Mount Saviour Monastery

Pine City NY 14871

                                                                                                                                                                     June 2003
Dear Friend of Mount Saviour,          

In May every year, I write to announce the date of Dedication Day which will be      Sunday, August 17 this year.  Mass 10 AM followed by a light brunch  and music in the Chapter Room around 12:30 PM.  It is also an opportunity to express our gratitude for your help in the past.  I always invite you to join us in joyfully thanking God for the blessings you have received this past year and in welcoming the signs of new life that springtime brings.  Remember the Lord’s word: “That my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (Jn 15,11).

It is our custom every Sunday morning that the monks ending a week and those beginning the week as servers, kneel before the altar and say the following prayers:  “Blessed are you, O Lord God, who have helped and strengthened me.”  The community joins in, expressing their own thanksgiving.  The president of choir then adds:  “O God, to whom the striving of humble souls is ever pleasing, look kindly on the service of these our brothers and grant them your grace as they have fulfilled a week of faithful service, they may obtain abundant blessing through Christ our Lord.”  In a similar way, those beginning the week pray:  “O God come to my assistance; Lord make haste to help me.”  Again, the community joins in the petition and then the prayer:  ”Merciful and gracious God, who ever protect and defend your servants, increase the good will, make strong the intention of these our brothers, that they with upright hearts may serve their brethren through Christ our Lord.”  Our thanksgiving and petition intend to include all the people in the world even though they don’t realize we are praying for them and that it is God who has helped them and continues to do so.  We encourage you to use this or a similar prayer, weekly, for yourselves and your families and to include us and the rest of the world in your intentions.

Br. Luke celebrated his 93rd birthday on 1 February and spent two weeks in the hospital in April.  We were told he would need 24-hour care when he came home and happily we have been able to manage a reasonably accurate facsimile with all the brothers helping in various ways.  It certainly puts us in touch with the experience of joy and worry of those of you caring for aged spouses or parents.  We are grateful we were able to care for Fr. Placid and Br. Sebastian during their final illnesses.  Please remember Br Luke and his helpers in your prayer.

A month before the scheduled time, one of the rams found a hole in the fence and on two nights out fathered 135 lambs from 71 ewes.  The lambs were almost all twins or triplets so that insures his continuance in the flock.  It also insured the lambing was a mess.  The well-behaved rams and 140 ewes gave us a final total of 240 lambs.

The 2002 orchard and garden report by Br. John is also part of our good news, encouraging us to look forward to the coming growing season.  Despite hailstorms, late freezes, torrential rains and then no rain and lots of heat we were blessed with 11,000 lbs of produce.

The hard working summer program participants extended Fr. Placid’s already existing deer fence all the way to the ground, and even back two feet, so we are better able to keep the varmints out and enjoy more of the produce ourselves!           They also helped thin the apples last year so that we had 7,000 lbs of good sized, healthy apples.  Additional help from brothers Francis and Jude from Christ in the Desert enabled us to press 220 gallons of cider.  Some of the cider and 1,000 lbs of the finest apples were sold through the book shop.  We still had a few fresh tomatoes left from our bounty of over 1,200 lbs when harvest came to an abrupt halt with the 11 degree temperatures on Thanksgiving day.

On the debit side:  A small group of Mennonites did a professional job repairing the serious wind-damage that tore off part of the roof and a portion of the front of St. Peter’s barn.  Their cost of $14,000 was well below other estimates.  It is a pre-Civil War structure with quite a history.  The Nagles, the Hofbauers  and ourselves were its only owners.  In our early days, a number of the monks lived in it due to shortage of living space.  The foundations and upper structures are in fine shape and now that the repairs are complete, it can extend its useful service for many years.  We have received some financial help in the form of Memorials and will be grateful for gifts of any size.

We are preparing a book of the lectures on The Contribution of Monastic Life to Church and World during our 50th Anniversary, which will cost from $8,000 to $10,000.  We expect sales will offset the cost in time so if we had a good deal of that up front we would be able to use the profits from the book to endow a Damasus Winzen Lecture Series with an emphasis on Worship. 

As always, we are grateful for your continuing and generous support.  We also are grateful to be able to celebrate Mass for your special intentions.  The diocese recommends we ask $10, but we would gladly subsidize lesser offerings.

Finally, please remember to pray for vocations to our monastic life.

                                                                                                        In Xto,
                                                                                                        Fr. Martin