Mount Saviour was founded 50 years ago in the
Jubilee Year of 1950. The monks took up residence here in 1951 so
we will celebrate our 50th Anniversary in 2001. Lots of memories!
Every year, as far back as I can remember, Father Damasus wrote a letter in May to announce the date of Dedication Day. The day had two purposes that have stayed the same throughout the myriad of changes in style and dates of the celebration. We wanted to celebrate as monks with the wider community to express our gratitude to God and to them for the fact we were here. Secondly, we wanted to thank for the personal and financial support we had been given and ask for support into the future. The day was also intended to give everyone a context to share their own gratitude to God and be mindful of all they had received.
We were clear we didn't want any gambling or alcohol but we did have a raffle which in the Catholic conscience was a pseudonym for a donation. We started with a few dart games on the south side of the Chapel and a handful of people and it grew to a cast of thousands with cars in the fields all the way up to St Gertrudes Guest House. The date went from around the 15th of August to mid September and the name from Dedication Day to the Fall Festival. The take went from a few hundred dollars to over $30,000. Even more wonderfully we went from that handful of helpers to well over 200 volunteers of all ages and the attendance grew to an estimated 12- 14,000! They were wonderful celebrations like the Medieval Market Days. For a number of reasons, we saw the need to scale down the size of the event and to put more emphasis on the religious dimension of our monastic witness in these times.
Dedication Day will be Sunday, August 20th. Mass will be at 10 AM followed by a light brunch and light entertainment. This letter in May also remains our annual and only appeal for financial support. Thanks to God and many of you the Chapel renovations have been completed. We have prioritized the repairs and renovations over the next few years. The Refectory or dining room needs considerable work now and the costs will be over $50,000. The Chapter Room, the Guest Casas , and the Arts and Crafts building are also in need of repair but that won't be attempted until later. St. Gertrude's Guest House has had some new windows and a renovation of the kitchen. We intend to mark our 50th anniversary during 2001 with a series of public lectures and special musical presentations but without a special Fund Raising Drive. Someone suggested we would boost our income considerably if we installed Luxury Boxes in the Chapel ceiling but the community voted it down. Since we have three visiting priests we are able to accept many more requests for Masses to be celebrated here.
We have some space available for the Pilgrimage to Compostela, September 9 - 23, 2000. It includes Paris, Chartres, the Loire Valley and one of the three traditional pilgrimage routes through central France across the Pyrenees, through lovely northern Spain to the tomb of St James in Compostela. $2690 double occupancy. Detailed itinerary on request but let us know soon.
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