo Rudlof and the gift of their spirits and the Spirit for which we are eternally grateful.
Novices Dedication Day was 17 August.  The Chapel was full and things went swimmingly.  Clare Smock again provided the program of music.  It is amazing how much musical talent exists in our area and how much Clare is able to garner each year.  This years the artists gave us an exceptional performance.
  Joseph Amendola and Christopher Kosciuk began their novitiate 13 September.  Joseph kept his baptismal name and Christopher took Adelard which was his grandfather’s name and that of a ninth century abbot of Corbie in Picardy.  Please accompany them during this year with your prayers.
Clare Reidy, who teaches Drama at Corning Community College, has been helping us with our reading the last two months.  Since we have reading during the noon and evening meals, the six prayer services each day and the Epistles and Gospels at Mass, it helps if we do it so we edify the hearers as St. Benedict insists.  Reading aloud declined with the invention of the radio and may disappear altogether with the coming of the electronic era.  It is a blessing to have Clare’s help in reviving this lost art form.
Rick and Mary Canali, owners of The Palms Restaurant invited the community to a ‘meal out’ on 21st of September.  It was a delightful event and for us a reminder that God feeds the worlds’ billions every day; that God fed the Hebrew slaves as they journeyed to freedom through the wilderness, and that Jesus had meals with his disciples and many others and especially at his Last Supper which we share with him in our day at the Eucharist.

Fr. Jerome Hall S.J. gave the first of the Damasus Winzen Memorial Lectures on 28 September.  He spoke on The Presence of Christ in Our Worship to over 80 people gathered in St. Joseph’s Guest House.  It was a worthy beginning to what we hope will be an annual event and a deepening of our understanding and involvement in the mystery we celebrate as we worship with Christ in the Spirit.  Fr. Jerome taught at the Gregorian University in Rome from 1997 until 2002 and now is adjunct professor in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at Catholic University of America.  He is the author of We Have the Mind of Christ: The Holy Spirit and Liturgical Memory in the Thought of Edward Kilmartin, a Pueblo Book published by Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN.
Fr. Gerard Sloyan will be our speaker this spring.  The date is not yet determined.
22 - 26 October, Br. Bruno visited Weston Priory to share our experience with sheep and to learn from as well as encourage their recent farming efforts.  He made five trips to the auction in Hackensack N.J. with lambs for Ramadan.
24 - 26 October, Fr. Martin and Br. Gabriel were invited by Fr. Stephen Honeygosky OSB of Catholic Campus Ministry at Penn State to help facilitate a conference on the present tendency to separate Religion and Spirituality.  Over 400 people attended and it was beautifully organized and carried out.  Laszlo and Linda Ivanitz were our hosts for the two nights we were there.
17-18 November.  Fr. Martin attended the Regional Meeting of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) and hosted by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.  The meeting dealt with the sexual abuse problem especially as it effects minors.  This will be a major focus of the CMSM for the next two years and it was certainly an auspicious beginning.
                                                                                         Fr. Martin

Fr. Jerome Hall, sj
Fr. Jerome Hall with his parents an Br. Gabriel
Br. John & cider press Orchard and Garden Report

2003 goes into the record books as our largest apple crop ever at over 16,000 lbs.  Some individual trees had over 800 lbs. of fruit on them!  Needless to say there was a lot of picking, sorting and processing to do.  Special thanks go to Brs. William, Joseph and Adelard and to all the guests who helped with all the work.  An especial thanks goes to the group of men that came with Joe Manzi from Rocky Point, Long Island, who helped press over 400 gallons of cider out of our 600 gallons total.  Other notable successes this year include peaches, plums, strawberries (135 lbs!) and our indoor fig trees that provided us with delicious fruit from August to October.  In addition, our organic garden yielded 2,500 lbs. of produce to top off a very fruitful growing season.  We are currently expanding the garden but have a terrific crop of rocks, which seem to grow best of all, to get rid of first.  Once accomplished, we will attempt home-grown sweet corn.  Don't tell the raccoons!  The picture shows Br. John with William O'Byrne , a guest from Ireland, and Fr. Michael Messner from Harrisburg, PA.

"An Emmaus Experience" brought an ecumenical group of thirty Christian men and women to Mount Saviour in early July for six days of prayer, study and dialogue on vital forms of Christian community in the modern world.  Community living, with shared meals and household tasks, was an essential part of the experience, as was participation in the liturgical life of the monastic community.  Each morning, workshops on Centering Prayer and Meditation were offered.  Prior Martin Boler, OSB, Fathers James Kelly, OSB and James Cronin, OSB, as well as various theologians, pastors and professors offered their reflections and led discussions and workshops on models of Christian community, past and present.  In one session, representatives of contemporary Christian communities, including the Ithaca Catholic Worker, Wood Hath Hope, the Company of Kirkridge, and Peaceweavers, described their missions.  Discussions centered on participants' experience of Christian community and on the evolving role of small Christian communities in the church today.  A particular theme of the conference was the power of small intentional communities to enrich Christian life and lead to change and ecumenical unity in the wider church.

A Winter Gathering

Mount Saviour Monastery will be the site of the second Emmaus Experience on January 16-19, 2004.  Persons wishing to participate in this retreat, as well as participants from the Summer '03 Emmaus Experience, are most welcome.  Participants will explore together, in presentations, group discussions, and in prayer, the Emmaus story as told in Luke 24:13-36.  The gathered community will seek to understand its meaning for them today and ways in which they can live out the challenge of this Gospel together.

For more information and/or a registration form, contact:

Mary Skinner
740 Clark Hollow Rd.
Pine City, NY 14871
Patricia Ladley
502 Underwood Ave.
Elmira, NY 14905


Sheep May Safely Graze.  A weekend Retreat for Knitters at Mount Saviour Monastery
February 6-8, 2004.  On receipt of your registration we will send you a skein of Mount Saviour yarn.  We ask you to add your own wool to this skein and make a child’s sweater for sale in the monastery bookstore.  Meditations will be given by Penny Byham, a Mount Saviour Oblate from NY City who has been leading parish retreats here for the past five years.  She is also an avid knitter, a designer of sweaters, a devoted grandmother and Director of Professional Development for Citigroup’s Private Bank.
Cost: $175, including meals  lodging.  $100 for day guests. Limited to 25 overnight guests and 10 day guests.  Address: Knitters’ Retreat c/o Penelope Byham, 160 W. 77th St., Apt 3B NYC, NY 10024. Checks to be made out to Mount Saviour Monastery. Questions: Please e-mail < >

Please remember us in prayer and, if possible,
 also in your estate planning and will. Our legal title is -

The Benedictine Foundation of New York State.

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Mount Saviour Monastery
231 Monastery Rd.            
Pine City NY 14871-9787
Phone: (607) 734-1688
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