Last weekend brought 30 couples to the Hill for a retreat with
Fr. Noel entitled "How Deep is Your Love."
After Mass on Sunday, our community exposed the Blessed
Sacrament to celebrate a Eucharistic Day. Several half-hour time
slots were made available until Vespers to pray in pairs in front
of the Blessed Sacrament in the Archabbey Church.
Fr. Patrick served as our Mass Heb for the week, and in his
homily on Sunday he reminded us to prepare for Lent, with Ash
Wednesday on the brink.
At our evening meal on Sunday, the formation house of St.
Matthew from the seminary joined us. Fr. Tobias, vice rector of the
Seminary and School of Theology, serves as the house dean, and
seminarian Deacon Lance Warren of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City
takes on the role of house prefect.
There are currently 7 novices, and the 5 who had their
investiture in January were wearing their corona haircuts up until
Tuesday. Br. Zachary, the barber of "Zach's Hack Shack," took care
of cutting our hair, which is typical after one month of wearing
On Ash Wednesday,
Archabbot Justin celebrated Mass. After the homily, the monastic
community processed to the presider's chair to receive ashes on our
head. Preceding receiving the ashes, we dropped off our bona
opera (good works) in a basket indicating to Archabbot Justin
our intentions for Lent, including what book we have chosen to read
throughout Lent. He then reviewed the bona opera, included
a comment, signed them and returned them back to the monks.
The cold weather the past several days pervaded the Archabbey
Church and refectory (our dining room). Fortunately, we have heat
in our church, unlike our mother house at Einsiedeln. Still, the
biting cold got to some of us with shorter hair or lack of hair.
Many put up the monastic hood to deflect the sharpness of the air.
Stay warm, friends!
The cold also lends itself to fun activities. A handful of monks
went sledding earlier in the week and rumor has it there is another
opportunity to sled this afternoon.
In closing this week's About the House, here is encouragement
from Archabbot Justin's Ash Wednesday homily, as best I recall: In
this season of mercy, may we be open to God's re-creation of our
minds and hearts so that we may joyfully receive Easter.
Let us continue praying for one another and for those most in
need of our prayers.